Fortune Has Turned for the Better on Chris Lastovicka’s Forthcoming Album
Chris Lastovicka’s forthcoming album, Fortune Has Turned (Remixed), is heavy listening. It’s not just because this is unplugged, all acoustic classical music in a decidedly digital age. Nor is it just that the album is comprised of approximately 15 players and vocalists, including four-member violin and cello sections, a pair of French horns, a viola and Lastovicka himself on the piano.
No, this album’s not for the faint hearted because of the thematic issues explored over aural landscapes so mercurial that they’re hard to pin down—which appears to be exactly the point. The composer and pianist is dealing with some of the major themes known to the world including mystic, Gnostic demons on “Abraxas”, overtly religious overtones on “The 7th Chapter of Job”, and the eradication of despotism on “The End of Tyranny”.
Moreover, there are few lyrics to guide listeners on this esoteric journey of movements, pianissimo parts, and the roaring crescendos of strings. Given the subject matter implied by the titles, the album itself has a dark, foreboding feel that seamlessly sheds itself, spontaneously, on “The Tender Ones”, which is characterized by truly moving piano work that tells a story of…what, exactly, is difficult to say. Regardless, Lastovicka’s playing is distant, quiet, and eerie, yet somehow simultaneously comforting, like a childhood vision returned to either haunt or goad you into lord knows what.
“Abraxas” probably features the most raucous performance on the album, which itself is fraught with tension that bursts at times (such as on “Abraxas”) with stunningly shrieking strings so loud you won’t hear your phone ring. Still, Lastovicka manages to tell both sides of the story, tempering such unrestraint with faint piano tickles, shifting moods and emotions along the lines of again, exactly what, is difficult to say.
The album’s first single, “The 7th Chapter of Job ”, was released in November and is most memorable for the singing of Kimberly Tobola, Diana Cataldi, and Laura Backley—a soprano, mezzo-soprano and contralto, respectively. The sheer power (and volume) of the high notes is overwhelming in parts, building this composition to a fantastic finish.
The scope of this offering, which only spans five tracks, is extremely expansive with more than one song clocking in at over 10 minutes. It may be of more than academic interest for those prone to sample, who’ll just have to wait for its April release. Fortune Has Turned (Remixed) is sure to create a ripple effect in the classical music community…and perhaps in the occult, biblical, or spiritual ones, as well.