There can only be one pianist, who through the ages has consistently produced quality album, after quality album, one man whose attention to infinite details of performance and musical structure cannot be matched, and one man whose love of really good music has shone a beacon of beauty through every willing listeners musical windows, that man is David Lanz and 37 years on since Heartsounds, we have his latest offering Water Sign, an album which is about to take the solo piano world by storm.
The first tentative footsteps within this release can be taken by following the bright and effervescent enthusiasm of the opening piece, My Aphrodite. This is a song so very close to the heart of the artist and myself, as we both share two things in common, our lives on the island of love, and our own Aphrodite. This is the perfect performance on piano for us to set sail and truly enjoy the journey with.
The charm with which Lanz plays has had me spell bound for some years now, and if we listen carefully to the crafted tones and the care and attention to detail on the piece Sol Dance, we can see why. Here lies a clever offering, a little reflection, but the overall energies of a summers day unfolding into the realities of our lives is easy to visualise here.
The fluency of an artist of David Lanz’s standard is of course something to both admire and respect, when you listen to a blissfully serene offering like Ponte del Amante, it is easy to see why he has such a massive reputation, and a vast well of admiration from other musicians, this is a very romantic composition, and perhaps one filled with a hope of love, and bridges that may need to be crossed along the way; a truly remarkable offering indeed.
The trickle down beginning on Angels Falling set the scene perfectly, the following melody and sublime flow on this deeply attractive arrangement was something incredibly artful and picturesque, and dropped into the mix a delicate sense of reverie too, and as I contemplated the tone and timbre, I was once more entranced by what is a film score standard composition.
Now we take a journey within a journey as the next 6 pieces form part of what is known as the Water Sign Suite, the powerful and full flowing Wonder Wave starts this secondary sojourn off with the artist, one that creates lush musical currents and drifts into the eddies of Raindancer Returns, a piece that contains such delicacy, and a wonderfully melodic and pristine performance as well.
Being born under a water sign myself it would come as no surprise that I adore rivers, something we do not have in abundance in Cyprus. As Rivers Flow is a confident dance between emotions, refrains of happiness and sadness can be found here, with a little touch of Cristofori into the weave for good measure too.
The astrological energies of this album have not gone unnoticed, and are exemplified further with one of the most stunning songs off the album entitled The Water Bearer. This Aquarian delight is a work of genius, boarding on the lines of the classical and possibly even soundtrack in style, but as always that deft Lanz pause and performance, guides the track to its classy conclusion.
This pure stream of musical wizardly continues with the charm filled and wonderfully warm opus of Moonlight Lake. This is a timeless composition of a glistening radiance and one to just float with whilst looking up at the night sky perhaps; this is one of those peaceful moments of a performance on piano you simply never want to end.
Our last stretch of water to be navigated is entitled Neptune Dancing and ends this proud and graceful 6 part suite. There is a mysterious mood built in here that is wonderfully compelling and addictive to listen to, one that retains a sense of a deep mood, built with true Lanz mastery is more than it seems, the energy is increased to manifest an almost pop styled classic, one that perfectly sums up the proceedings tracks that make up this amazing suite, please also listen to the very end of this track, and yes I mean the very end.
There are times when you hear something special, and every inch of your musical senses screams at you and yells, that you have just heard something that will always be remembered and forever played through time, and this is what I feel now as I wander through the hallowed halls of the heartfelt opus entitled If I Could Write A Million Songs, I would have to add in brackets to the title “And If I had, I would write them all for you” this will become a Lanz anthem, and a much cherished moment of musical magic for sure.
Helen Anaïs is our next port of call as we swim forever deeper within the realms of the album; Anais which I believe can trace its origins back to the word Grace could be very well named indeed, the graceful intent of this piece is like touching a fine crystal goblet and experiencing the resonance, this is a sublimely delicate, but poignant piece by the artist.
Our penultimate piece off the album is entitled My Little Moonbeams and has such a sweet childlike energy to its textures, with elements of movement and dance, one can almost detect a slight hint of Beatles within this composition to, which is very classy indeed. Lanz plays here with his heart on his sleeve, in a moment of pure gratitude and unabashed love.
So we are here, we can now dock our musical boat and prepare to leave this jetty of sound, but before we do so we can enjoy the last gift from the artist and it is entitled Lover's Waltz, there is an interesting segue from the last track to this piece that I found fascinating, and one bathed in a wonderfully complete blissful reverie of tenderness.
Water Sign by David Lanz is the album we all needed so desperately to lift us out of 2020 and into the arms of hope in something better. Lanz keeps moving onward and upward, his creational genius is unbound, and his masterful performances on the piano must have been what Cristofori was dreaming about. Water Sign is an album that is packed with such emotion, passion, and tenderness, and has to be one of the most honest performances on an album I have heard for ages.