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When David Lanz recorded Cristofori’s Dream in 1988, he had a gut feeling that his newest album might be received by his growing legion of fans as his most realized work to date. Although the pianist and composer had released several albums previously, this one just felt special. Lanz was right: Music lovers all over the world readily embraced Cristofori’s Dream—in fact, it became a sensation, topping Billboard magazine’s first Adult Alternative/New Age chart and remaining there for a remarkable 27 weeks, ultimately becoming a bona fide cornerstone of its genre. Now, nearly 25 years later, David Lanz is revisiting his masterpiece with Cristofori’s Dream…Re-Envisioned, a newly recorded solo piano interpretation of the half dozen original compositions, including the now-classic title track, and sole cover—Lanz’s imaginative and soulful reimagining of Procol Harum’s brilliant “A Whiter Shade of Pale”—that comprised the work that rewrote the book on the New Age movement.
Why revisit such a legendary work? For Lanz, the opportunity to go back to the source material and present it in a stripped-down format was too tempting a proposition to ignore. “It’s the biggest record that I ever had so I wanted to beat the drum a little bit,” he says. “When I went back and started playing this music, these particular songs held up for me. Hopefully I’ve gotten a little more musical since the album was made, and the material on that record did come from my golden era as a young composer and recording artist. Plus, it was kind of fun for me to go back in.”
At the heart of Cristofori’s Dream is the title track, which pays homage to Bartolomeo Cristofori di Francesco (May 4, 1655-January 27, 1731), the Italian craftsman of musical instruments who is acknowledged to have invented the piano. Along with the album’s other Lanz-penned tunes—“Spiral Dance,” “Green Into Gold,” “Wings to Altair,” “Summer’s Child” and “Free Fall”—the pianist included on Cristofori’s Dream his take on the 1967 Summer of Love smash “A Whiter Shade of Pale.” Now recognized as the most-played song on radio of all time in the U.K., the song has always been a personal favorite of Lanz’s. Cristofori’s Dream…Re-Envisioned also features two bonus tracks, a live orchestral version of the title track, recorded in Seattle, and “Seoul Improvisation,” an impromptu piano creation that Lanz performed while on tour in Korea two years ago. The album comes on the heels of Liverpool: Re-Imagining the Beatles and Here Comes the Sun, both of which focused on Lanz’s love for the music of the Beatles.