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Wendy Lands Sings the Music of the Pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman

Wendy Lands , Wladyslaw Szpilman Audio CD
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)

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Product Details

  • Composer: Wladyslaw Szpilman
  • Audio CD (November 26, 2002)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Hip-O Records
  • ASIN: B00007E8QH
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #116,336 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

1. Fall In Love Again
2. Turn Away
3. I Wish You'd Ask to Dance with Me
4. Dancing with Antonio
5. Someday We Will Love Again
6. Without You
7. I'm Set Free
8. True and Tender
9. Smoke and Mirrors
10. Prisoners of Evening
11. My Memories of You
12. Hold Me a Moment

Editorial Reviews

Hear for the first time new recordings of the beautiful songs of Wladyslaw Szpilman whose astonishing life story is featured in the best-selling book and feature film "The Pianist."

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Music for a candle-lit cafe... February 26, 2003
Format:Audio CD
In an age of divas and midriff baring neophyte pop/punk-chanteuses, there is a distinct lack of more mature sounding, sincere and dusky-cool voices. That's probably why Norah Jones just walked away with a slew of Grammy Awards.
Into that idiom steps Wendy Lands and her wonderfuly dusky pop alto voice. On this CD, Wendy performs the music of Polish composer Wladyslaw Szpilman, the subject of Roman Polanski's Oscar Nominated film 'The Pianist'.
Given the terrible events depicted in The Pianist, it may at first be a bit unnerving for the listener to discover that the serious interpreter of Chopin, honed by the Holocaust, went on to compose lighthearted, almost sweet little cabaretesque numbers.
And this CD features Szpilman's best melodies, jazzed up and with newly interpretted lyrics. Stock full of smokey ballads, Land's voice and Szpilman's music call out for a candle-lit table tucked into the corner of an old french cafe.
Like many good composers of tunes for popular consumption, Szpilman knew when to throw in a few maneuvers from the classical trick bag to make his music truly pop. Listening, you'll hear a cross-rhythm used to liven up a simple melody, or an odd turn of harmony tossed in to wake up the listener.
Seduction is a recurring theme in this appealing selection of 12 songs. Szpilman probably wouldn't have imagined accompanying these Irvin Berlin/Cole Porter-type melodies with this electronic-acoustic mix, a completely and unmistakable modern-early 21st-century sound. But, as a pop composer, he would probably have dug the instrumentations and arrangements that draw freely from jazz, swing and soft-rock idioms.
Yes, there are shadows and darkness.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars "music & lyrics with vocalist Wendy Lands have passion" December 15, 2002
Format:Audio CD
So true and tender is just part of this not to be taken lightly album "Sings the Music of the Pianist Wladyslaw Szpilman", featuring Wendy Lands. The first time you listen to this CD you discover Lands doesn't have much of a voice, but the way she delivers a song is the distinctive part of her charm. Backed up by a wonderful array of musicians ~ Heitor Pereira (acoustic guitar electric guitar), Mitchell Holder (acoustic guitar), Ricardo Silveira (electric guitar), John Leftwich (piano/synthesizers/acoustic bass), Kendall Kay (drums), Sid Page (violin), Greg Leisz (lap slide guitar), Tony Humeke (percussion/drums), Renato Neto (piano), Jeff Pevar (electric guitar/lap slide guitar), Greg Leisz (lap slide guitar) and Larry Treadwell (electric rhythm guitar) with lingering arrangements from John Leftwich to die for.
Some stand outs ~ "FALL IN LOVE AGAIN", with "the fire burned us way back when, has refined us into best of friends, I think it's time we light that flame again, I think it's time we fall in love again", how many times have we felt that way only to relive it again with this haunting melody from Szpilman ~ "DANCING WITH ANTONIO", lyrics by Larry John McNally speak of "why does falling in love mean losing my mind, your laughter, your lips, your hand on my hips" leaves the listener in a tizzy, great stuff ~ the best of the dozen is "TURN AWAY", arranger producer John Leftwich hits the mark all the way with lyrics of "so come fill my arms, let me persuade you, open up your heart to me, there's a tenderness you hide, let go your fears, show me the passion, all those secret places hiding traces of our deepest darkest love, don't turn away", this is some pretty deep stuff.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Hunt down the originals January 19, 2005
Format:Audio CD
happened to be living in Poland at the time of the release of Polanski's film 'The Pianist', and Polish Radio issued a commemorative boxed-set of archive recordings of Szpilman as pianist and composer. Unfortunately, this set does not seem to have been released outside Poland (though some of the piano tracks have been issued separately by Sony). One of the discs is devoted to some 25 of Szpilman's 'Piosenki' (chansons, popular songs) in archive recordings from the 50s, 60, and 70s of (predominantly) the composer's own arrangements - typically for sumptious dance orchestra or big band, and featuring some of Poland's most popular singers (unknown of course in 'The West').

