BWW CD Reviews: David Lanz's Brilliant CRISTOFORI'S DREAM...RE-ENVISIONED
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by Chris Gibson
In case you didn't know it already, Bartolomeo Cristofori was the inventor of the piano, and in 1988 David Lanz paid tribute to him with his rich album, Cristofori's Dream, itself a lovely album of considerable grace and beauty. But, that work was enhanced by other musicians who built up the overall sound. Here, with Cristofori's Dream...Re-Envisioned, Lanz revisits this seminal piece and attacks it with his solo piano skills. It works as more of a tribute in this way, bringing to the fore the true sound of invention and the joy of discovering it.
Each song has been made even more delicate and dynamic by Lanz's artistic decision to pare down the songs to the essentials (Lanz also produces), and "Cristofori's Dream" opens the proceedings on an gloriously upbeat note. It's followed by the aptly named "Spiral Dance", and the gorgeous "Green into Gold". "Wings to Altair" continues the transformation, and "Summer's Child" and "Free Fall", round out the original compositions which Lanz contributed back in 1988. Procul Harum's "Whiter Shade of Pale" ends the session on an elegiac note, with the original organ work now giving way to Lanz and his considerable talent.
What follows on the CD are two works that really bring the album to a proper close. "Cristofori's Dream", here realized with complete orchestral accompaniment, is full and supple, repeating the first track, but embellishing on it as well, and showing the difference, and the reason, for this audio excursion in the first place. "Seuol Improvisation" closes things on a plaintive note that's in full keeping with the mood Lanz has established. It's actually a perfect ending, and really brings the album to a brilliant finish.
David Lanz's new CD, Cristofori's Dream...Re-Envisioned, is a modern masterpiece, placing the piano where it yearns to be, and here it's Lanz's thoughtful passion that puts it front and center. This 25th anniversary re-imagining is well worth your time and attention. Highly Recommended.