|Complete CD liner notes from Masterworks
"I love to play Bach. JS Bach never actually
wrote anything for
the harp (the harp was not a very advanced instrument in Bach's time),
so I rely on transcriptions. Now that I've played most of the
available for the harp, I've begun to do my own.
I chose the Partita No. 4 because I am a
huge fan of the American
pianist, William Kapell (who died tragically young; 31 years old, in
One of the few Bach pieces he recorded was the Partita No. 4.
I was looking for something to transcribe, I thought of it.
I wasn't sure when I started whether or not it would adapt well to the
harp, but it did. I always liked it when I listened to it, and
grown to like it even more as I've played it.
My other transcription on this CD is the
incredibly poignant slow movement
of Rodrigo's Concierto de Aranjuez. I think almost
who hears this guitar concerto falls in love with it. The great
Nicanor Zabaleta must have, since he suggested to Rodrigo that Rodrigo
transcribe the solo guitar part for harp. Of course, to play
transcription, you need an orchestra handy!
About 4 or 5 year ago, I noticed in a catalog of
harp music that someone
had transcribed the slow movement for solo harp, i.e., the harp was
both the solo guitar line and the orchestra part.
I had to get a copy of it! However, I was disappointed with the
it didn't seem to work particularly well. I put it away.
in the spring of 2000, I decided I was going to play the Rodrigo, no
what! I still wasn't satisfied with the version I had; using a
of the original guitar part plus the piano reduction of the orchestra,
I started doing my own transcription.
The piece that you hear contains almost note for
note the guitar solo,
along with most of the piano reduction. Occasionally I'll play
guitar line up an octave, since on the harp the low notes ring much
than on the guitar, and it can get awfully muddy.
Michael Mauldin's Birds in Winter is a
wonderful, modern composition.
It's fairly sparse writing; very evocative of winter, and very
The piece is made up of 6 preludes, each of which is quite
All of them can be heard to be, indeed, "birds in winter". My
favourite of the preludes is the fourth, which is a quiet, rather
piece. I can just imagine a few birds huddled on a leaf-bare
I first heard Songs of Nymphs when Erika
Goodman performed them
at the World Harp Congress of 1996 in Tacoma, WA. Her program
all Canadian music. This piece was one that made me say, "Hey, I
want to play that!" A few years later, when I was asked to
a work by a Canadian composer at a concert in Victoria, I thought of Song
Nymphs. I liked it even better than I remembered. It
fits very nicely under the hand. In some ways it reminds me of
of the late 19th century works written mostly by harpists; it has a
Each movement or "song" in Song of Nymphs is very
effective, and, while
they are clearly part of a whole, each is quite distinctive. The
introduces you to the overall style of the piece. Reflection is
quiet for the most part, but in the middle becomes more hectic; perhaps
someone has thrown a stone into the reflection of a pool... Ritual
is a wonderfully quirky little piece. It's very serious and
but I feel an undercurrent of humour running through it (and it gets
wild in the middle). Freedom is probably my favourite of