Divertissements (2008)

Salzedo, Caplet, Ibert

Lavinia Meijer

As a little girl of eight, I was already captivated by the magical sounds of the harp, so pure and rich. Once I discovered the instrument's wealth of possibilities during my first lessons and my years at the conservatory, I quickly set myself a goal: I wanted to promote the harp as a solo instrument, wherever and however I could. I wanted to do this not only for familiar repertoire, but also in order to encourage contemporary composers to produce new harp compositions. For my first Channel Classics CD, I have chosen a combination of three 20th-century French masters. The Parisian firm of rard, in particular, created technical innovations to the harp which considerably broadened the instrument's (chromatic) capabilities; these innovations, followed by the first 'minor' masterpieces by Debussy and Ravel, soon made Paris the epicentre of a veritable harp explosion. More and more well-trained harpists appeared, and so did composers who became interested in the harp. Even though Andr Caplet did not compose much for the harp, the 'Deux Divertissements' are now an indispensable part of the repertoire. They are one of the harpist's 'musts'. And I cannot imagine why Jacque's Ibert's 'Six Pices', those surprisingly colourful miniatures - are so rarely performed in their entirety.

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Lavinia Meijer

Lavinia Meijer (born in South-Korea, 1983 and adopted into a Dutch family) started to play the harp at the age of 9. Within two years she was admissioned to study at the young talent class of the conservatory of Utrecht (Bachelor) and later at the conservatory of Amsterdam (Master). At both conservatories she graduated with Honours. Erika Waardenburg has been Lavinia’s principal teacher.

Her success at the conservatory of Amsterdam was a prelude on Lavinia’s career to come. She performed only contemporary compositions at her graduation concert, making a firm statement already: Lavinia is here to add new chapters to the history of music.

Besides performing the classic harp repertoire, Lavinia also experiments with electronic music, theatrical music, contemporary music, modern classics, jazz and pop. Several composers e.g. Paul Patterson (UK), Garrett Byrnes, and Jacob TV (Netherlands) have dedicated new compositions to her.

Already at a young age, Lavinia competed in several international harp competitions, winning prizes in the USA, France, Switserland, Israel, and Austria. Soon after her graduation Lavinia received the Borletti-Buitoni Trust Fellowship (London, 2006). In 2007 Lavinia was heralded as the “Rising Star” musician of her generation. She performed solo-recitals at concert halls like Musikverein (Vienna), Carnegie Hall (New York), Philharmonie (Köln), Jerusalem Theater, Seoul Arts Center, Royal Concertgebouw (Amsterdam), Cité-de-la-Musique (Paris), Konzerthus (Stockholm), and Symphony Hall (Birmingham, UK).

In 2009, at the young age of 26, Lavinia received the highest distinction for a classical musician in the Netherlands: the Dutch Music Prize. In 2011 she was the recipient of an Edison Award for her album Fantasies & Impromptus

As a featured soloist, Lavinia performed harp concertos with renowned orchestras, such as Royal Concertgebouw Chamber Orchestra Amsterdam, Israel Philharmonics, Amsterdam Sinfonietta, Noord Nederlands Orkest, and Seoul Philharmonic Orchestra. She performed with conductors such as Thierry Fischer, Frans Brüggen, Hannu Lintu, Thomas Ades and Marco Boni.

Her broad interest to find new sounds on and new compositions for the harp has let her to meet the American composer Philip Glass in 2011. He invited her to his concert in Amsterdam where she performed his Metamorphosis I-V on the harp. “You are the special effect of this evening”, he told Lavinia after the show, and he supported Lavinia to record a full album of Glass’ compostions. The result was overwhelming. Metamorphosis/The Hours received mostly 5 star reviews (not just in the Dutch press), and reached the certified Platinum status within half a year.

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Divertissements (2008)

Salzedo, Caplet, Ibert

Lavinia Meijer


(…) een verbluffend staaltje virtuositeit, muzikaliteit, raffinement, sonoriteit en vooral speelplezier (…) (…) Het gekozen repertoire is op het eerste gezicht een veilige keuze, maar schijn bedriegt. Want in de stukken die ze speelt komt een ongelooflijk arsenaal aan effecten aan bod, en dan hebben we het niet over het met een tandenborstel bewerken van de snaren. (…) (…) Met deze voorbeeldig opgenomen schijf doet Lavinia Meijer je vergeten dat je naar een harp zit te luisteren. Vanzelfsprekende virtuositeit legt het af tegen een overweldigende muzikaliteit en dat is het mooiste wat een ambassadrice van de harp kan overkomen.

