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  Founder: Len Mullenger
Classical Editor: Rob Barnett

 

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Alice Giles (harp) - Song in the Night
John STEVENSON (1761-1833) arr. Carlos SALZEDO (1885-1961) Believe Me, if All Those Endearing Young Charms
Carlos SALZEDO
Jolly Piper - Concert Fantasy on the theme of "The Sailor's Hornpipe"
Trad. IRISH arr. Frederick E. WEATHERLY (1848-1928) and Salzedo
Londonderry Air

Jules MASSENET (1842-1912) arr. Salzedo
Menuet d'amour from Therese

George Frideric HANDEL (1685-1759) arr. Salzedo
The Harmonious Blacksmith - Air and Variations

Felix MENDELSSOHN (1809-1847) arr. Salzedo
Spring Song from Songs without Words, Book 5

Carlos SALZEDO
Traipsin' thru Arkansaw - Concert Fantasy on the theme of "The Arkansas Traveller"

Trad. SCOTTISH arr. Salzedo
Annie Laurie

Negro Spiritual arr. Salzedo
Deep River

Carlos SALZEDO
Dixie Parade - Concert Fantasy on the theme of "
Dixie"
Stephen C. FOSTER (1826-1864) arr. Salzedo
My Old Kentucky Home

Carlos SALZEDO Turkey Strut - Concert Fantasy on the theme of "Turkey in the Straw"
Trad. IRISH arr. Salzedo
The Last Rose of Summer
Carlos SALZEDO
Chanson dans la nuit (Song in the Night); La Desirade

Agustin LARA (1897-1970) arr. Salzedo
Concert Fantasy on "
Granada"
George Frideric HANDEL arr. Salzedo
Largo from Xerxes

Antonin DVORAK (1841-1904) arr. Salzedo
Humoreske, Op. 101 No. 7

Franz LISZT (1811-1886) arr. Salzedo
Paraphrase on Hungarian Rhapsody No. 2
Anton RUBINSTEIN (1829-1894) arr. Salzedo
Melody in F, Op. 3

Johannes BRAHMS (1833-1897) arr. Salzedo
Waltz, Op. 39 No. 15; Lullaby, Op. 49 No. 4

Alice Giles (harp)
rec. May 1999, St Scholastica's Chapel, Glebe, Australia. DDD
ABC CLASSICS 476 5250 [68:48]

 

This is harp music of crystalline definition and diaphanous delight. Although largely arrangements of dear favourites there are two tracks out of the 22 that are Salzedo originals.

Carlos Salzedo - like Ravel - was born in the Basque region of southern France, overlooked by the Pyrenees. In his teens he studied at the Paris Conservatoire and there discovered his genius for the harp. A polymath, he was active in many fields but certainly as performer with Toscanini at the Met, in the Trio Lutèce with Barrère and Kefér, with Stokowski and Klemperer, with Edgard Varèse and the International Composers' Guild.

There is not a great deal to be said about this music except that it is typically delightful and is presented with evident pleasure by Alice Giles who originally recorded the disc for Artworks in 1999 on AW025. The disc can be enjoyed as a low key sepia-toned background but four or five tracks at a time can be heard for more concentrated pleasure.

The arrangements fall into several categories. There are classical pieces such as Brahms' Waltz op. 39 No. 15, Dvořák's Humoreske, Mendelssohn's Spring Song. Folksong, sentimental evergreens and spirituals make up most of the rest of the portion. Delightful among these are Traipsin' Thru Arkansaw (full of inventive asides) and Deep River. A few may cause you to wince for their unblushing sentimentality. Not in that category at all are the multi-tiered and fascinatingly inventive Chanson dans la nuit which is chiselled and etched in Ravelian colours. Here is music fretting and sighing, whispering and yearning, singing and archly playful. It is a gloriously impressionistic piece with a mien similar to the quieter nocturnal chapters of Ravel's Rapsodie Espagnole. La Désirade is more sensual yet. Apparently it was originally called Prélude lascif however Salzedo redubbed it when he discovered that the term lascif has more lewd connotations in French than the apparently equivalent word lascivious in English. In both these original pieces the player is called to knock on the wooden frame of the harp. Désirade is an island near Guadeloupe and the new title better conveys the sensuous languor intended by the composer. The sultriness carries over into the Granada fantasy.

Rob Barnett

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