Posted by Carolyn Mills on Wednesday, January 26, 2011
OK, let's admit it -- lots of us have been seduced by the peaceful rippling ethereal waterfall sound the harp is so good at making. In fact I am not quite sure this wasn't the first thing that attracted me to the instrument. But the harp has got so much more to give -- it can be percussive, rustling, harsh, whispering, expressive, brutal, fiery, scintillating. In fact there are more tonal colours available to the harpist than to almost any other instrument, it's just that they are often overshadowed by that angelic reputation.
Harp virtuoso and composer Carlos Salzedo helped to start the harp on its journey out of the Victorian salon and into the modern world, with his many explorations into the darker and more haunting side of the instrument. Here is a link to a performance of Steel, from his work for two harps, Pentacle. He cuts the characteristic resonance of the harp very short and exposes a fierce and exciting edge. Harp music as you have not heard it before!!