A harpist has a lot in common with a swan.
Of course, the swan‘s grace and elegance spring to mind, but I am also thinking of what’s hidden beneath the surface of the water. We cannot see it, but there is a lot of (not so graceful) action going on. It‘s the same with the harp! The sound is more visible than with most other instruments: the harpist‘s fingers pluck the strings directly, with no hammers or bows as intermediaries. But what about their feet? How often do concert harpists encounter a surprised member of the audience wondering: “Why do they have so many pedals, and what are they for?” How often do composers struggle with this technically complicated detail?
Harpists modulate the sound with their feet, before the fingers. They have to coordinate their hands and feet delicately; feet always one step ahead of the fingers. Sometimes, we harpists have to face the truth, and admit this or that beloved piano piece is simply impossible to play on the harp without at least two more feet… This CD is simultaneously an hommage to harpists‘ feet, and a very personal collection of works that were rarely or never performed on the harp before. It shows a range of possibilities that have always fascinated me. Be it heard in Schumann‘s complex music, with its immediate “impact on mind and heart”; Dürrüoğlu‘s rhythmical, effective tone language; the rich harmonies and interwoven musical lines of the almost forgotten Romantic composer Robert Fuchs; or the playful deconstruction of Mozart by Aleksey Igudesman–the harp is one of the most widely-ranging instruments in existence. This CD is a celebration of this versatility.