William Mathias & Alberto Ginastera - Harp Concertos (1994)
Ann Hobson Pilot, harp; English Chamber Orchestra; Isaiah Jackson, conductor
EAC | FLAC | Tracks (Cue&Log) ~ 187 Mb (incl 5%) | Mp3 (CBR320) ~ 139 Mb (incl 5%) | Scans included
Genre: Classical | Label: KOCH | # 3-7261-2 | Time: 00:49:28
The connection between Wales and the harp is a long-standing one, and Mathias's part in it began 12 years before his Harp Concerto was written, with Improvisations for harp solo; even a Welshman has to learn how to cope with such an idiosyncratic instrument. He learned his lessons well—even using semitone pedal glissandos in the second movement, and he keeps the harp audible by alternating its solo passages with orchestral ones or, when the two are working together treating the orchestra with a light touch (the celesta is used as a particularly effective companion to the harp), at other times resorting to the more familiar across-the-strings sweep. Two movements have declared Welsh associations: the first juxtaposes but does not develop three themes the second is a 'bardic' elegy; the last is simply ''joyful and rhythmic''. The whole makes pleasing listening appealing to the emotions and imagination rather than the intellect.