Harp Concertos

£12.00

The Gliere Harp Concerto has always been a favorite among harp enthusiasts; written in the 1930s, the work’s stylistic features are reminiscent of the Viennese classical style united with Russian romantic nationalism. This disc highlights the extraordinary talent of the Official Harpist to H.R.H. the Prince of Wales, Claire Jones. 

She is joined by renowned flautist William Bennet OBE, and the English Chamber Orchestra to complete the release with Mozart’s Concerto for flute, harp and Orchestra and Debussy’s Danses pour Harpe Chromatique.

Claire has performed for members of the Royal Family on more then 70 occasions and has recently performed a brand new Royal Commission by Patrick Hawes at Highgrove House with the Philharmonia Orchestra. She is also featured on a new release with the National Youth Choir of Scotland, performing Britten’s A Ceremony of Carols.

 

SKU: SIGCD216

What people are saying

"Jones plays with a warmth, charm and relaxed ease ideal for winter evening listening. Mozart apparently loathed both the flute and harp, but after hearing this performance you would never know it" BBC Music Magazine, January 2011

"… the result is a delight. This account of the work is light- hearted and full of fun, and warmly songful in the central slow movement. The technical problems are brushed aside and the pure joy of Mozart at his most carefree comes over exceptionally well. It perfectly crowns a disc splendidly celebrating the artistry of Claire Jones." Gramophone, January 2011

"I hope Claire Jone’s excellent performance, with the English Chamber Orchestra under Paul Watkins, will bring its many merits to the attention of a wider audience. " David Mellor, The Daily Mail, January 2011

Claire Jones Harp 

William Bennett Flute

English Chamber Orchestra 

Paul Watkins Conductor

Release date:18th Oct 2010
Order code:SIGCD216
Barcode: 635212021620

  1. Harp Concerto in Eb mahor, Op.74: I Allegro moderato – Reinhold Gli?re – 11.07
  2. Harp Concerto in Eb mahor, Op.74: II Andante. Tema con variazioni – Reinhold Gli?re – 12.10
  3. Harp Concerto in Eb mahor, Op.74: III Allegro giocoso – Reinhold Gli?re – 5.29
  4. Danses pour Harpe Chromatique: Danse sacr?e – Claude Debussy – 5.14
  5. Danses pour Harpe Chromatique: Danse profane – Claude Debussy – 5.09
  6. Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra: Allegro – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – 10.34
  7. Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra: Rondeau – Allegro – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – 7.34
  8. Concerto for Flute, Harp and Orchestra: Andantino – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – 9.23

 

BBC Music Magazine, January 2011

Anyone who adores the music of the Russian Mighty Handful (most especially Balakirev) or Glazunov should find Gliere’s Harp Concerto especially appealing. Cast in three movements, highlighted by an enchanting central theme and variations, it may not be the most instantly memorable of Romantic concertos, although it is expertly written. Claire Jones captures its elusive atmosphere to perfection, playing with a beguiling lyricism and subtle range of hues and colours. In concertos of the late-Romantic period it is tempting to adopt a heroic mode of expression, but Jones proves the soul of discretion, weaving in and out of the orchestral tapestry with a sensitivity and panache that enchants the senses.

In a perfect world it would have been nice to have included another under- recorded work such as Rodrigo’s delightful Concierto serenata or the Villa- Lobos or Rota concertos, but at least we can look forward to those possibilities in the future. As it is, Jones could hardly have wished for more graceful and sympathetic partners in the Mozart than William Bennett, the English Chamber Orchestra and Paul Watkins, who radiate Classical elegance and sparkle throughout. Jones plays with a warmth, charm and relaxed ease ideal for winter evening listening. Mozart apparently loathed both the flute and harp, but after hearing this performance you would never know it.

Finest of all are the two Debussy pieces, which Jones floats aloft on warm musical breezes, relishing their rippling iridescence with alluring subtlety. Technical wizards John West and Mike Hatch provide exemplary, atmospheric sound.

Julian Haylock

 

Classic FM Magazine, January 2011

****

The Music 

The harp normally gets short shrift as a solo instrument, so this enjoyable programme is a rare treat. The Glière Harp Concerto is easy on the ear; it sounds more from 1880s Paris than its true birthplace, 1930s Russia. Debussy’s sophisticated Danse Sacree et danse profane set it off excellently, and the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto is the obvious companion piece.

 

The Performance 

This is very much Claire Jones’s disc. Solo harp opportunities are not plentiful, so one can hardly blame Jones for making the most of her limelight. She performs diligently and allows the instrument to gleam and twinkle sonically in front of the self-effacing ECO. William Bennett is an eloquent flute partner in the Mozart. The total effect, though, does outstay its welcome ever so slightly; the Mozart feels a tad over-obedient, as well as sluggish in tempo, and the saccharine Glière, while charming at first, is not given enough variety of colouristic magic to sustain the enchantment throughout. 

 

The Verdict 

This disc is nice. Very, very nice. Maybe a bit too nice. Pleasing, correct playing. Nothing wrong with that, but if you want fire and ice, you won’t find it here.

Jessica Duchen

 

Gramophone Recommended Recording

Gramophone Magazine, January 2011

Mozart’s Flute and Harp Concerto is here given an unusually lively performance with Paul Watkins and the ECO. Yet the Gliere and Debussy items also emerge at their freshest, very well recorded to bring out the crispness of ensemble.

This performance of Gliere’s Concerto has made me revise my earlier impressions of it as a rather dull work. The themes may not match those of Gliere’s contemporary, Rachmaninov, but each movement is well crafted. The result is tuneful and passionate in the extended first movement, easily lyrical in the second. The finale relies on themes with a folk flavour, culminating in an excitingly brisk coda.

Debussy’s Danses were commissioned for a competition promoting the development of the chromatic harp, one which eliminated the need for complex pedal movements. The instrument’s unforeseen disadvantages quickly put paid to its chances, though these two evocative pieces emerge effectively when played on the conventional modern harp.

The Mozart brings in the distinguished flautist William Bennett and the result is a delight. This account of the work is light- hearted and full of fun, and warmly songful in the central slow movement. The technical problems are brushed aside and the pure joy of Mozart at his most carefree comes over exceptionally well. It perfectly crowns a disc splendidly celebrating the artistry of Claire Jones.

Edward Greenfield

 

The Daily Mail

****

… Few artists have been more active in the recording studios in the past year than Claire Jones, the official harpist to Princes Charles.

Her latest CD, Claire Jones: Harp Concertos (4 Stars) is recommended to all harp fans and to lovers of good tunes. It winningly combines Mozart’s evergreen Flute And Harp Concerto with the veteran flautist William Bennett, Debussy’s Danse Sacree and Danse Profance, and Gliere’s Harp Concerto. Gliere’s concerto is beautifully crafted and packed full of toothsome melodies – a bit sugary perhaps but, for me, irresistible. It has always astonished me it isn’t better known. I hope Claire Jone’s excellent performance, with the English Chamber Orchestra under Paul Watkins, will bring its many merits to the attention of a wider audience.

David Mellor