Lavinia Meijer

Voyage

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It's been a while since someone has issued harp recitals that have consistently captured the public imagination, but harpist Lavinia Meijer has shown strong programming instincts in albums that have done just that. Voyage (the title referent is pretty general) is an excellent example. After recording several albums for Channel Classics, Meijer was signed to Sony and released an album of works by Ludovico Einaudi to popular acclaim but mixed critical reception. Here she has threaded classical and crossover styles together very nicely, mixing standard-fare harp arrangements of the likes of Clair de lune and Satie with selections from the Amélie soundtrack of French composer Yann Tiersen. From Satie to Tiersen, Meijer says, is a "short step." Maybe, but many listeners will experience the Tiersen pieces as moments of relaxation, of clarification of the denser textures and significations of the French repertory pieces. There is no doubt that Tiersen is an evocative melodist, and Meijer brings out the film's slightly nostalgic flavor of romantic comedy. Recording the harp is engineering's black belt, and those worried that Sony would not be able to match the legendary sonics of Channel Classics can set their minds at ease: Meijer's harp has a startling presence, and the balances in the pieces with the Amsterdam Sinfonietta are excellent. The booklet, featuring artwork by Jeroen Krabbé, is another plus. Strongly recommended.

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