Arlen, Balakirev, Bernard, Bochsa, Britten, Debussy, Glinka, Godefroid, Lenoir, Liszt, Martini, O’Carolan, Parish Alvars, Poulenc, Zabel: Works for voice and harp by Bochsa, Glinka, Balakirev, Zabel, Bernard, Lenoir, Debussy, Poulenc, Martini, Britten, O’

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COMPOSERS: Arlen,Balakirev,Bernard,Bochsa,Britten,Debussy,Glinka,Godefroid,Lenoir,Liszt,Martini,O’Carolan,Parish Alvars,Poulenc,Zabel
LABELS: NAIVE
WORKS: Works for voice and harp by Bochsa, Glinka, Balakirev, Zabel, Bernard, Lenoir, Debussy, Poulenc, Martini, Britten, O’Carolan, Parish Alvars, Liszt, Godefroid and Arlen
PERFORMER: Felicity Lott (soprano), Isabelle Moretti (harp)
CATALOGUE NO: V 5186

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 Subtitled ‘the voice of the harp’, Cantare is a very personal collection in which Isabelle Moretti sought to ‘convey my joy in making the harp sing’. The result is a disc crammed full of various delights, with the harp singing alone in nearly half of the pieces, and acting as radiant accompanist to Felicity Lott in the remainder.

Some, such as Poulenc’s ‘A sa guitar’, are original songs, others are based upon operas, such as Bochsa’s Rondeau on ‘Zitti zitti’ from The Barber of Seville, and many are transcriptions or arrangements, not least Moretti’s own version of ‘Over the rainbow’.

It has long been recognised that Britten’s Folksong arrangements work well with harp rather than piano, but Debussy’s ‘La Belle au bois dormant’ is a magical revelation. Lott is, of course, an ideal accomplice, whether dreamily sophisticated as here or more innocent, as in Martini’s ‘Plaisir d’amour’.

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While Zabel, O’Carolan and Parish Alvars may be unfamiliar names to non-harpists, their music is every bit as ravishing as the pieces by Liszt and Glinka, and Moretti’s musicality shines through. Christopher Dingle