What a great year for debut albums. It seems some of the very best new age albums I have heard this year have been first recordings. And now here is another sensational one, Let Go, by a keyboardist from Germany named Christoph Berghorn. Where has this guy been hiding? He unleashes a 71-minute CD with 22 excellent instrumental new age tunes on it (a few under two minutes, but most in the three-to-five-minute range). Every one is quite nice, and quite different from all the rest. One thing he does differently than most new age musicians is that he features a saxophonist on exactly half of the pieces. Sax is an instrument not readily identified with new age music, but in this case the way the saxophonist, Matthias Keidel plays the various saxes makes their sound fit right in (he has a sort of a moody, flowing, melancholy sound that works perfectly in this context). Of course Berghorn (who loves Chopin) originally came out of a classical music background like so many musicians so he utilizes all the fashionable orchestra instruments that are popular in the new age arena such as oboe, flute, cello, violin and string sections. But here and there are some non-classical sounds too (guitar, synth, drums).

There are too many great tunes to name each one (in fact there really is not a bad piece on the record), but my favorites are “Let Go” (with piano, flute, acoustic guitar and light drums), “Piano Reflections 2” (featuring piano, sax, drums, tambourine and flugelhorn), “Going On” (including piano, drums, viola and multiple saxophones) and the three-part melancholic heaven-versus-earth extravaganza “Between Three Worlds” (organ, synth, oboe, violins).

Suffice to say, there is plenty on this recording worth checking out, so go find a sales or streaming site online or somewhere where you can hear some samples of this music because it will be well worth your time and energy to do so. This guy makes all the right musical moves and I predict he will be around a long time making more excellent music.