"There is no piano music in my collection that I have played more than Return to the Heart. Lanz is a genius. There is not a mediocre composition on the entire CD, and this involves over an hour of music. Many CD's I forward ahead when a piece appears that I don't care for, but not this one. It's all top rate folks. You won't be sorry if you purchase this one."
Ryan Fletcher | Saratoga, CA United States | 11/21/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Before, I begin my review, I must say that Lanz is my favorite artist, so I am likely somewhat biased, but I will try to remain as objective as possible. This CD is a marvelous set of piano playing encompassing most of the range of Lanz' huge repertoire. The first piece on the album, "Return to the Heart," is one of my favorite pieces that Lanz plays, and there is perhaps no other piece of his, with the possible exception of "Beloved," that in my mind is as emotional as this one. It starts out slow, beginning with a light, recurring theme, and then Lanz extrapolates that into a soaring, free-flying masterpiece that if you let it, it will touch the deepest recesses of your heart and soul. Lanz has remarked that this piece, above all others, is the time when he often sees audience members dabbing away tears at his concerts, and if you listen to it, you can easily see how. However, this is not a one-track CD, and thankfully so, for Lanz has filled it up with a nice version of Heartsounds, what I consider his best version of Variations on Pachelbel's Canon, a gorgeous darker piece named Dream of the Forgotten Child, and perhaps his most famous song, Cristofori's Dream, written about/for Italian Bartolommeo Cristofori, the much-overlooked inventor of the piano. Also included are seven improvisations that he wrote while on his trip around Europe, on which this album is based. The fact that he can play such beautiful, relatively complex pieces while composing them "live" is a testament to his ability. I got a chance last August to see him briefly in concert, and I cherish that night, both being able to hear Return to the Heart and Cristofori's Dream live, and being able to meet him in person. David Lanz has this incredible ability to convert the casual listener, and I was able to see that first-hand in two ways. First, of the six other people that went with me to the concert, five of them had basically never heard Lanz' music before, and every one of the five greatly enjoyed his performance, two of them enough to buy several CDs of his. And finally, Lanz was opening that night for Manhatten Transfer, so he was playing the usual hour or so before they came on. This meant that streams of people were coming in and taking their seats in between songs. Everyone was freely able, once they were seated, to go get a drink or some food before Manhatten Transfer came on. As far as I saw, not a single person left."
A Brighter Future
Stephen Zack | Maui, Hawaii | 02/18/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)
""It's all about a hope for a brighter future," David says. David is a New Age pianist with a light, soft hands that dance over the keys. While traveling through Europe he recorded vintage compositions and improvisations.His rendition of 'A Whiter Shade of Pale' a J.S. Bach inspiration is exquisite. 'Cristofori's Dream' is dedicated to the Italian inventor of the 'divinely inspired piano' in the 18th century. This CD is straight from the heart and inspired from the heavens! Many songs on here you will find on more recent CD's because they are classic and timeless."
Kathy Parsons | Florence, OR United States | 05/23/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
"David Lanz's 1991 solo piano release, "Return to the Heart" was recorded in Holland, Spain, Germany, and Italy. Lanz made up a "wish list" of the places he where he wanted to record, and Narada, set up the sites. Because of political and other restrictions, they weren't able to go everywhere they wanted, but the results are beautiful. One of Lanz's most popular albums to date, it contains many classic Lanz pieces, some of which had not yet been released as piano solos. Between each of the pieces is a shorter improvisation. Highlights include the title track, "Cristofori's Dream," "Canon in D," "Heartsounds," "Behind the Waterfall/Desert Rain Medley," "A Whiter Shade of Pale," and "Dream of the Forgotten Child." A must-have for all fans of contemporary piano music!"