In the beginning there was the shattered sky. A window – slammed shut. The glass – broken. The view outside – obscured. Inside: destruction. The end. While scenes like these evoke some terrible drama, they are part of our lives. They occur in our individual biographies as well as in the world as a whole. Everywhere. All the time. Guitarist / composer Friedemann Witecka found an impressive account of sky-shattering on a national scale while reading »Stasiland« by the Australian writer Anna Funder. In this book, published 2003, he discovered the phrase: »pieces of a shattered sky«. The collaps of his own sky occurred in 2010. It was the end which marked the beginning of a new album entitled »Echoes Of A Shattered Sky«.
This latest recording honours the celebrated English Renaissance composer, William Lawes who is most remembered today for his sublime viol consort suites. The award-winning ensemble has been widely acclaimed for its previous recordings with Linn; its 2011 recording of William Byrd was named ‘Disc of the Month’ by BBC Music and its 2009 Linn debut of music by John Ward was described as ‘stunning’ by Gramophone.
Korean-born Dutch harpist Lavinia Meijer states as her goal "to make the harp better known as a solo instrument, with all its possibilities which are often still unknown to the wider audience." With this release she accomplishes her goal, not so much technically as musically. The harp does not do so much here that the attentive listener to the big early film scores won't have heard before. But Meijer's album falls nicely into the group of releases that are reconstructing the virtuoso solo repertoire of a century ago, rediscovering gems that were swept aside by self-serving modernist imperatives.
The sound is spectacular in whatever format you choose but the jump to Blu-ray is, as in vision, a leap forward. None of which would matter were the performances not also uniformly excellent: This is a superbly alive performance of the Britten Simple Symphony, making it sound a much more ambitiouswork than usual. A demonstration recording!