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Classical Harp Music

5.0 out of 5 stars 3 customer reviews

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Audio CD, May 23, 2000
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Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Work(s): Sonata No. 1: First Movement: Allegretto
  2. Work(s): Sonata No. 1: Second Movement: Romance
  3. Work(s): Sonata No. 1: Third Movement: Allegretto Rondo
  4. Symphony No. 2, Op. 11: First Movement: Allegro
  5. Symphony No. 2, Op. 11: Second Movement: Romance
  6. Symphony No. 2, Op. 11: Third Movement: Rondo Allegro


Product Details

  • Audio CD (May 23, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Gaudeamus
  • ASIN: B00004SC08
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #616,516 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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By DAVID BRYSON VINE VOICE on October 6, 2003
Format: Audio CD
The first duty of anyone reviewing this disc is to proclaim the name of the record-label loudly and clearly to the classical music public. It's ACADEMY SOUND AND VISION (or ASV) Gaudeamus, an enterprise bringing us out-of-the-way classical treasures. To judge by my first two experiences with them, of works by Krumpholtz and Kinloch [see another review], they deserve our enthusiastic support for the first-rate technical quality of their productions alone.
Nor will you be surprised to learn that the music and the performances are of the greatest interest as well. This disc gives us 56 minutes' worth of solo harp music performed by Jan Walters, whose already-impressive CV obviously marks her out as eminent in her field. I own a thousand classical discs ranging from mediaeval plainsong to composers younger than myself, but what do I know about the harp? My collection includes Mozart's concerto for flute and harp and it includes Ravel's septet, as a collection that size is more or less bound to, but otherwise nothing giving any prominence to the instrument. Krumpholtz was an elder contemporary of Mozart, born near Prague but living mainly in Paris, where unhappily he ended his days in 1790 at age 42 by drowning himself in the Seine, whether through anxiety in the revolutionary milieu or because of his wife's infidelity. There are four works here, and the idiom of late-18th century music is enough to ensure that they are enjoyable from start to finish. I hear nothing to suggest that Krumpholtz was remotely in the class of Mozart or Haydn or Gluck, but I have been listening to them all my life whereas Krumpholtz is a totally fresh experience for me.
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By A Customer on August 8, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Just heard opus 17 on the radio. It is extremely soothing and yet primitively wild at the same time. It comes from the same serenity Harpo would lapse into while playing, yet you knew what turbulence was just underneath the calm surface.
Can't write more now, have to go ahead and order this CD. You should know I'm not much into classical music or any other kind for that matter, just what gets to me. This gets to me like 'Coat of Many Colors' by Dolly Parton, Led Zeppelin played loud,
'Watching the Detectives' by Elvis Costello, the original 'Switched-On Bach', the soundtrack from 'Repo Man'...
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Format: Audio CD
For those seeking a more comprehensive review, please read the one written by Mr. Bryson, it is excellent. Mine here will be a bit more personal, as a harpist.

Krumpholtz wrote in France at that essential time when harp repertoire was being built, as music began to move from the baroque to the classical. Consequently, the founding harp repertoire has this essential sound, the prettiness of the Baroque "minature" (one theme) pieces with the begginnings of the variety of themes within classical music. As someone who has loved the harp long before I began to play it myself, I feel Krumpholtz's music epitomizes the "essential" sound of the harp.

I am particularly interested in this period of music: Cousineau, Meyers, St. Georges and others who happened to work with Marie Antoinette as her interest sparked the development of the harp & its repertoire. I was given this CD as a present, and it came alongside my reading Mike Parker's excellent comparative work on methods of playing the single action harp "Child of Pure Harmony".

On first listening, I thought "oh, his music all sounds a bit a like." And that can be said of almost all composers - they have a "sound." On more listening however, I found what makes a composer truly great... the variety within his own sound, the subthemes and richness that shine through once you have become familiar with the main melody. This is the reward of great composers, and of a really fine performance by Jan Walters, such as we have on this CD.

Any recording done on a historical instrument is a labor of love; this is done by an excellent musician with beautiful material. One of my favorite harp CDs.
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