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Lavinia Meijer brings the sound of the harp back to the forefront with this beautiful collection.
Composer: Puccini, Verdi, Offenbach, Massenet and Gounod
Repertoire: Fantasias and Impromptus for Harp
Artists: Lavinia Meijer
Label: Channel Classics CCSSA31711
The Music: The harp was rarely deployed as a solo instrument until the concert hall-friendly ‘double action’ harp came along in 1810. One keen champion was Spohr who here joins Saint-Saëns, Fauré and others in ten free-form Fantasies and improvised Impromptus.
The Performance: Meijer here demonstrates the brilliance that has bagged her top prizes at harp competitions around the world. Her tone is luscious and richly expressive – she captures every particle of nuance in the music, from Saint-Saëns’s absurdly pretty and strongly melodic Fantasie with its suggestion of Arcadian adventures, to the curious and demanding piece by Snoer, which was inspired by the old Dutch national anthem.
The Verdict: Highly recommended. This is about as soothing and dreamy as classical music gets – there is an arpeggio-laden moment during Fauré’s Impromptu where you feel like a cat being stroked.