If you're in the mood for an album that celebrates the change of seasons – and who isn't these days – violinist Anne Akiko Meyers’ "Seasons…dreams" may be just the thing. This new collection features arrangements of songs by Debussy, Faure, Wagner, Gershwin and others containing seasonal and dream-related texts. It’s this week's Full Rotation.
The San Diego-born Meyers got her start as a child prodigy, appearing on the Tonight Show at age 10, soloing with the New York Philharmonic at 12, and landing a major-label contract by the time she was 21. Today, she leads a more unconventional career, performing during Fashion Week in New York, touring with crossover artists like Chris Botti and Il Divo, and giving recitals in nightclubs. She also takes a modern approach to recording.
"Seasons...dreams" charts a path from works with a spring theme (Beethoven’s cheery "Spring" Sonata and Gene Pritsker’s Variations on Sakura Sakura), on to summer (Gershwin’s "Summertime"), fall ("Autumn in New York," "Autumn Leaves") and finally, winter (Alfred Schnittke’s "Stille Nacht"). Framing these are several ruminations on dreams, including Faure’s "After a Dream" and Debussy’s "Beau Soir."
Throughout, Meyers applies a sweet, burnished tone, while accompanied by her longtime pianist Reiko Uchida and Emannuel Ceysson, the principal harpist of the Paris Opera Orchestra. Thankfully, the shorter arrangements here avoid the saccharine quality that can sometimes afflict such collections, and the Beethoven is given a nuanced and sensitive reading.
This album can be heard throughout the week of Sept. 13 on WQXR. Anne Akiko Meyers appears on WNYC's Soundcheck on Thursday, Sept. 16, and at Le Poisson Rouge on Sunday, Sept. 19.
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Anne Akiko Meyers, violin
Reiko Uchida, piano
Emmanuel Ceysson, harp
Available at Arkivmusic