One of my favorite artists has released another instant classic, a fabulous follow-up to her best-selling Pianissimo (over 250,000 units sold and still selling well). Although best known for her work in electronic music and for such standards and "The Velocity of Love," Ciani is a powerful, subtle performer on the piano. Ciani recorded this album on a one-of-a-kind Yamaha CFIIIS, a hand-built, 9-foot concert grand located at the orchestral scoring stage of Skywalker Sound in Marin County, Calif. The sound from this incredible instrument is at once rich and intimate, capable of naturally sustaining a note for as much as a minute. Ciani brings her great love for music to us through her inspired playing of this magnificent instrument, and each note is clear and sure, each phrase expressed with care and confidence.
In addition to "The Velocity of Love," my other favorites on Pianissimo II include "Hotel Luna," "Terra Mesa," and "Go Gently," songs that will be familiar to many of you from earlier albums, but ones you have never heard in this intimate way- just Ciani performing on an amazing piano. As if this weren't enough, the CD includes a wonderful computer multi-media enhancement for Windows or Mac that will take the listener behind the scenes to the recording of the album. The multimedia adventure continues with original artwork, and educational history of the piano, and more. Providing a perfect opportunity to sell-through Ciani's other albums in addition to turning fans on to this jewel, Pianissimo II is an inventory essential and is sure to prove at least as popular as Pianissimo.
-Steve "Edge" Ryals
New Age Retailer
Some of the most beautiful Suzanne Ciani compositions of all time, including three new songs, are presented in their most essential and purest form on this exceptional solo piano release. Without the synth overdubs, without orchestrated passages, without the frills and fluff: Pianissimo II is the pure core of Ciani's musical genius and the heart center of her body of work that has been touching millions of music lovers around the world for over 16 years. Emotional and breathtaking, this fine solo piano release easily receives my highest recommendation.
I was initially suspicious upon receiving a copy of Pianissimo II by Suzxanne Ciani (Seventh Wave). Although the popular new age pianist has released many fine albums, none have matched the sales of the original Pianissimo from 1990 (250,000 copies and counting), in which Ciani- who had built a career with electronic music recorded a lovely CD of solo piano. There were new interpretations of old songs and a few originals. It was classical piano with a New Age influence.
Pianissimo II is much the same. There are three new songs and new grand acoustic version of such loved songs as "The Velocity of Love," "Meeting Mozart," "Hotel Luna," "Bel Canto," and "Andalusion Dream." So, who wouldn't want to visit the scene of therir greatest success? Why, even the smiling picture of Ciani on the CD cover is identical to the original.
So what happened? This: A complete listen brushed all suspicion aside and confirmed that Ciani is simply the most powerful solo pianist in the new adult contemporary genre. Memorable. Melodic. Stunningly beautiful. All apply to Ciani's ninth work, which was recorded at the Skywalker Ranch in Marin County north of San Francisco, where Ciani now lives after years in New York.
This CD is a coninutation of the SPLENDID piano work that Suzanne does. She was last reviewed in these pages in issue # 21, for DREAM SUITE. With "contemporary" piano artists, there's often a tendency to get "bogged" in certain patterns that make the listener begin to wonder if there's anything "new" coming from the artist. Suzanne has done a WONDERFUL job of avoiding such "cliche" playing. Even the (one or two) pieces I'd heard her play (on synths) before came across with a new vitality & fresh energy. This is one AMAZINGLY sensitive player. This is the kind of playing that puts one in the musical "history books". We just LOVE her playing & know that many of you will too! Gets a MOST HIGHLY RECOMMENDED from this reviewer, for SURE! Contact at 4360 Emerald Dr., Colorado Springs, CO 80918, or through her own production company, Seventh Wave, at 20 Sunnyside Ave., Suite A-197, Mill Valley, CA 94941 (or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org
Improvijazzation Nation, issue # 25
In 1990, Ciani's fist solo piano project, Pianissimno, represented a major departure for the chart-topping New Age synthesist. Six years later, she has released a delightful follow-up to that best-selling album that, again, gives voice to her favorite instrument and its unmatched expressiveness. Including an Italian lullaby, a classically inspired etude, and a reworking of her most popular song, "The Velocity of Love," Ciani's new release reaches far to reflect only the sweetest and most joyful of keyboard melodies. But in an unexpected nod to her electronic heritage, this recording will also operate in one's computer as a CD-ROM disc. A technical support numer is given to facilitate accessing the multimedia enhancement, which includes a great eal of information on the making of this new record and an overview of Ciani's career. Retailers should note that customers viewing this CD on their computers will encounter direct response offers for merchandise.
