Home | Reviews | Articles | Festivals | Competitions | Other | Contact Us

Marshall McGuire 20th Century harp music

CD 1 * Tournier - Vers La Source Dans Le Bois * Hindemith - Sonata * Cage - In a landscape * Glanville-Hicks - Sonata * Berio - Sequenza II * Britten - Suite * Takemitsu - Stanza II For Harp And Tape * Stanhope - The Arch Window
CD 2 * Donatoni - Marches * Finnissy - Shameful Vice, Scenes V And XII * Kats-Chernin - Chamber Of Horrors * Pärt - Pari Intervallo * Tippett - 'Dreaming' From Suite: The Tempest * Ford - Rough Magic * Giacco - The Lair Of Sweet Caterpillar Blossoms * Solbiati - Vezelay * Brophy - CharM

ABC Classics 476 5951 [2007; 2CDs 68 + 68 mins]

These are very high profile and commendable recordings by a virtuosic Australian champion and ambassador for his instrument, displaying important works written originally for the harp along the whole span of the 20th Century.

The choice of works - a massive 2 ¼ hours of music in a double CD - includes works written by harpists (e.g. Tournier) to lure both the amateur and expert towards the more modern works by well known 20 C composers (Hindemith, Britten, Berio, Donatoni, etc) who have worked along harpists to exploit and develop all the technical and acoustic characteristics of this stunning instrument.

Particularly avant-garde is Takemitsu's Stanza II for harp and tape. The repertoire covered has a vast and rich musical content, and Mc Guire is an intelligent, mature and accomplished player who dares sometimes to take individual stands in his interpretation, while remaining true to the musical core of the works.

The CD opens with Tournie's Vers La Source Dans Le Bois, a well known all-time favourite that is also a warrant for the accomplished Marshall McGuire, and sets a standard that ensures we can trust him even in lesser known works such as those by Australian composers Glanville-Hicks & Paul Stanhope. The booklet is well written and informative, though the print is very small.

A must for any harp-music lover and for harp department reference libraries.

Gabriella Dall’Olio
(Trinity College of Music, London)