Home Read Classic Album Review: Harold Budd | La Bella Vista

Classic Album Review: Harold Budd | La Bella Vista

The ambient neo-classical pianist improvises an album at Daniel Lanois' house.

This came out in 2004 – or at least that’s when I got it. Here’s what I said about it back then (with some minor editing):


Some believe the truest art is made unintentionally. La Bella Vista, the latest album from ambient neo-classical pianist Harold Budd, seems to bolster their case.

According to the liner notes, many of these 10 solo improvisations were recorded surreptitiously during impromptu performances by Budd at the home of producer Daniel Lanois. Doubtless, Brian Eno — the avant-garde producer who has worked with both men and encourages this sort of weirdness — would approve wholeheartedly. Thing is, you probably will too; filled with sombre moods, lingering notes and contemplative tempo, these compositions — to call them songs would be demeaning — possess a quiet beauty and Zen-like grace that is as starkly beautiful as a winter landscape. If this is the result of a little eavesdropping, Budd should be bugged more often.