David Lanz | French Impressions

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Classical: Piano solo New Age: Contemporary Instrumental Moods: Featuring Piano
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French Impressions

by David Lanz

The latest release from the master New Age piano pioneer David Lanz. A collection of beautiful improvisations, ~ hauntingly introspective.
Genre: Classical: Piano solo
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
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1. The Wandering Path
1:40 $0.99
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2. Conversation avec les Étoiles
2:49 $0.99
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3. The River at Night
3:07 $0.99
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4. Midnight Kiss
3:12 $0.99
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5. Still Life #2
3:35 $0.99
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6. Love Is Truth
2:12 $0.99
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7. Marées de Matin
2:05 $0.99
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8. French Blue
2:53 $0.99
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9. Passages
5:38 $0.99
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10. As Dreams Dance
3:10 $0.99
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11. French Impressions
3:33 $0.99
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12. Prières du soir
4:27 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.

ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Many have tried to define David Lanz style, but that would be too simple. David Lanz plays David Lanz music. As both composer and interpreter, his approach to music is often larger than life, breathtaking in its breadth, yet accessible and down-to-earth as well. Through his music, Lanz connects in an intimate manner with his audience by tapping into emotions, thoughts and dreams like an old friend. Early in Lanz’s career, he took gigs playing rock, funk and disco. Then he had an epiphany: “I had been doing yoga and meditating and getting into Eastern philosophy,” says Lanz, “and slowly I started thinking about how music could help. With music, you could get people to dance or you could get people to meditate or to march off to war. I was aware of a few other musicians who were doing light, ambient music and I was always into what the classical East Indian musicians were doing, creating trance states. By the early ‘80s I was really into the idea that this kind of music would be an interesting path to take.” In 1983, Lanz made his recording debut, Heartsounds, on Narada. It was received favorably and Lanz was off, pursuing his new direction and exploring the various ways he might touch an emerging listenership. During the next five years he released six new albums and landed a major commercial breakthough with 1988’s Cristofori’s Dream. The album consisted of six originals, including the opening title track, which has become a classic, and a cover of Procol Harum’s 1967 rock hit “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Cristofori’s Dream topped Billboard Magazine’s first Adult Alternative/New Age chart and remained for an impressive 27 weeks. 1990 brought about the release of Skyline Firedance, which joined Lanz with an 80-piece orchestra. He continued to record for Narada, issuing several more titles including 1998’s Songs From an English Garden, his first to tap into the British Invasion repertoire of the ’60s. In 2000, he changed recording homes to Decca Records where he scored a Grammy nomination for East Of the Moon. Lanz continued to record and tour relentlessly, releasing eleven titles between 2001 and 2007. In 2008, he made his Shanachie debut, Painting In the Sun, and in 2012 he paid homage to The Beatles with Here Comes The Sun and Liverpool Re-Imagining The Beatles.

Truly a renaissance man, David Lanz is always heading into the unknown in order to expand his artistry and share what he’s found with the world. His musical offering is a welcomed retreat back into music with heart, soul, courage, adventure, humanity and purpose. With the release of Movements Of The Heart, the journey continues and David Lanz concludes, “I always want my listeners to really enjoy the music, but if it connects to their deeper levels of emotion and allows them to really feel the stirrings in their own hearts...all the better!”

From the Liner Notes:

At the piano, in the early morning hours of summer past, I would mentally prepare before I began to record the compositions for what became my "Norwegian Rain" release. Often times it helped me to prepare when I would chose to first move into a gentle improvisation.

This process allowed me to relax and get into the right frame of mind so later, after playing these extemporaneous pieces, I could concentrate on the more serious work at hand... the recording of my composed music.

After listening back to this collection of improvisations, I found that the lack of structure and preordained melody made for an enjoyable ambient yet sophisticated sonic experience.

Recorded in our temporary French villa, in the summer of 2016, now for you to sample and savor, these pianistic French Impressions."


David Lanz

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Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
I have been a big fan of David Lanz’s music since the mid-1980’s when he released a couple of nature-themed albums with guitarist Paul Speer. I saw his first San Francisco concert and almost all of the concerts he did in the Bay Area until I moved to Oregon ten years ago. Lanz’s sheet music has been a staple of my teaching repertoire for going on 30 years, and he has performed several student workshops and house concerts in my home, so I think I can safely say I’m very familiar with all of the music he has recorded and released. There have been a few of Lanz’s dozens of recordings that have featured solo piano improvisations, but this is the first album of only improvised music. Over the past few years, Lanz has moved out of the US, re-married, and is a very recent father of twins, so why wouldn’t there be some changes in his music as well? Artists need room to grow and evolve, and while these improvisations are different from Lanz’s more composed music, they are beautiful, intimate vignettes born when the artist was completely in the moment, letting the music happen without conscious direction or control.