-New Age Retailer
Ciani is simply the most powerful solo pianist in the new adult contemporary genre.
-Indian Valley Daily
Ms. Ciani writes some excellent straightforward piano pieces, in the classical tradition.
Beautiful music by a talented composer I first heard about Suzanne Ciani from the Romantic Piano website (members.xoom.com/sims_music/piano/). I fell in love with her melodies. The difference that seperates her from other "New Age" composers such as Jim Brickman and Yanni, is that the form in her music is very tight. Her music does not sound like improvisations at all. One could walk away from one of her concerts and remember each song, while this is hard at other concerts where all the music sounds the same. Bravo to Ciani for giving us an escape from all the other terrible piano music out there.
- A music fan from United States ,
September 15, 1999
Truly a Timeless Recording! Suzanne Ciani's music have always set the mood for any occasion. This album is no exception. In Pianissimo II, Suzanne performs her favorite songs on a concert grand piano at George Lucas's Skywalker Studio. She also has three new songs on this album too.
The recording quality is superb along with Suzanne's liner notes on each song. Each song is very moving and if you really concentrate on each song, imagery comes into play.
For example, I listened to my favorite song "Timeless" located on Track 15. It made me think about looking at a photo album and watching my mom grow older (and wiser) through time. I sure that other listeners who bought this album with have many images that will blend with her songs.
Another neat addition to this album is the Computer Multimedia Enhancement track. Put this album in a Macintosh or Windows based PC (Multimedia PC only) and let Suzanne show you how the album was produced and meet her staff who helped made it possible. There are some other surprises too.
All in all, it's a great recording. Highly recommended.
-Larry Klug - Cincinnati, OH USA
May 19, 1999
Suzanne Ciani is a composer, recording artist, and pioneer in the field of electronic music and sound design. She is best loved for her 14 albums of original music which feature her performances in a broad array of expressions: pure electronic, solo piano, piano with orchestra, and piano with jazz ensemble. Her music, reknowned for its romantic, healing, and aesthetic qualities, has found a rapidly growing international audience, and her performances include numerous benefits for humanitarian causes.
Currently Ciani resides in Northern California where, in 1995, she established her own record label, Seventh Wave. Ciani felt the need to own and control her own creative work. "In many ways, this label represents the culmination of the long journey of my evolution as a recording artist," says Ciani.
In the eighties and early nineties, in order to finance her recording projects, Ciani brought her expertise to Madison Avenue. Her New York-based commercial production company, Ciani-Musica, Inc., was the leader in the field of sound design and TV spot scoring, creating award-winning music for a host of high profile Fortune 500 clients, including Coca-Cola, Merrill Lynch, AT&T, and General Electric. Additionally, Ciani has scored the Lily Tomlin feature 'The Incredible Shrinking Woman', and 'Mother Teresa', as well as scoring for the TV daytime serial 'One Life to Live'.
In the early nineties Ciani re-located to northern California to concentrate on her artistic career from her sea-side studio. She has toured throughout the United States, Italy, Spain, and Asia.
Her many recognitions include five Grammy nominations for Best New Age Album, an Indie nomination for Best New Age Album, numerous Clios, a Golden Globe, and Keyboard Magazineâs "New Age Keyboardist of the Year."
Ciani is a graduate of Wellesley College and holds a Masters in Music Composition from the University of California at Berkeley.