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The Sounding Board by R J Lannan
RJ Lannan is the reviewer for The Sounding Board.
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Cristofori's Dream...Re-Envisioned
By David Lanz
Label: Moon Boy Music
Released 10/9/2012
Cristofori's Dream...Re-Envisioned tracks
1. Cristofori's Dream
2. Spiral Dance
3. Green Into Gold
4. Wings to Altair
5. Summer's Child
6. Free Fall
7. A Whiter Shade of Pale [Procol Harum]
8. Cristofori's Dream (Live Orchestral Version)
9. Seoul Improvisation
It’s Better the Second Time Around
Every great chef has a signature dish and every great composer has a signature song. For Master Pianist and legendary New Age composer David Lanz it is Cristofori's Dream. Little did David know that his first album circa 1988, Heartsounds, based on healing music, would take him on a magic carpet ride into a New Age. But it was when Mr. Lanz tuned the piano masterpiece Cristofori's Dream (pun intended) back in 1999, that he made quite a name for himself. We go forward in time to the present. The thinking was ... was the masterpiece perfect? Could anything be done to improve it? And was it worth taking a risk, a second look and listen? Absolutely. And David Lanz' Cristofori’s Dream... Re-Envisioned instantly became his tour-de-force. Every David Lanz album is a journey into the person and performer that is David Lanz. We have been privileged over the years to be able to follow every exciting adventure.

Cristofori's Dream, the title tune and tribute song established Lanz as the foremost New Age pianist on the planet. The music set the standard of the day and continues to do so. The crystalline tune uses subtle nuances to tell the story of Bartolomeo Cristofori and draws the listener into a world where music and healing become one. One of the bonus features on the album is the highly praised orchestral version of the tune. If you don’t swoon on the solo piano version, you will succumb to this one.

If ever the season's had their own anthem it would be David's Green into Gold. The changing of the seasons is immortalized in the up tempo ballad. I always thought that this tune was somehow tied into David's two other releases, Natural States and Woodlands, but it stands on its own as a foray into the world of falling leaves and dusky skies.

From the first arpeggio to the last resounding note, I know that Free Fall is one of my favorites on the album. For me it is a memory of firsts. This song is the first time I heard David's piano and the first time I knew I was in love with New Age music. Sure, I liked classical music. That is what got me started on instrumentals, but this was different. This was pure, and calming and memorable and frankly, it did not have the structure of any other genre.

David has several albums on which he features covers, but is most famous re-work is his rendition of Procal Harem’s summer of ’67 smash it A Whiter Shade Of Pale. Loosely based on classical roots, this astonishing metaphysical journey that is thought to be a premiere progressive rock tune, takes on a subtle, thought provoking atmospheric under the uber-talented fingers of Lanz.

If I ever had the opportunity to take an unhurried journey to the stars, then Wings to Altair would be my song choice. Long used as a compass for seafarers, Altair, the bright star, is a beacon in the heavens giving us the assurance of a safe passage. It is the same sense of comfort we take from this flowing tune.

Any improvisation by David Lanz would be a success even if it was Chopsticks, but David offered this second bonus track, Seoul Improvisations, which is a sparkling gem of pensive notes to the people of Korea during his 2010 tour. He used it to close his tour and re-uses it here as a fitting close to another successful performance.

When I review an album, I usually multi-task, i.e, read or write a novel, do a woodworking project or take a drive and this music has always been a welcomed companion. As I listened to this remarkable work I kept saying to myself, I remember this one and that one and of course, I remembered all of them. There is music that makes a lifelong impression on your spirit and this is it. Who was Cristofori? If you do not know that, you do not know David Lanz.
Rating: Excellent   Excellent
- reviewed by RJ Lannan on 10/11/2013
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