The twelve improvisations were recorded in the early mornings of the summer of 2016 in Lanz’s temporary home in France. They were his warm-ups and mental preparations for recording the compositions that became his "Norwegian Rain" album. When he listened to the recordings of the improvisations, “I found that the lack of structure and preordained melody made for an enjoyable ambient yet sophisticated sonic experience” (quoted from the liner notes of the album). I admit that I have always preferred Lanz’s composed music to his improvisations, but there is something very fresh and heartfelt about this collection that I really like. The pieces range from under two minutes to about 5 1/2 minutes and are relaxed, flowing and very beautiful.

I know there are many people who would like David Lanz to keep producing music similar to “Cristofori’s Dream” and some of the other music that made him a piano legend and a major influence on so many younger pianists and composers, but I love that French Impressions is David Lanz just being himself, at one with his piano and allowing his musical persona to evolve a somewhat different direction.

"French Impressions" is very highly recommended to those who are open to a different side of David Lanz’s music. I think you’ll enjoy the journey!
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Steve Sheppard

Review from One World Music Radio
There is nothing more soothing than the gentle refrains of a David Lanz album to sooth the soul, you just have to listen to this oasis of calm and you will feel immediately at peace. Whilst listening to the album it did however occur to me that this has to be the most ambient in style I have ever heard from Lanz, and as a big fan of that genre I dived in deep, and found a dimension of sound as never before.
So let’s begin our musical journey through French Impressions. That voyage of intent begins with the short form composition The Wandering Path. Beautifully imagery can be found here in well under two minutes, and with a narrative that is so tranquil.
This story of supreme solo piano ambience continues with the fluent and charming Conversation Avec les Etoiles, which I think means conversation with the stars. Here is a piece that explores the realms above in a warm, but very personal way; Lanz almost seems to create a moment so precious, so tender and so awe inspiring, all in one short arrangement, a veritable soundtrack of romantic stargazing.
On The River At Night we have classic Lanz composition, a sweet and very poetic melody and slow wending tale of nocturnal river side memories, here the artist manifests something so emotional and filled with passion it is impossible to resist. On this piece, Lanz is in a moment of sublime flow and offers us the listener a chance to drift with him.
The ambience continues with Midnight Kiss, once more the artist shows just how the years have honed his skills; the gentleness of this offering is amazing and so very delicate, the adoring stream of a never ending passionate loving and affectionate moment can be found here, thanks to a blissful performance by Lanz.
We nudge towards to the half way line of the album and come across a beautiful track called Still Life #2. There is something quite serene about this composition, yes it has that typical Lanz flow, but the tempo is so well paced, giving us a true art gallery moment of a composition. The artist’s performance on this piece is like sitting by a window and watching the day drift past, while we stand just outside the periphery of time itself.
By now I’m sure you will agree with me about the sublime ambience of this album and on Love Is Truth, you will find the openness of the piece is sparklingly refreshing. This is a true heart on the sleeve composition, nothing hidden; everything gained, and exquisitely played.
We now move to Marees de Matin, this ambient lake is further filled with a really gorgeous performance and adds another dimension to this already outstanding album, by manifesting a little extra elevated cheer and happiness.
French Blue is almost cinematic in quality; one could easily see this in a film segment. David Lanz is unique, that is without doubt, and its creations like this one, that one can see that statement blossom into fruition, the style is almost like watching one of the grand masters paint; Lanz use of musical colour is quite simply stunning.
Passages, at well over five minutes long, is not only the longest piece off the release, but also one of the most emotive. There is a certain element of reflectiveness about this composition that makes it so appealing. This is also a track that seems to wend its own way, perhaps through the passages of a life, and allows the artist to channel the music perfectly.
We now glide to the deeper waters of the album and come across a moving piece called, As Dreams Dance. This musical reverie is simply delightful to listen to, and the current and almost tidal nature of this performance, gives us a perfect nocturnal perambulation through a world of dreams.
We now arrive at the penultimate offering on the album French Impressions and find a simply brilliant moment of solo piano bliss, and on this, the title track, Lanz makes the most of this moment and creates a sublime and tranquil narrative for us to enjoy. This piece has everything, it has a calmness of spirit and an ease of movement; Lanz can simply switch gears and motifs at a whim.
The last portal to this dimension of sound created by the artist is upon us, and called Prieres du Soir. The artist allows us to drift away on a blanket of tone, one so rich and imploring it becomes a dream filled pastiche of an evening song, so lovingly created by a man who truly plays from the heart.
French Impressions by David Lanz is without doubt the most ambient you will have ever heard the artist, his magisterial fluency on this release is unequalled and in my view, David Lanz is in touch with his musical soul more so now than ever before. French Impressions is a release that will not just sooth the mind, but one that will bring happiness and comfort to each and every listener who bathes in its calmimg tones; this is without doubt Lanz at his eloquent best.
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