Music Review: La Luminosa

Rivka Levin’s La Luminosa is well named–as anyone who has had the pleasure of seeing Levin perform at the Georgia Renaissance Festival or Atlanta’s Shakespeare Tavern knows, “the luminous one” perfectly describes her voice and spirit. Levin’s clear soprano and the crystalline sound of her harp complement each other perfectly. Most of the selections here are from the British Isles, but there is one in Italian, one in Spanish, and one in Hebrew (a setting of Ruth 1:16-17–the “whither thou goest I shall go” section, which is often read at weddings). Five of the tracks are instrumentals, which show off Levin’s sensitive and masterful harp playing; I love all of these, but I think my favorite is the Welsh tune “Llydaw.” Of the vocal selections, my favorite may be “Star of the County Down,” which Levin infuses with a sense of gentle longing that I have not heard in any other interpretation of this song. La Luminosa is a lovely CD that will appeal equally to fans of the harp, Celtic music, and/or Renaissance fairs–and, above all, to anyone seeking an experience of beauty.