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Songbook Review: French Impressions
David Lanz
Cover image of the songbook French Impressions by David Lanz
French Impressions
David Lanz
2018 / Hal Leonard
30 pages / 12 songs
Review by Kathy Parsons
David Lanz’s French Impressions songbook is the companion book to his 2017 solo piano recording by the same name. All twelve improvisations from the album are included and were transcribed and proofed to match the recording as closely as possible.

The twelve improvisations were created in the early mornings of the summer of 2016 in Lanz’s temporary home in France. They were his warm-ups and mental preparations for recording the compositions that became his Norwegian Rain album. As he listened to the recordings of the improvisations, he found that “the lack of structure and preordained melody made for an enjoyable ambient yet sophisticated sonic experience.” (quoted from the liner notes of the album.) There is something very fresh and heartfelt about this collection that I really like, but the pieces are quite different from “classic” Lanz like “Cristofori’s Dream” and “Return To The Heart.”

Most of the pieces are quite short, slow, and fairly easy. There are only a few reaches of over an octave, and those can be rolled or shortened to fit the pianist’s hands. The key signatures are not complicated and most of the timing is pretty straight-forward, so pianists at an upper-intermediate level should have little trouble learning this music. The book itself is much smaller than Lanz’s previous books, and the binding is stapled. The front and back covers of the book are beautiful full-color reproductions of the cover artwork from the CD. As is true for all of Hal Leonard’s publications, the layout is roomy and easy to read with clear notation and playing instructions. It’s a lovely book!

The French Impressions songbook is currently available from www.HalLeonard.com and www.SheetMusicPlus.com and is available for pre-order on Amazon. It will be released on Amazon on December 16, 2018.

The song titles, the keys they are in and the number of pages are:

The Wandering Path - Key of A (3 sharps) - 1 page
The River At Night - Key of E minor (1 sharp)/ G minor (2 flats) - 3 pages
Conversation Avec Les Etoiles - Key of F# minor (3 sharps)/ A minor (0 sharps or flats) - 2 pages
Midnight Kiss - Key of B minor (2 sharps) - 2 pages
Still Life #2 - Key of D (2 sharps) - 1 page
Marees de Matin - Key of D (2 sharps) - 1 page
Love Is Truth - Key of Ab (4 flats) - 2 pages
French Blue - Key of A (3 sharps) / B minor (2 sharps) - 2 pages
Passages - Key of Bb (2 flats) / Eb (3 flats) / C (0) / Ab (4 flats) / F (1 flat) - 4 pages
As Dreams Dance - Key of A minor (0) / G minor (2 flats) - 3 pages
French Impressions - Key of F# minor (3 sharps) / F minor (4 flats) / A minor (0) - 3 pages
Prieres du Soir - Key of B minor/D (2 sharps) - 3 pages
November 27, 2018
More reviews of David Lanz songbooks
Cover image of the songbook Silhouettes of Love by David Lanz
(as David Lanz and Kristin Amarie) with Kristin Amarie
2017