Various Artists – Romantic Harp Concertos (2001)

FrontCover1The harp is a stringed musical instrument which has a number of individual strings running at an angle to its soundboard, which are plucked with the fingers. Harps have been known since antiquity in Asia, Africa, and Europe, dating back at least as early as 3500 BC. The instrument had great popularity in Europe during the Middle Ages and Renaissance, where it evolved into a wide variety of variants with new technologies, and was disseminated to Europe’s colonies, finding particular popularity in Latin America. While some ancient members of the harp family died out in the Near East and South Asia, descendants of early harps are still played in Burma and in Sub-Saharan Africa, while other defunct variants in Europe and Asia have been revived by musicians in the modern era.

Harp01Harps vary globally in many ways. In terms of size, many smaller harps can be played on the lap, while larger harps are quite heavy and rest on the floor. Different harps may use strings of catgut or nylon, or of metal, or some combination. While all harps have a neck, resonator, and strings, “frame harps” have a pillar at their long end to support the strings, while “open harps”, such as arch or bow harps, do not. Modern harps also vary in techniques used to extend the range and chromaticity of the strings, such as adjusting a string’s note mid-performance with levers or pedals which modify the pitch. (by wikipedia)

And her you can hear this beautiful instrument in classical concerts from famous composers like George Frederick Händel, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. and from more or less unknown composers like Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf, Johann Georg Albrechtsberger and Georg Christoph Wagenseil.

Enjoy the magic sound of a harp !

Harp02Personnel:

George Frederick Händel: Harp Concerto in B flat major:
Maria Grafova (harp)
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Janáčkova filharmonie Ostrava conducted by Hartmut Haenchen

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in C major, for flute, harp & orchestra, K. 299
Beata Kaminska (harp)
Joanna Kontowicz (flute)
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Łódzka Orkiestra Kameralna conducted by Zdzisław Szostak

Johann Karl Krumpholz: Harp Concerto in B flat major:
Klara Novakova (harp)
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Slovak Radio Symphony Orchestra conducted by Oliver von Dohnányi

Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf: Harp Concerto in A major:
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: Harp Concerto in C major:
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: Partita in F major:
Georg Christoph Wagenseil: Concerto in G major, for harp, 2 violins, cello & orchestra:
Jana Boušková (harp)
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Südwestdeutsches Kammerorchester Pforzheim conducted by Vladislav Czarneck

BackCover1

Tracklist:

CD 1:

George Frederick Händel: Harp Concerto in B flat major:
01. Allegro moderato 6.02
02. Larghetto 5.08
03. Allegro moderato 2.47

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Concerto in C major, for flute, harp & orchestra, K. 299: 04. Allegro 10.33
05. Andantino 7.44
06. Rondeau 10.12

Johann Karl Krumpholz: Harp Concerto in B flat major:
07. Allegro moderato 12.29
08. Andante con variazioni 5.41
09. Rondo, allegro 5:57

CD 2:

Karl Ditters von Dittersdorf: Harp Concerto in A major:
01. Allegro molto 6.37
02. Adagio 9.10
03. Rondeau, larghetto 3.33

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: Harp Concerto in C major:
04. Allegro moderato 6.28
05. Adagio 9.45
06. Allegro 3.15

Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: Partita in F major:
07. Presto 3.49
08. Adagio 7.02
09. Menuetto 2.43
10. Finale, allegro 4.05

Georg Christoph Wagenseil: Concerto in G major, for harp, 2 violins, cello & orchestra:
11. Allegro 3.50
12. Andante 4.37
13, Vivace 5.11

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Johann Georg Albrechtsberger – Concertos For Jew’s Harp, Mandora And Orchestra (1984)

AlbrechtsbergerFCYes, yes, it’s a bizarre choice of instruments. But despite what one reviewer said, these works are sweetly written and very pleasant. Albrechtsberger is obscure as a composer, but well remembered as an influential theorist. He also served as a music teacher to Beethoven when he grew frustrated with Haydn, who had not the time to correct his work. These works are in the galant or rococo style, somewhere between baroque and classical (but closer to classical). These works must be understood in the context of the galant period. At that time, folk instruments had become very fashionable, and some composers became interested in them, such as Leopold Mozart, who wrote for the alp horn, hurdy-gurdy, bagpipes, and so on. The mandora, a type of lute, has a good sound, and the jew’s harp is surprisingly melodious considering the fact that the fundamental pitch does not vary. All in all, this is very pleasant music, and even the non-musical will be entertained by the sheer quirkiness of it. (by R. Folk)Really, it has to be heard to be believed. Recordings of the Jew’s Harp Concerto have been amusing music students at parties for years. It is one those oddities that one will find it hard to resist adding to one’s collection.I recommend this with many caveats. There is a good reason why Albrechtsberger is a virtual unknown (if not for the Jew’s Harp Concerto, he would be completely off the musical radar), and the novelty of these pieces is really the only thing that can recommend this recording. However, you probably already had guessed that. (by chefdevergue)

Albrechtsberger
Johann Georg Albrechtsberger: February 3, 1736 – March 7, 1809

Personnel:
Fritz Mayr (jews harp)
Dieter Kirsch (mandora)
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Munich Chamber Orchestra conducted by Hans Stadlmair

Tracklist:

Concerto for Jews Harp, Mandora & Orchestra in E major:
01. Tempo moderato (Albrechtsberger) 6.38
02. Adagio (Albrechtsberger) 7.17.
03. Finale – Tempo de menuetto (Albrechtsberger) 6.34

Concerto for Jews Harp,Mandora & Orchestra in F major:
04. Allegro moderato (Albrechtsberger) 4.40
05. Andante (Albrechtsberger) 6.38
06. Menuetto. Moderato (Albrechtsberger) 3.58
07. Finale – Allegro molto (Albrechtsberger) 3.08

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