Lettere d'Amore (Letters of Love)
David Lanz & Kristin Amarie
There are times in one’s life that light you up to a point where your own radiance and emotional output is stronger than any sun residing in the universe, this latest release by David Lanz & Kristin Amarie has done just that, and as an album that also contains many luminaries of this style and genre in David Arkenstone, Charlie Bisharat and the amazing vocalist Alex Panayi and the Italian lyric collaborater, Tony Mangione, who contributed to four of the tracks, must surely make Lettere d'Amore (Letters of Love) an award winning album with utter ease.
Such beauty is created with consummate simplicity by the world’s leading pianist in David Lanz on Lettere d'Amore (Letters of Love). I have long waited humbly for a track to rival Cristofori's Dream, and I believe that within this piece I may well have found it, the classic Lanz sway and swagger is there, the pin-point build, creation and crescendo’s, and all backed by stunning vocalisations, and a symphonic nature so proud and empowering, there can only be one exclamation I can find here after 6 listens in a row, and that’s, wow!
However we don’t stop there, as we reach one of the most stunning reveries in Il Giardino Incantato, utilising the most spectacular talents of both vocalists Kristin Amarie and Alex Panayi, this partnership of striking brilliance is simply idyllic, deeply emotive, and one of the most fully flavoured and passionate tracks I think I have heard, for at least the last decade or so.
Our next portrait of fabulous texture and timbre is the former single Aria, Kristin Amarie must have one of the best voices in the genre today, and her range, power intensity and passion, sparkles like a beacon in a midnight sky, on this quite splendid song.
As we carefully edge further on through the forests of superb creations, we come across another symbiotic manifestation of genius in another previously released single in Sonata. Alex Panayi and Kristin Amarie create a magnificent moment to revel in here, one that reminds me in part to Phantom of the Opera with those delightful oceans of grandeur.
Time to breathe, wipe tears of joy from your eyes, and sit back and enjoy another partnership of genius now, as David Lanz and Charlie Bisharat bring us another anthem like opus in the piece Matters of the Heart, which David told me was originally written by their long-time friend and workshop attendee, George Whitehill, as he wrote it as a tribute for his father’s memorial service, but David and Kristin have worked their magic into the arrangement. I do not know how he does it, but the older Lanz gets, the more heart felt and artistic his compositions become, this one another dramatic creation, and is one that contains honest emotive and reflective nuances by the bucket load.
One More Night brings us the dream team of Amarie and Panayi one more time, and this fluent narrative of never ending love flows with all the passion of a mountain stream in early spring. This is another exquisite and impressive arrangement of power vocals, emotional intensity, and neo-classical genius, which means that only one word sums this piece up, perfection.
Alone is just that, as Amarie takes the solo vocal reigns, and has us literally hanging on to the edge of the seat waiting for the next delicious spectacular moment to occur, this is Amarie in her best story telling mode, and a song that literally takes you to the very edge of your emotional cliff edge, and peaking over the edge.
We now are swimming in the deeper waters of the release, and as we drift past time itself, we come across a piece that is so very beautiful in all aspects of its creation and called Lovers' Bridge (Ponte Dell'amante). This was also a single earlier on in this year of freedom 2022. Once more classic Lanz can be found here with, with Charlie Bisharat’s sublime touch, in an eye catching melody that will remain in the heart for an eon or more.
The penultimate piece is an instrumental arrangement called The Enchanted Garden (Il Giardino Incantato), I must admit to having played this track several times before writing this, my emotions got a hold of my heart, and I was lost in a lost world of love and memory for a while. I would be amazed if some intelligent film producer did not at some stage use this as part of their production, they certainly should.
The last part of our journey can be taken with Lanz bringing us a mesmerising performance on piano, with Amarie’s imploring vocals, and a tip of the hat to also Hector Ulisses Passarella on bandoneon, and Cameron Stone on cello, this is the way to end an album, this is the way to conclude a project that has gifted us some of the finest work musically I have heard this century.
Lettere d'Amore (Letters of Love) by David Lanz & Kristin Amarie is an album that will move you, it is a release that will take you by the arm, sit you down and demand to be listened to, it is that good. Lettere d'Amore (Letters of Love) by David Lanz & Kristin Amarie is jam packed with passion, beauty, and romanticism, it is also a release you really should not think twice about purchasing, after all your heart will love you forever, as you will then have one of the finest musical recordings of its time in your worthy collection.