Recorded and edited in Analog, this is a remarkable first disc by an extraordinary artist. This recording proves the harp to be an ideal instrument for conveying the contrapuntal transparency and elegant lilt which are central to the dance movements of these works.
The movements of Bach's suites and partitas are all based on various dance forms from across Europe, some at least a century old in Bach's day. Bach remained faithful to the essence of these forms--the lively and jumping Courante, the stately and processional Sarabande--while reinventing them to create some of his most imaginative music.
The 47 strings of the harp, which encompass a range of six and a half octaves, easily accommodate the five octave range of the average early-18th century harpsichord. The harp's plucked strings evoke the plectra of the harpsichord, on which the Partitas and French Suites were originally played, while adding a dimension of intimate delicacy which distinguishes harp performance. In the Lute Suite, the harp reproduces the quality of contact between string and finger, while expanding the music's dynamic range.
The transcriptions on this CD are remarkably literal, translated directly off the page. Certain details, however, require special technical maneuvers. For chromatic sequences and modulations into various keys, the harpist needs to raise or lower one of seven pedals into one of three positions (flat, natural, or sharp). In passages like the descending chromatic triplets of the Gigue from the B-flat major Partita, these pedalings demand both strategic calculation and virtuosity. The outcome, is effortless fluidity and lively articulation of detail.