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There are few songs that I remember hearing for the very first time. But I have a vivid memory of hearing David Lanz’s “Cristofori’s Dream.” I was in college, and up much later at night than I should have been. A friend and I were in our dorm’s student lounge, sitting on the old (and slightly dilapidated) couches. My friend turned on the song, thinking I’d like it. “Like” was not nearly a strong enough word.

My literary theory class had been discussing beauty, and listening to that song, I heard it. And as I listened, I also felt my imagination at work—the music took over, and my mind followed along, devising dreamy images.

Since then, I’ve turned to Lanz’s music time and again when I write, and even sometimes when I do non-creative work. This playlist spotlights Lanz, along with another piano powerhouse: Emile Pandolfi. May this selection of songs stir your creativity as much as it does mine!