Chamber Music Concert
Isabelle Moretti (Harp)
Jonathan Rimmer (Flute)
Peryn Clement-Evans (Clarinet)
Elenid Owen (Violin)
Mary Hoffman (Violin)
Lucy Nolan (Viola)
Abby Hayward (Cello)
Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918): Danse Sacrée et Danse Profane
Marcel Tournier (1879 – 1951): Sonatine
Gabriel Fauré (1845-1924): Une Chatelaine en sa Tour
W.A.Mozart (1756-1791): Flute Quartet in Dmajor K.285
Camille Saint-Saens (1835-1921): Fantasy for Harp and Violin
Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918): Claire de Lune
E.Walter-Kühne (1870-1930): Fantasy on themes from Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin
Maurice Ravel ( 1875 – 1937): Introduction et Allegro
In Paris at the end of the 19th century, an intense battle was raging between two eminent harp manufacturing companies with each claiming superiority over their rival’s instrument.
Pleyel, (makers of the unmechanical, cross-strung double harp) claimed that theirs was the perfect chromatic instrument, capable of playing in all keys with ease, and commissioned Debussy to write his “Danses Sacreé et Profane” to prove their point.
However, at the same time, Erard & Co were perfecting the mechanical double-action pedal harp which was invented by the founder of their firm, Sebastian Erard a century earlier. Not to be out-done by Pleyel, the Erard Company commissioned Maurice Ravel to compose “Introduction et Allegro” for harp, string quartet, flute and clarinet, and it was given its first performance in 1905 by the distinguished French harpist, Lily Laskine.
History has proved that Erard & Co won this battle with flying colours! The Pleyel harp is rarely heard nowadays, whereas every new concert pedal harp is modelled on the original Erard patent. The quarrel between the two Parisian firms left a rich legacy for posterity in the form of two wonderful chamber music pieces for harp by the most important French Impressionist composers!
Marcel Tournier was one of France’s most influential and important harpist – composers and was Professor of Harp at the National Conservatoire in Paris for many years. He wrote prolifically for the harp in the impressionistic slightly romantic style.