What prompts a composer to write fantasies and impromptus? And what do the fantasy, a free form, and the impromptu, originally an improvised poem, have in common? We know that Spohr was inspired by a young harpist who was later to become his wife. But did Fauré, as director of the Paris Conservatory, simply have no option than to write, because a compulsory solo piece was required for the harp class examinations? Was the marine officer Roussel influenced by his travels to distant shores? And were the fantasias by Saint-Saëns inspired by his great love of the Arab world? We can sometimes only guess. What we do know is that the harp has always appealed to the imagination, and that both fantasies and impromptus have inspired many composers to give free rein to their creative powers. (…) Lavinia Meijer ( from liner notes)Download booklet
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