Saturday, July 30, 2011

World Harp Congress - Day 5


Is it really the last day? I finally managed to get everywhere on time and then I have to leave.

I went to another technician's workshop and got to ask some personal harp-specific questions that some other people were interested in, and I'm feeling a little better about not wearing out my harp beyond repair.

Then, since I hadn't checked anything as "must see" for the rest of the morning, I decided I must see more harps. And by "see" I mean "play". All the harps I played sounded better than mine.

I played:
  • Aoyama's Sakura and Orpheus 47. There were slight differences - the Sakura really does seem to have lighter tension and was easier to play. The Orpheus was heavier.
  • Salvi's Echo Rainbow EA sounded fine without the amp, but plinky in the headphones.
  • Salvi's (forgot which model) CG extended sounded plinky in the top, ok mid-range, and good bass and the glisses sounded great from the mid-range all the way to the top. But the body is way too thick for me and puts my neck in an awkward position.
  • L&H - too many other people playing so too loud to judge any type of sound quality. I played a Salzedo model because my teacher growing up had one. They're much smaller now than when I was 9. :)
  • Camac was gone by this time. :(

On to the Library! It's a wonderful space (they have a workroom to die for) with plenty of signs telling you where you are and what you can do on each floor. I got an internet access library card which is good for a year. Anyone can get one!

Back to St. Andrew's for a Renaissance lecture and recital on Handel and the Baroque style. Maxine Eilander played a triple-strung harp with the Pacific Baroque Ensemble. The played a delicate and lovely version of Handel's Harp Concerto. Handel apparently had a thing for the harp in an era when it wasn't popular. Go Handel!

The White Nights recital was another ticketed event at the Vogue Theatre. Once again, I liked Scottish alright; Irish is just not my thing. But they totally rocked the audience. And they had such charming accents that I recorded a little bit for a friend of mine and ended up catching a pretty funny story.

Since the afternoon events at the Vogue had one ticket, and there were no entries after exits, I stayed to catch a little bit of Máire Ní Chathasaigh's Irish harp through the centuries. It was interesting, but I decided to head out to dinner a little early instead.

Onto the final Evening Concerti at St. Andrew's. I have checks next to everything in my program. All four pieces were so good.
Kaori Otake played "Concertino for Harp and Strings" by Jean-Michel Damase. It sounded like it was written in the 50s for a television performance by a harpist wearing lots and lots of tulle.

Mieko Inoue played "Piano Concerto in D+, Hob. XVIII arranged for harp" by Joseph Haydn and arranged by Inoue. The cadenzas were cool and composed by Tomoyuki Asakawa specifically for Inoue.

Willy Postma played "Ballade for harp and strings" by Einojuhani Rautavaara. This woman gets fantastic sound out of the harp. The piece is incredibly atmospheric and should have been the soundtrack to Ladyhawke (worst. soundtrack. ever.).

Belgrade Harp Quartet played "Dream, light, movement, for four harps and orchestra" by Božidar Obradinović.

At last, it's over. Good-bye, Wall Center. You've been tall.

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