I grew to love like old friends.
I also happen to believe that the harp is
one of the most beautiful and serene sounds that I have ever
heard. It has a soulful quality too, and I wanted to record
music which I thought brought
those aspects to the fore. The idea of recording a whole album
of unaccompanied harp, with no added frills, creating a peaceful
sound scape and a great sense of intimacy and freedom was
both challenging and appealing.
My friend Heidi had suggested the title a
year ago for my debut album with EMI, but somehow it just
wasn't appropriate. What I imagine the eye of a storm to be
like is captured in this recording.
The actual tracks themselves are a collection
of pieces which I particularly love. The Pavane is such a
gorgeous version of a timeless tune and sounds amazing and all the more medieval on the
J.S. Bachs' first Prelude of the 48, is pure genius and again
lends itself well to the timbre of the harp whilst also lying
so comfortably under the fingers. I am very fond of the Buxton
Orr prelude, as I think it evokes an intense stillness - time
almost seems to stop forme when I play it. The four preludes
by Tournier are a tribute to The four preludes by Tournier
are a tribute to a great composerof harp repertoire. They
are so playable, lush and so very French! I put number three
first here because it is my favourite and the others follow
in the correct order.
Then there is another track by Bach, cleverly
transcribed by Marcel Grandjany who was one of the greatest
harpists of his day. Being written for solo violin the original
Sarabande has only a melodic line and so we have Grandjany
to thank for the underlying harmonies. I might also add that
this is from a book of so called ' studies ' designed to exercise
the harpists technical ability whilst introducing them to
the joys of Bachs' harmonic world. Bach did not compose for
the harp, probably because there wasn't an instrument adequate
enough to tackle the chromatic colours and complexities in
his writing. The sort of harp that can cope with this was
not invented until the early 1900s. Anyone learning the harp
today is eternally grateful to Grandjany for all his transcriptions,
and some of them like this one, are too beautiful to be viewed
as merely studies!
The Lullaby is a piece that I first heard
performed when I was 18 by the late Russian harpist Tatiana
Towers. Tatiana died of cancer still in her early forties
some years ago but I was fortunate to see her perform in Paris
and later to play for her on several occasions.
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