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  • Billy Joel: Fantasies & Delusions, Op. 1-10 - Music for Solo Piano
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Billy Joel: Fantasies & Delusions, Op. 1-10 - Music for Solo Piano


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Audio CD, October 2, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Billy Joel ~ Billy Joel: Fantasies & Delusio

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For nearly a decade now, Billy Joel has devoted himself to writing instrumental classical music. The results heard on Fantasies & Delusions show the "Piano Man" firmly rooted in Romanticism and short, expressive works that cover a range of moods. There are hints of Schumann and Chopin throughout the 10 solo piano compositions; Joel may wear his influences on his sleeve, but at least he has great influences. Some critics may scoff, but this is a solid debut--not a "classical crossover" attempt filled with infectious pop melodies, but an impressive recording of new piano works played solidly by Richard Joo. As with his pop creations, Joel doesn't strive for the cutting-edge and he certainly doesn't traverse the depths of human emotions (though the 11-minute "Soliloquy, Op.1" sounds a little overwrought). This is still a pleasant classical album that's infinitely listenable (and head and shoulders above recent "classical" works penned by Paul McCartney and other pop stars). --Jason Verlinde

1. Reverie (Villa D'Este)
2. Waltz # 1 (Nunley's Carousel)
3. Aria (Grand Canal)
4. Invention In C Minor
5. Soliloquy (On A Separation)
6. Innamorato
7. Suite For Piano (Star-Crossed)
8. Sorbetto
9. Delusion
10. Waltz # 2 (Steinway Hall)
11. Waltz # 3 (For Lola)
12. Fantasy (Film Noir)
13. Air (Dublinesque)

Product Details

  • Composer: Billy Joel
  • Audio CD (October 2, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Sony Classical
  • ASIN: B00005Q6KS
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (106 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #94,562 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Having sold more than 150 million records, Billy Joel ranks as one of most popular recording artists and respected entertainers in the world. Throughout the years, Joel's songs have acted as personal and cultural touchstones for millions of people, mirroring his own goal of writing songs that "meant something during the time in which I lived ... and transcended that time.” Billy ... Read more in Amazon's Billy Joel Store

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Customer Reviews

Great music, especially if you love classic music..great job.
Sincerely Yours
Worth picking up if you like NEW classical music or are a fan of Billy Joel.
Zane Ball (15 years of age)
It's one thing to sound like Chopin, but it's another thing to BE Chopin.
Lee Hartsfeld

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Brett Hiner on October 2, 2001
Format: Audio CD
Having been a Billy Joel fan for quite sometime I was a bit disgruntled several years ago when I heard he was done (momentarily) with pop music and moving onto classical music. However, after listening to Fantasies and Delusions I realize Billy wasn't leaving pop music - he was merely trying something new.
The first thing I noticed when opening the sleeve to the new album was that all music was composed by "William" Joel instead of Billy. With music for solo piano it's goodbye to Billy the pop star and hello to the classical composer. What emerges from this album is not only classic pieces but music that solidifies Joel's talent as a composer. There's no doubt that this album will be compared with other pop stars who have ventured into the realm of classical music. The difference is that Joel wrote classical pieces, McCartney and the others wrote pop songs turned into classical music. This is most evident on Waltz #1 (Nunley's Carousel) where the piece moves, at times, at the speed of a carousel but slows and bobs up-and-down like the ride.
I would venture to say that the reason Joel doesn't perform the pieces (they are performed wonderfully by Richard Joo) is that he realizes he isn't necessarily a trained classical pianoist. Instead he's happy to sit back and listen to others perform his work.
Also worth mentioning is Opus 4. Fantasy (Film Noir). Joel again shows his talent for writing and HEARING wonderful melodies and putting those melodies to piano.
So it's not rock and roll to Billy anymore. At least to William (and his fans) it's still great music.
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35 of 37 people found the following review helpful By Brian Forst on November 20, 2001
Format: Audio CD
The literati of music criticism are predictably dismissive of Billy Joel's "Fantasies & Delusions: Opus 1-10". The Washington Post's Tim Page derides the pieces as "little more than a garland of homages"; Slate's Adam Baer mocks them as "derivative salon pieces ... middlebrow." Of course, these guys are just doing their job: critics criticize. After all, how seriously can they afford to take someone named "Billy" as a composer of classical music?
Joel's latest venture is not like Michael Jordan's baseball excursion. These are songful pieces, often beautiful and skillfully crafted, with touches that echo Chopin (especially Joel's waltzes), Grieg's Lyric Pieces (the suite), Rachmaninoff (soliloquy), and J.S. Bach (invention). It's fairly sophisticated stuff -- nothing Billy-esque about it -- yet we hear in the work the musicality and touches of humor that have contributed to the artist's popularity over the years. The humor extends to the packaging and titling of the CD: it mimics an old Schirmer score, it flaunts delusion.
The pieces lack the clear melodic spine that gives coherence and start-to-finish propulsion as in the great music of Beethoven, Schubert, Chopin and Schumann, but hey, their early opuses weren't their most distinguished work either. Mr. Joel deserves to be cut some slack here. These pieces show real promise, and a few of them may even grow on us as we listen to them more carefully and more often. Mark Twain said famously that Wagner's music is better than it sounds; these pieces are, on the whole, considerably better than Page and Baer suggest.
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40 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Betty June Moore on February 12, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Over the past several years, I have found that my love for classical music has been reawakened, and even though my taste in music is still rooted in pop, rock, and other genres, I have a few albums with works both for full symphony orchestra (these being mostly film scores) and solo instruments, such as Billy Joel's first album of piano pieces, 2001's Fantasies and Delusions.
I love Billy Joel's more familiar pop/rock works, so when I received this CD for Christmas I was pleased. First, because in some of Billy's songs there are elements of his groundings in the classics; the melody in 1993's "Lullaby" was based on the style of Edvard Grieg, while the chorus of 1983's "This Night" (which is also one of my very favorite songs) is lifted note by note from a Beethoven piano concerto. Second, when I placed the CD into my stereo and pushed the "PLAY" button, the wonderful performances by pianist Richard Joo allowed me to shut out the outside world and simply relax, accompanied by Joel's sometimes cheerful, sometimes haunting, yet always beautiful compositions.
Although there are 10 compositions on this 12-track Sony Classical CD, they are not organized by their Opus numbers. Instead, producer Steven Epstein arranged the tracks for aesthetic purposes, starting the album with Opus 3 "Reverie (Villa D'Este)." As its title suggests, Joo plays this piece in a tempo suggesting thoughtful reflection. It brings to mind the shimmering nuances of memories and the emotions that come with them. Joo starts out with a slow, deliberate pace, then alternates between quick bursts of music and then back to the slow reverie-inducing tempo.
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