During the nineteenth century a musical genre arose in England that beautifully captures the spirit of the age. This sublime little art form evolved out of the Victorian obsesssion with fairies which in turn was the result of so many opposing aspects of nineteenth century society: the decline of religion, the first wave of feminism, the rise of Spiritualism and Theosophy, anthropology, antiquarianism, the reaction against Darwinism, the relentless advance of the middle classes, the repression of sexuality, the nostalgia for a rapidly vanishing rural past and the awakening of interest in our folklore heritage. The harp's long associations with the Otherworld was well placed to express these factors. At the time it was the favoured instrument of every respectable drawing room and there was a voracious appetite for a beguiling repertoire. Victorian Fairy Harp Music was the result. It is the quintessence of Victorian romanticism and one of its best-kept secrets.
Contemporary accounts describe audiences listening "with breathless pleasure upon the exquisite effects...entranced as if in some blest dream they heard the witching melody of heaven."
"Harp of WIld and Dreamlike Strain" is the first opportunity to hear this music in modern times. The album was first released in 1996 and after many requests is now available again. Elizabeth-Jane Baldry is a well-known British harpist.
"She is a great artist and consummate performer. She can draw more tone colours from the instrument than any other harpist living in the world today." - David Watkins, harp professor.
"this extremely gifted harpist...rich, unique sounds...a visual spectacle" - Brighton Evening Argus
"This is music intended to transport the listener to a realm far more magical and beautiful than the mundane world. The overall effect is all that could be asked for." - Music Web Review
"Elizabeth-Jane is Britain's premier harpist of Victorian fairy music and she played some fine examples of this little known genre always with flair, intensity and emotion." - Three Weeks Magazine
"impressive account, ideally balanced and contrasted, an accomplished performer and a personality" - Western Morning News
Feedback from listeners:
"It really surprised me. I must admit I had imagined a sort of gentle, easy listening type of instrumental music. It really is an exciting sound: spirited, vigorous & heartfelt. Definitely one to play again & again."
"I saw you on the Harpists for Peace site and had to message you. I'm a huge fan - your CD of Fairy Music has done more to bring the harp into the imaginations of listeners than any other in the past 50 years"
"This CD is absolutely wonderful. Elizabeth executes this Victorian harp music both beautifully and flawlessly. These are rare gems of classical music, composed especially for the harp to capture the essence of fairyland. Elizabeth's harp has a very clear and pure sound adding to the surreal and haunting quality of these melodies. The story behind the music is quite interesting and well worth the read (this story can be read on her website). Highly recommend this CD!"