The wonderful Irish harpist, Maria Cleary, approached me about recording three unknown French concertos written for the single pedal harp. She was planning to make editions for all of them for her doctoral thesis and asked me if I would like to record them with her. I jumped at the chance as we had only one recording of French repertoire in the ‘Forgotten Treasures’ series (the superb Chant d’Automne CD) but nothing at all featuring the harp.
All was going smoothly with the planning. The recording sessions were scheduled for January 2011 and everything was falling into place.
On Christmas Eve I received a disturbing email from Maria. She had decided to cancel out of the project! Having spent so much time preparing the editions and fulfilling her other playing engagements, she was suffering from burn-out and didn’t have the energy to practice and prepare for the recording.
As you can imagine, I was totally devastated! This was Christmas Eve and I couldn’t even begin to try and find a replacement for her for several days. The possibility of finding someone who played the single pedal harp (and even owned one!) and would have time to learn three unknown concertos in less than three weeks seemed close to impossible.
Luckily, I had the good fortune to find Masumi Nagasawa who agreed to take on this Herculean task and wound up doing a fabulous job.
Doesn’t this sound amazing? Have a listen to the recording and judge for yourself!
19th century harp concertos
Forgotten Treasures Vol. 10, ARS-Produktion
Martin-Pierre d’Alvimare: Deuxiéme Concert pour la harpe op.30
Francesco Petrini: Premier concert pour la harpe op 25
Daniel Steibelt: Grand Concert pour la harpe