Only when one hears these songs with their original Polish texts (whether one understands them or not), harmonised, arranged and sung in a style that bears the authenticity of their own time, can one appreciate the (no doubt well-intentioned) folly and inadequacy of this Wendy Lands collection. These new English texts are not translations, so the words have been artificially grafted onto a melody that has been crafted to set and convey text with quite another meaning. Of course the quality of Szpilman's material ensures that the new songs based on his melodies are perfectly respectable as atmospheric bluesy-jazzy numbers, but I can't help wishing that some executive had had the courage to release an album of the songs in their original language and colours... They are incomparably more atmospheric, haunting, charming, melancholy and elegant than the 'versions' presented on this new disc. Any lover of Edith Piaf or Jaques Brel, for example, would fall for them immediately - the inpenetrability of the language only adds to their charm, and is far more meaningful than the second-rate doggerel shoe-horned to the melodies here.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointed to say the least.
I love W. Spzilman's Concertino for piano and Orchestra, his Overture, and his Waltz in the classical form. Also on Youtube I liked very much his Pop songs, sung in Polish. Read more
Published on April 5, 2012 by Stephen Papastephanou
5.0 out of 5 stars Beautiful music to relax by
I really cannot remember why I bought this CD but boy, I'm so glad that I did. It is beautifully crafted with almost mystical vocals. Great arrangements, terrific musicians. Read more
Published on January 12, 2010 by Amazon Customer
4.0 out of 5 stars A loving tribute to a father from his son
It has always been Andrej Szpilman's dream to have his father's songs published in the western world. As the executive producer of this cd, he has fulfilled that dream. Read more
Published on March 24, 2005 by Shari Hoover
1.0 out of 5 stars Huge Disappointment
After enjoying the autobiography and the movie, my family's expectations for this recording of Szpilman's songs were extremely high. From all angles, these hopes were crushed. Read more
Published on February 26, 2004 by Calvin E. Mehlert
5.0 out of 5 stars Who is this woman!?!
What a beautiful voice, what sensitive, expressive delivery. I bought this album on a whim and I am blown away by the whole ensenble of fine musicians - but especially by Wendy... Read more
Published on June 16, 2003 by G. Murphy
5.0 out of 5 stars Truly Sublime!
I was suprised to learn that Wladyslaw Szpilman wrote contemporary songs. I was aware that he wrote compositions, but it never entered my mind that he wrote such beautiful songs... Read more
Published on June 14, 2003 by Dennis Lee Cleven
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly beautiful
I bought this CD on a friend's recommendation. I was blown away. Wendy Lands voice is so lovely. But Szpilman's work being released here in America is wonderful. Read more
Published on May 15, 2003 by JoAnne E. Tucker
5.0 out of 5 stars Making up's not hard to do...
with this unbelievable, intriguing array of well crafted, orchestrated and interpreted melodies of Sladyslaw Szpilman with Wendy Lands' vocals. Read more
Published on March 5, 2003 by Judith E.Smith
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply wonderful !
What a discovery ! Having grown up in Poland decades ago I would never expect to listen again to the once-so-popular-there Szpilman's songs. Read more
Published on December 18, 2002 by "misiaczek"
5.0 out of 5 stars What a voice!
Be ready for a journey into your own dreams...
Published on December 9, 2002
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