Caroline Leonardelli & Matthew Larkin | Légendes

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Organ Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Légendes

by Caroline Leonardelli & Matthew Larkin

Harp & Organ, early 20th Century, gorgeous yet thought provoking.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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1. Aria in Classic Style Op.19 Caroline Leonardelli & Matthew Larkin
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6:03 $0.99
2. Harp Concerto Op.74 Theme with Variations Caroline Leonardelli & Matthew Larkin
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11:54 $0.99
3. Symphony No. 5 Adagietto Caroline Leonardelli & Matthew Larkin
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11:31 $0.99
4. Légende Caroline Leonardelli & Matthew Larkin
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11:18 $0.99
5. Légende Op.32A Caroline Leonardelli & Matthew Larkin
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9:16 $0.99
6. Concerto for Harp H123 Caroline Leonardelli & Matthew Larkin
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18:59 album only
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Repertoire features several original compositions for organ and harp including Aria in Classic Style by Marcel Grandjany and the Légende compositions by Holy and Zingel. Two gorgeous concertos for harp have been included. The first is the second movement of Rienhold Gliere’s Harp Concerto Op. 74 titled Theme with Variations with orchestral arrangement for organ by Matthew. Low Sowerby’s Concerto for harp H123 was composed between 1917 and 1919 however was never performed and “lost” for over 60 years. The composition was found subsequent to the composer’s death and arranged for harp and organ. There are both French and American influences and this is believed to be the premiere recording for the concerto in this arrangement.


Reviews


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Frederic Cardin - La Scena Musicale - May 2012

Legendes - Caroline Leonardelli harp Matthew Larkin organ
Here is a sensible and refined collection of works for harp and organ, be they originals or transcribed. The album starts with an agreeable performance of Aria in Classic Style, by Marcel Grandjany, quintessential figure in 20th century harp. A delicate soloist is revealed when we move on to the second movement of Glière’s Harp Concerto. A rather discreet arrangement of Mahler’s Adagietto follows, which could have been more vivid, emotively speaking. Two Légendes follow, each from a little-known composer. The first of these, by German composer Rudolf Ewald Zingel (1876-1944), is a truly charming piece, reminiscent at times of the harp passages in Tchaikovsky’s The Nutcracker. The second, by Alfred Holy (1866-1948), a harpist whom Mahler conducted, is pretty and a bit romantic, but a bit impersonal. The disc ends with Concerto for Harp by Leo Sowerby (1895-1968) in its version for organ. It’s a piece that, more than the others, truly highlights the organ, giving it some very welcome space to impress listeners. Caroline Léonardelli is a high-calibre harpist, and Mathew Larkin makes a laudable, yet subtle contribution.

Jean-Yves Duperron - Classical Music Sentinel - Dec 2011

Legendes - Works for Harp & Organ - Caroline Leonardelli - Matthew Larkin
A wonderful new collection of ear-opening music for harp and organ, presented either as new arrangements or transcriptions, and some as world première recordings. First and foremost, let me extend plaudits to Caroline Léonardelli and Matthew Larkin for putting together a program that scores very low on the sickly-sweet meter usually associated with these types of collections, and opting instead for pieces with musical substance. And also, allow me to award them and recording engineer Anton Kwiatkowski a perfect 10 for instrumental balance and superlative sound reproduction. It's the closest thing to being there that I've heard in a while.

As in her previous release (El Dorado), harpist Caroline Léonardelli once again clearly demonstrates the multi-layered musical and emotive capabilities of this instrument, and dives deep within the music to expose each piece's unique character and idiosyncrasies. From the melodic beauty of the Grandjany, to the time-suspending open intervals of the Mahler, to the originality of the Sowerby, she defies her instrument to capture and reproduce each one's unique essence. And organist Matthew Larkin's intelligent, minimal and complementary organ registration, always acts as the perfect companion or backdrop to the harp. Although he does get to spread his wings during the Sowerby, as that work contains a few extended organ solo sections.

Most of the pieces on this CD were composed as is, although the Sowerby, Mahler and Glière are organ transcriptions from the original orchestral versions, the Glière's fine organ arrangement by Matthew Larkin himself. Out of all this, the only minor disappointment for me is the Mahler Adagietto. Even though the pipe organ is often considered to be a one-man orchestra, it falls flat when it comes to reproducing the infinitesimally small and varied degrees or levels of expressive subtleties a well-oiled string orchestra can generate. In Mahler's creation, the strings ebb and swell, and breathe like a living organism. As much as one may try controlling the organ's expression pedals, it can't match the expressive power of a stringed instrument. But this is just nit-picking on my part, as the piece sits well within the context of this CD, and elicits great musicianship from the two players involved.
Harp fan or not, this recording has lots to offer anyone interested in expanding their musical horizons, and beautiful sound to boot.