Album Review: Triumph & Inspiration (OMDRA035L)

By John Lentz, Sr. Music Director – FirstCom Music

David Hoffner’s, “Triumph & Inspiration“, is a powerfully subtle expression of achievement, reflection and conflict.  The opening fanfare statement of French horns and strings slowly integrate with tympani on “Olympic Fanfare” portending a solemn feeling of watchful confidence.  Throughout the album, Hoffner creates an effective atmosphere of understated, yet implicit triumph on six of the twelve selections.  “Solace” and “Against The Odds” open with solo piano setting a tone of solitude while the orchestra complements the aura with carefully placed minimal strings and woodwinds.  The conflict offered on four of the songs is understated in its presentation but no less effective in its intended effect.  A mood of present and impending battle is captured in the call and answer of the brass and woodwinds in, “No Holds Barred” while uneasy and urgent strings in, “Race Against The Machine” convey to the listener that the end goal is never easily attained.

Gorgeous orchestral arranging on, “American Prayer”, paints a portrait of reflective contemplation in its delivery while never touching on sadness.  The orchestra’s subdued tone dutifully carries out the triumphant and inspirational themes on the album.  This approach heightens the aim of the emotional moods present throughout.  In a nod to Appalachia, “Glory To Spring” is a cheerfully playful expression of building satisfaction and contentment.  Moving to big sky country, “Bronco Buster” is reminiscent of the 19th century exploration and settlement of America’s west with its bouncy strings and percussive horse clops.

In this Olympic year, many of the tracks on the album can provide a superior soundtrack to the back story of participating athletes and their personal journey that got them to the games.  Set the stage of competition with tracks 3,7,13 and 19 and celebrate victory with tracks 1,5,11 and 15.  “Triumph & Inspiration” is ideal to depict the inner struggle and eventual glory of accomplishment and fulfillment without sounding boastful.

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