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Songs From an English Garden

3.9 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Audio CD, July 14, 1998
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Editorial Reviews

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David Lanz's Songs from an English Garden is, like a garden stroll, a pleasant experience. While one really can't say that "Sitting in an English Garden" or even "Bus Stop" are exciting, they are exemplary of Lanz's skills as a performer and arranger. There are even hints of jazz here and there, as on "Tuesday Afternoon," but the emphasis here is on the piano, and on the expressiveness of the instrument. Hence, "London Blue," "Sunny Afternoon," and the arrangement of the Beatles' "Strawberry Fields Forever" are the highlights. The only real mis-step is the cover of "As Tears Go By," which doesn't quite capture the wistfulness of the original. --Genevieve Williams
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (July 14, 1998)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Narada
  • ASIN: B000007TG1
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #236,258 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By Kathy Parsons TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on January 26, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Let me preface this by saying that I teach David Lanz's piano music more than that of any other composer, so I know most of his music inside and out. I have seen him in concert five or six times, have interviewed him by phone three times, and was acknowledged in the credits of his instructional video, so my deep love for David's music, performing style, and humanity has a long history. I was looking forward to the release of his new album with great anticipation until I learned it was going to be a compilation of 60's British hits. I love David's previous covers of "Nights In White Satin", "A Day in the Life", and "A Whiter Shade of Pale", but a whole album? This on the heels of the four quickly-released CDs of covers by another hero of mine, Wayne Gratz (also a Narada artist), left me feeling more than a little queasy. This definitely isn't David's best work, but I had the opportunity to talk to him about the album in the course of a recent interview. This was David's final album for Narada, and he wanted the album to be very light, commercially appealing for more radio play, and fun. It is getting more airplay than his previous albums (sad!), so this marketing plan is working. David wanted this album to be a tribute to some of his musical roots and to attract new fans with the use of familiar music. David has moved to the Philips label, and promises that his future releases will be original compositions with a lot more substance.
The two original pieces on "Songs From an English Garden" are "Sitting in an English Garden" and "London Blue". Both are classic David Lanz, but "London Blue", a melancholy piano solo, is much truer to David's very personal piano style; I think it's the best cut on the album.
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Format: Audio CD
I too have a critical ear and have attended all his performances when he has come to town. Admittably, this CD was bought by my wife for me. She did so by the artist, not the content. I was disappointed by the contents initially and had high expectations of a new David Lanz CD. Only the first track is an original and it does stand out as the Lanz that I expect. David does a great job of transforming these songs to a solo piano format. No one else could have done this to these songs nearly as well. That aspect of it is enjoyable. This CD should be purchased with that in mind. Do not expect Skyline Firedance, but do add this to your collection.
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Format: Audio CD
While I will readily agree with the other reviewers that David Lanz has done better work--on solo recordings--than "English Garden," this album still works for me. Sure it borders on Muzak, but here David has proven that the music our parents complained about--in the 60s--really did have some fine melodies. Lanz builds on the foundation of these familiar tunes from the "British Invasion" with rich--dare I say jazzy?--chord structures and subtle rhythms.
I frequently play "English Garden" in the background at the school library where I work, and more often than not some teacher or parent will comment on it or write down the title. For those of us who spent countless hours with our ears glued to the hi-fi speakers listening to Beatles, Stones, Hollies, Kinks, Moody Blues, Chad and Jeremy, or Gerry and the Pacemakers back then, Lanz has created a pleasant and relaxing instrumental journey down memory lane.
By far my favorite cut--and the one truest to David Lanz's ethereal solo piano form--is his exquisite rendition of "Strawberry Fields Forever." While this album may not be for everyone, I think it hits the mark for aging Baby Boomers.
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Format: Audio CD
"Songs from an English Garden".Not one of Lanz's better offerings.
I have been a big fan of David Lanz sinse I first heard him on"Art of Landscape" on British Television in the late Eighties,with Natural States and Desert Vision.
Apart from the brilliant "Nights in White Satin" and "Whiter Shade of Pale" arrangments I think this album does not bring out the best of his own creative style which were so spellbinding in early works such as the album's he created with
Paul Speer.
This is by far the weakest album I have heard by David,but having said that It will appeal to those fans who like his arrangments of other artists masterpieces.

If,as a previous reviewer mentioned he has left Narada for another record company,hopefully we may have more of his own compositions in the earlier style that is so familier to us all.
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Format: Audio CD
I have many of David Lanz's Cd's and I am used to getting peaceful, relaxing music, PIANO music. Not piano music clouded up with a multitude of other, intrusive instruments. I was disappointed in this Cd because he has lost sight of what normally makes his music so simplistic and stunning. He tries to be everyman in this Cd and I don't like jazz elements,synthesizers and his attempt to sound like David Arkenstone with big production numbers. I don't mind him reworking other's tunes but I want to hear these songs played on the piano and nothing more. Who can ever forget his haunting version of a "Whiter Shade Of Pale". It was exquisite. This is not his best. He should stick to pure piano. Branching out didn't work for him on this album.
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