Albany composer Chris Lastovicka is often regarded as a “mystic minimalist”. Giving an ear to his craft, it does not take long for the mystique of the veneer surrounding such a title to fade, paving a path to legitimacy. While classical compositions of Lastovicka’s ilk often forgo liberal lyricism or spoken word of any particular sort, the passion through which his arrangements propel themselves are often enough to weave a story just as well. It’s the line that relates this closer to the folk end of roots music than, perhaps, the genre has any business of being from its oft-regarded acclimation towards precision and intricacy. Lastovicka, though, fades lines as his work is capable of deeply moving any capable heart in the same fashion.
In the newly remixed version of Fortune Has Turned, the composer collaborates with mixer Jeremy Allom and mastering engineer Emily Lazar to breathe reinvigorated life into his arrangements. Mystical, indeed, as the original works have been, Allom does a grand job of refreshing them with his masterful touch. The same quest for a sense of self remains the fulcrum that pivots the movement ever forward, ferrying attentive listeners from a tale of solemn woe and steadily into something that feels more like self-liberation. It’s a stirring and cohesive tale told through the lens of five individual compositions, remixed and remastered into an EP bearing a greater sense of power and clarity in its polished form.
The potency with which these compositions pulsate would not be made possible without the compact orchestra Lastovicka has drafted for the project. Alongside himself on piano, he has drafted eleven masterful players of violin, viola, cello and French horn beside a soprano, mezzo-soprano, and contralto to realize this meditative operatic movement. Conductor Cynthia Katsarelis reins it all in, bringing forth a focused, mystifying performance from beginning to end. Fully realized, this newly remixed edition of Fortune Has Turned is the way to go when aiming to open one’s eyes to the captivating nature of these compositions.,
Words by: Jonathan Frahm (@jfrahm_)