David Lanz | Joy Noel

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Holiday: New Age Holiday: Classical Moods: Mood: Christmas
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Joy Noel

by David Lanz

A solo piano collection of original and traditional holiday carols, featuring an arrangement of John Lennon’s classic, Happy Christmas (War is Over), several newly recorded and re-released carols from David's 2000 Decca release Angel In My Stocking, and
Genre: Holiday: New Age
Release Date: 

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Tracks

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1. Joy Noel Prelude
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1:25 $0.99
2. Happy Christmas (War Is Over)
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4:16 $0.99
3. Coventry Carol
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4:22 $0.99
4. Jingle Bells
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4:05 $0.99
5. O'er the Fields
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1:48 $0.99
6. Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella
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4:40 $0.99
7. Noel Nouvelet
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3:18 $0.99
8. Good King Wenceslas
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3:40 $0.99
9. On Christmas Morning
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1:37 $0.99
10. Angel in My Stocking
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3:05 $0.99
11. Carol of the Bells
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6:20 $0.99
12. A Distant Choir
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1:01 $0.99
13. We Three Kings
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6:09 $0.99
14. Angel De La Noche
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1:30 $0.99
15. The Holly and the Ivy
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4:00 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
After enjoying a certain amount of success as a recording artist in the late
1980’s and 1990’s, I knew it was inevitable Narada, my label during this
time, would ask me to record a Christmas album. I had contributed to several
of their holiday collections including 1985’s Solstice, with Canadian
pianist Michael Jones and I equally sharing the spotlight, but the time was
drawing near for me to step out on my own.

I spent several years selecting and arranging my favorite carols, in between
touring and other recording dates, and then in 1994 my first solo holiday
album, Christmas Eve, was released. In concert I have referred to this
collection of well-known carols, with my tongue firmly in my cheek, as
“Presbyterian’s Greatest Hits!”

There were big changes ahead in the late 90’s as my manager, W.F.Leopold,
procured a new contract for me with Decca Records. Then shortly after
leaving Narada in 1999, they released The Christmas Album, culled from a
live 1989 holiday concert at the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, selections
from Christmas Eve, and several of my non-holiday songs that fit the tone
and mood of this collection.

The following year I created a new solo piano recording for Decca entitled
Angel In My Stocking; holiday music and solo renditions of several pieces
from my World At Peace Concerto. (From the Grammy nominated East of the
Moon.)

Angel In My Stocking was originally only available for a one-day sale on a
home shopping cable channel back in 2000. This happened to be on the very
same day as the long awaited announcement of the dramatic Bush/Gore
presidential election results, a day most of us here in the USA were glued
to our televisions, more interested in the counting of the “hanging chads”
than in shopping! After this one-day sale, the recording went back on the preverbal shelf.

Then in 2004 a limited edition CD of Angel In My Stocking, with a few bonus
tracks, was created and given a bit more distribution via my website and
live performances, however, it has never been widely available.

Now, with five new solo piano holiday pieces, an arrangement of John
Lennon’s classic, Happy Christmas (War is Over), several newly recorded and
re-released carols from Angel In My Stocking, and a handful of snowy
improvisations, I am happy to offer you this new holiday music collection.

My wish is that this music will help to create a sense of peace and
celebration in your home and add a dash of the true spirit of the season.

The spirit of JOY ... the spirit of JOY NOEL~


Reviews


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Kathy Parsons

From MainlyPiano
"Joy Noel" is the long-awaited new Christmas album from pianist/composer/arranger David Lanz, one of my all-time favorite artists. This collection of fifteen piano solos includes new recordings as well as some of the pieces from Lanz’s 2000/2004 limited release, "Angel In My Stocking." Six of the pieces are originals and the arrangements include a wonderful take on John Lennon’s “Happy Christmas (War is Over)” - a very fitting finale (or encore) to Lanz’s two recent Beatles tribute albums. Most of the originals are improvisations that run 1-2 minutes, with the exception of the lovely title track from "Angel In My Stocking." I have always loved the music from Lanz’s 1994 "Christmas Eve" (I can’t believe it’s been that long!), but I like "Joy Noel" even better - especially the improvisations. For pianists, a companion songbook will be available next year since Joy Noel got kind of a late launch in 2012.

The album begins with “Joy Noel Prelude,” a 1 1/2 minute improvisation that sets the tone of what is to follow - smooth, soft-spoken, and very expressive. “Coventry Carol” is one of my favorite songs of the season, and I love this arrangement. The intro sounds mostly improvised, but then the song comes in with its dark intensity and emotional impact. There has been a trend over the past several years of slowing “Jingle Bells” ‘way down and making it almost sad. Lanz slowed his arrangement, but it is far from sad. Very fluid and nostalgic, it creates a special kind of mood that is closer to serene than effervescent. I have always loved the simple innocence of “Bring a Torch Jeanette Isabella,” and Lanz preserves the innocent quality while giving it his special touch. “Noel Nouvelet” is a lesser-known carol (by name anyway), and Lanz gives it a strong energy akin to “Dark Horse,” one of his signature pieces. I can’t wait to get my hands on the sheet music for this one! Fun!!! “Good King Wenceslas” is very spirited and joyful and Lanz’s is one of my favorite solo piano arrangements of “Carol of the Bells.” I’m also really looking forward to the sheet music for “We Three Kings” - gorgeous and haunting at the same time! The closing track is a sweet and gentle arrangement of “The Holly and the Ivy.” If you aren’t in the Christmas spirit by the end of this album, your humbug factor is ‘way too high!

I usually have a tough time reviewing Christmas music the week before Christmas (I get saturated from reviewing and teaching it for months before the holidays), but I can honestly say "Joy Noel" is pure listening heaven! Very highly recommended!