Anne Akiko Meyers' Recording Of Rautavaara's Fantasia Named Top Song Of 2017
National Public Radio (NPR) last week released "The 100 Best Songs of 2017." Anne Akiko Meyers' recording of Einojuhani Rautavaara's "Fantasia," written for Ms. Meyers, was featured with works by superstars including Jay Z, Justin Bieber, Selena Gomez, and Willie Nelson. It was the only classical solo instrumental work featured in the annual list. NPR contributor, host of Deceptive Cadence, and classical reviewer for All Things Considered, Tom Huizenga, noted the following about Ms. Meyers' "Fantasia":
In 2014, violinist Anne Akiko Meyers finally found her nerve: She asked the elderly dean of Finnish composers, Einojuhani Rautavaara, to write a piece for her. Little did she know his composition for her would become the revered man's penultimate work - Rautavaara died last year at 87. His "Fantasia" for violin and orchestra, with its autumnal tone, seems to bid a bittersweet farewell. After a stern orchestral introduction, the violin launches into 13 minutes of rhapsodic melody. The orchestra supplies an atmospheric foundation for Meyers to sing out beautifully in long, flowing lines on her 1741 Guarneri del Gesù violin. Even if it wasn't a valediction, Rautavaara left us with some of his most breathtaking music.
Premiered in 2017 with the Kansas City Symphony, Michael Stern conducting, and recorded with Philharmonia Orchestra and Kristjan Järvi, Rautavaara's "Fantasia" for violin and orchestra appears on Ms. Meyers' 35th studio album, also titled "Fantasia," on Avie Records in October 2017 alongside works by Szymanowski and Ravel.
Violin superstar, Anne Akiko Meyers, is one of the most in demand violinists in the world. Regularly performing as guest soloist with the world's top orchestras, she presents ground-breaking recitals and is a best-selling recording artist with 35 albums. Named Billboard's top-selling traditional classical instrumental soloist, her albums have debuted at #1 on the Billboard classical charts. Meyers is known for her passionate performances, purity of sound, deeply poetic interpretations, innovative programming and commitment to commissioning new important works from composers.