Thursday, May 12, 2016

Harp strings the heart

Every hidden cell is throbbing with music and life, every fiber thrilling like harp strings. 
-- John Muir


The harp requires care and patient treatment. Like life. And if we are so impatient with daily life, we will never be patient with the harp. If we made a habit of avoiding television, tuning a harp would not seem a chore.

The harp, or even the bassoon, will bring us closer to life than television or the habit of indoors.

And then the quotation above will resonate within. I tell myself while consoling my spirit.

I focus today on a composition that is much loved, but little heard. A strange contradiction! In fact, online links to this music are few.

I feel that Francois-Adrien Boieldieu is unknown despite his 'concerto for harp and orchestra' being
considered as one of the best works featuring the harp. The harp sound is not merged with orchestral sounds, letting you enjoy it wholly.

The music is so consistent. The first movement is merry and buoyant. The orchestra aids the harp in bringing out this quality. (Click to open a window that will stream the music)

The second movement is slower, with a definitive shift in mood. The harp is played slower, and you can hear the player pull the strings, while absorbed in emotion. The movement has melodious segments.

The music then shifts back to merriment, like enjoying the winter snow while emblazoned in some personal joy.

I recommend this piece for listeners to understand the place of the harp in the orchestra; to enjoy the sound of this instrument which is not extensively used in popular music.

The recordings used are the same as LindoroRossini's from YouTube.

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