Just back from a pleasant jaunt down to London to see a harp concert at the Forge venue in Camden by Keziah Thomas, who was premiering a piece that she commissioned from my husband, Andy.
She played a very ambitious programme to a room packed full of harpists, which must have been pretty daunting!
The programme was, Suite for Harp by Benjamin Britten, The Pearl Divers by Douglas Gibson, American Harp by Elie Siegmeister, Crossing Waves by Andy Scott, Tanzmusic by Glenn Buhr and Spiders by Paul Patterson.
Keziah did a fabulous job with Andy's piece and I especially enjoyed the Glenn Buhr and Paul Patterson pieces.
This is probably a controversial thing to admit in public....... but I really don't like the Benjamin Britten Suite. I was trying to listen to it tonight with a "fresh pair of ears" and to put my long held reservations about the piece to one side.
Unfortunately the performance tonight just confirmed what I always thought, and that the only reason it is performed is because it is by Benjamin Britten. I am a great fan of his music, but the Suite for Harp is just not a good piece of music. Because there is less music written for the harp compared with other instruments, some pieces, and especially pieces by "name" composers are played more than they deserve to be.
Hopefully with harpists like Keziah commissioning new music and breathing new life into the harp repertoire then harpists in years to come will have a real choice of (and this is the crucial point) music to programme.
In the end, it's all about the music.
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Lauren Scott is a harpist & composer and has been blogging on Harpyness for over 10 years.
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