Einaudi By Lavinia
Lavinia Meijer, harp
«The harp is basically a folk instrument, but at a certain moment in its history it also became a “classical” instrument. Since then I have regarded the harp as the one instrument that combines both the earthly and the spiritual. I rediscovered this connection in Einaudi’s music. Its accessibility immediately appealed to me. There is also a self-evident openness that allows the music to pour forth in a free and uninhibited manner. His music affects so many aspects of our lives».
With these words harpist Lavinia Meijer introduces her album devoted to eleven works written by Ludovico Einaudi for harp solo. Einaudi is an Italian composer, a pupil of Luciano Berio at the Conservatory in Milan, who started his career composing music in traditional forms, but later he began to explore new genres and included in his compositions rock, pop and folk styles. His music is not “deep” in the full sense of the word, but this does not prevent it to be rich in awesomeness and spontaneity, two features that an inspired interpreter can easily exploit to his/her own advantage.
Lavinia Meijer has exactly the ingenuity to find powerful inspiration in Einaudi’s short compositions, a repertoire she approached during the search for new music for her instrument and that suits her perfectly. She had the chance to meet and to work with the composer in person and to perfect the works with him, as she has previously done with Philip Glass, of whom she recorded The Hour and Metamorphosis among other works. Meijer’s interpretation of Einaudi is therefore accurate and effective and it is primarily characterized by a veil of melancholy, a nuance with which the silvery sound of the harp creates a pleasing and (un)intentional contrast, and that is the starting point that allows her to give colour, expression and, at last, magic to this music.
In the booklet, Meijer often stressed the need to let the music flow and actually this is another major feature of her performance. It finds its best realization in Oltremare, where the recurrent tune allows the harpist to express freely the unbounded passion that animates her playing. Something similar characterizes also the first piece of the collection, the wonderful Divenire, while delicacy is expressed in the simplicity and descriptiveness of Una mattina, in the hypnotic image evoked by Le onde, in the stillness of The Snow Prelude and in the varied shades of Passaggio, the piece that gives the name to the recording and presents so many associations with folk music, reminding of the origins of the harp. It is also worth remembering Dietro l’incanto and its sudden changes, the brief pain of some moments and the languid melancholy that follows, that Meijer stresses with precision and love.
Einaudi once said: «I find that it is unfulfilling simply to write music for music’s sake. Music has to move me emotionally and spiritually, and this is also true of the audiences that I have in mind». I think that Lavinia Meijer has fulfilled the composer’s expectation.