As a little girl of eight, I was already captivated by the magical sounds of the harp, so pure and rich. Once I discovered the instrument’s wealth of possibilities during my first lessons and my years at the conservatory, I quickly set myself a goal: I wanted to promote the harp as a solo instrument, wherever and however I could. I wanted to do this not only for familiar repertoire, but also in order to encourage contemporary composers to produce new harp compositions. For my first Channel Classics CD, I have chosen a combination of three 20th-century French masters. The Parisian firm of rard, in particular, created technical innovations to the harp which considerably broadened the instrument’s (chromatic) capabilities; these innovations, followed by the first ‘minor’ masterpieces by Debussy and Ravel, soon made Paris the epicentre of a veritable harp explosion. More and more well-trained harpists appeared, and so did composers who became interested in the harp. Even though Andr Caplet did not compose much for the harp, the ‘Deux Divertissements’ are now an indispensable part of the repertoire. They are one of the harpist’s ‘musts’. And I cannot imagine why Jacque’s Ibert’s ‘Six Pices’, those surprisingly colourful miniatures – are so rarely performed in their entirety.Download booklet
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