Notes and Editorial Reviews
This is a hybrid Super Audio CD playable on both regular and Super Audio CD players.
If you have room in your collection for only a single solo harp recital, then let it be this disc. It features magnificent performances of real harp music, not the usual transcriptions of piano pieces, songs, or selected ephemera. Indeed, the music here is very substantial. Salzedo's Three Pieces include a lengthy and inventive "Variations on a Theme in the Old Style" and two stunning impressionist masterpieces: a Ballade and the obligatory "water" piece, Jeux d'eau. The total playing time is a solid half an hour, so we're not talking about salon dainties, but rather serious
Caplet's two Divertissements, one in French style, the other Spanish, are the only two works on this disc that may be at all well known. They are lovely, charming, and luminously beautiful. So is Ibert's ambitious Six Pieces, another major work some 35 minutes long, one that will be totally unfamiliar to most listeners. Here we find no less than three very different "water" pieces (Morning on the Water, On a boat, evening..., and Reflections in the Water) interspersed with a piquant Scherzetto, a romantic Ballade, and a richly inventive concluding Fantasie. It all adds up to an hour and quarter of splendid music that reveals the harp as a richly expressive vehicle.
Of course, none of this would matter if Lavinia Meijer were not a superb artist, but of that there can be no question. She plays with consummate virtuosity (the Salzedo pieces in particular offer numerous opportunities for atmospheric effects, and Meijer captures every nuance) and with a positively luscious tone that never turns "twangy" in the lower register or dry on high. Channel Classics' sonics, in regular stereo or multi-channel playback, really do define the state of the art; they are in a class of their own. While the music certainly rewards attentive listening, I don't think it does a disservice to point out that it's also perfect for "quiet listening", radio play, or creating a soothing atmosphere. Meijer refers to this as her "first" disc for Channel Classics. Here's looking forward to the next release--no gimmicks please, just great music for the harp (especially more Salzedo), as here.
--David Hurwitz, ClassicsToday.com
Works on This Recording
Jeux d'Eau by Carlos Salzedo
Lavinia Meijer (Harp)
Period: 20th Century
Featured Sound Samples
Divertissements for Harp (Caplet): I. À la française
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