    OPUS HD Dfinition

Le pur DSD que propose ce SACD n'est certainement pas tranger cette impression unique, car au-del de toutes considrations artistiques c'est bien, aujourd'hui, la seule technologie qui peut offrir pareille sensation. Un incontournable de tout premier plan. Voici le premier enregistrement de la jeune harpiste Lavinia Meijer. Et quel enregistrement!


Lavinia Meijer: Een van de nieuwste en spannendste loten aan de Nederlandse harpstam (...) (...) Mooie en sfeervolle muziek van Salzedo, Ibert en Caplet, aanstekelijk, virtuoos en met mooi gevoel voor stijl gespeeld. Een genot om naar te luisteren.

    Klassieke Zaken

Vanaf de eerste maten wordt de luisteraar verleidt door de kracht, de fijnheid, het subtiele rubato en het geraffineerde pedaalgebruik in haar spel. Fluisterende passages nabij de grens van de stilte gaan over in orkestrale kracht. (...)


Alleen al tijdens het eerste stuk op de cd 'Variations sur un thme dans le style ancien' van Carlos Salzedo, val je bijna van je stoel door het speelse gemak waarmee Lavinia deze onwaarschijnlijk virtuoze muziek speelt. Dit is musiceren van het allerhoogste niveau, vooral ook omdat ze de noten lucht, leven en kleur geeft en zij er een verhaal mee vertelt dat het niet anders dan met een mengeling van verbazing en ontroering kan beluisteren. Lavinia Meijer: wat een ambassadrice voor de harp!!


Harp: Tuttig imago? Hoezo? (...) op deze cd een verbluffend staaltje virtuositeit, muzikaliteit, raffinement, sonoriteit en vooral veel speelplezier. In de gespeelde stukken komt een ongelooflijk arsenaal aan effecten aan bod (...) (... ) Meijer doet je vergeten dat je naar een harp zit te luisteren - en dat is het mooiste wat een ambassadrice van de harp kan overkomen.


A Korean Dutch girl became fascinated by the sound of the harp at the age of 8 and set herself the goal to promote the harp as a solo instrument. This is her first professional recording, and the result is stunning. She chose exactly the right composers to prove her case for the harp as a solo instrument, most importantly Carlos Salzedo whose compositions give the musician every chance to show the world how independent the harp can be. Caplet gives the opportunity to showcase different musical styles, and Ibert's music shows how charming the instrument can be, while still independent. I am impatiently awaiting her next CD!


A bewitching recital from first note to last. (...) I sat mesmerised by the elegance and elan of Lavinia Meijer's interpretations, a wave of guilt swept over me. Her music-making should make one sit up and listen, not drift off. Indeed, it's the delicate moments of this programme that left me breathless. In Meijer's hands Salzedo's Jeux d'eau Op 29, is a masterpiece, its fragile tones as evanescent as sea spray. Salzedo's Op 30 Variations offer a wider emotional range I find Meijer's performance the more emotionally engaging. Channel Classics also provides airier sound, particularly in SACD format. _The Caplet Divertissements are atmospheric gems - mercurial in the French one, brooding in the Spanish. And Ibert's six evocative and exquisite miniatures give Meijer further opportunity to enchant, particularly in the Faure-like melancholy of the Ballade.

    Classics Today.com 10/10

Magnificent performances of real harp music, not the usual transcriptions of piano pieces, songs, or selected ephemera. (...) (...) 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.

Divertissements (2008)

Salzedo, Caplet, Ibert

Lavinia Meijer

Cables: van den Hul
Digital Converters: Meitner DSD AD/DA
Mastering Engineer: Jared Sacks
Mastering Equipment: B+W 803 diamond series
Microphones: Bruel & Kjaer, Schoeps
Mixing Board: Rens Heijnis custom design
Producer: Jared Sacks
Recording Engineer: Jared Sacks
Recording location: Doopsgezinde kerk Deventer Holland
Recording Software: Pyramix
Recording Type & Bit Rate: DSD64
Speakers: Audio Lab Holland

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28908: Divertissements
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Trois Morceaux - Variations sur un thème dans le style ancien, Op. 30
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Trois Morceaux - Ballade, Op. 28
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Trois Morceaux - Jeux d?eau (Playing Waters), Op. 29
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Divertissements - à la Française
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Divertissements - à l?Espagnole
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Six Pieces - Matin sur l?eau
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Six Pieces - Scherzetto
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Six Pieces - En barque, le soir?.
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Six Pieces - Ballade
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Six Pieces - Reflets dans l?eau
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Six Pieces - Fantaisie
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