COMPOSERS: Cosway,JC & CPE Bach,Krumpholtz,Meyer,Petrini & Mozart
ALBUM TITLE: Collection: Les Harpes du Ciel
WORKS: Works by Meyer, Cosway, JC & CPE Bach, Krumpholtz, Petrini & Mozart
PERFORMER: Mara Galassi, Gabriella Bosio (harp)
CATALOGUE NO: GCD 921302
An aviary of birdsong uncredited on the tactile, glamorous sleeve or in the booklet frames the music on this CD of late 18th-century harp duets and solos on superlative authentic-sounding reproduction harps by Swiss maker Beat Wolf. But what is this CD trying to be – historically aware or new age? The birds cross-fade through Mozart’s harp solo Theme for Josef Häusler, while lesser-known salon duos by Maria Cosway, Francesco Petrini, transcriptions of Mozart piano duos and interspersed preludes and interludes by P-J Meyer and CPE Bach (Solfeggietto) escape unscathed.
The playing of the two harpists Mara Galassi and Gabriella Bosio is delightful, except for a couple of occasions where they unaccountably lapse into clumsiness, and there are untidy changes of recording level which do a disservice to the playing. Ensemble is otherwise superb and intonation very reliable. The acoustic is resonant and an excellent balance overall between the instruments allows melodies to sing clearly through. A compositional highlight is the Krumpholtz Sonata, Op. 13/1, enhanced by Seybold’s arrangement for two harps. Danielle Perrett