• Bryon Harris

Pauline Frechette - 'A Winter's Tale'

Reviewed by Aaron Cloutier & Staff

You know how things sound quieter outside when there’s snow on the ground because it absorbs the sound? It's magical. This is the exact feeling I get when I hear the first 20 seconds of “A Winter’s Tale” by Pauline Frechette.

With the first passage of warm piano keys and cello, I’m immediately transported to memories of standing outside at night after the first snowfall of the season. Everything is covered and there’s a peaceful silence surrounding me. Off in the distance, I can hear traffic and pedestrians, yet it’s attenuated by the snow. There’s a gentle feeling in the sound. The beginning of “A Winter’s Tale” does the same and brilliantly so.

Other images that come to mind are a scene of being huddled at the window where you can observe the cold outside the glass, yet you’re safely tucked away in the warmth of your home as long cello phrases played by Paula Hochhalter weave around Frechette’s tasteful piano arpeggios bringing to mind a dance of sorts. There’s a romantic feeling to the music with vivid imagery attached.

The dynamics in this piece are impeccable as well. I was very surprised to hear a dramatic shift in mood about 2/3rds into the song when an upbeat tempo shift coupled with sleigh bells set a new tone. With each new section of the song, I’m seeing a new scene in a movie that doesn’t exist yet. Maybe a couple going for an impromptu sleigh ride. Perhaps a walk in the city during Christmas Eve with all the business and energy of the city surrounding them. The fact that “A Winter’s Tale” is instrumental is perfect in my opinion because it leaves the listener open to imagine anything they want with out the agenda of lyrics redirecting the narrative.

"A Winters Tale" is imaginative, beautifully performed and recorded, and though it could be considered a holiday song, the mood is lighthearted without being overtly “Holiday Song” sounding making it a great listen all year. This song brings an integrity and expression that is very much welcome to my holiday ears. I think you’ll feel the same. What do you imagine when you hear this song?


About Pauline Frechette

Pauline Frechette is a contemporary, classical composer with a background that started with playing in youth symphonies on violin and winning awards in piano competitions. Her Great-grandfather, Josef Vezina, founded the Quebec Symphony and her father, Frigon Louis Frechette, was a renowned organist. Fans and critics response to her music: “pure magic” “haunting” “poetry” “captivating beyond words” … The music and songs she creates are uniquely her own - songs that defy being labeled. Her melodies and harmonies are romantic and passionate. They take you to unexpected places and are emotionally driven yet each piece is around 3 minutes long or shorter.

Pauline’s music reflects her philosophy: “Today travel is fast, communication is fast, conversations are clipped via email or texts. What about romantic music that has the emotional beauty of melody, harmony and development, but the entire piece takes only 2 to 3 minutes?” Her compositions are gems that spark the 21st century need for private inspiration, sensual beauty or glowing romanticisim. Her music gives a modern impression of romantic beauty with melody, harmony and flow similar to works from the 19th century but with a modern depth of feeling and personal reflection. A Frechette romantic miniature fills the need for warm flow, deeper meaning or emotional lift to a higher plane - in the time it took to prepare and consume an espresso.

Frechette’s albums, Colors of My Heart and An Intimate Story debuted at #3 in the Billboard Top Ten in Classical and Jazz. Her music is being played in over 150 countries to millions of listeners on radio and in stores and restaurants. Her compositions have been performed by the Baltimore Symphony, The Hollywood Bowl Orchestra, the National Symphony at the Kennedy Center Concert, Cincinnati Symphony and at Disney Concert Hall. Pauline recently won the W.A.M. Award for “Best Instrumental” and is an official entry for the 2021 Grammy Awards. Her new holiday album, “A Winters Tale”, is currently available throughout the world.


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