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Anne Akiko Meyers - Fantasia makes NPR: Best 100 Songs of 2017

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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. -Tom Huizenga

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