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Salzedo: Five Poetical Studies, Etc / Alice Giles

Release Date: 02/10/2009 
Label:  Tall Poppies   Catalog #: 137   Spars Code: n/a 
Composer:  Carlos Salzedo
Performer:  Alice Giles
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 8 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews

SALZEDO Ballade. Scintillation. 5 Poetical Studies. Suite of 8 Dances. Variations sur un theme dans le style ancien Alice Giles (hp) TALL POPPIES 137 (67:36)

Scintillation , for me the most familiar title of Salzedo’s many works for harp, would be an apt description of Alice Giles’s virtuosity. The speed and clarity, the impressive dynamic control—particularly noteworthy in the delicate pianissimo passages—and attention to color and atmosphere, all combined in fluid, Read more musically eloquent interpretations justify Luciano Berio’s praise of her as “The most intelligent, sensitive, and technically accomplished harpist I have ever met.” (He particularly admired her performance of his Sequenza II .) Thanks to her booklet notes, I’ve learned that Carlos Salzedo was not only a renowned teacher, composer, and technical innovator—he’s considered the father of the modern school of harp-playing—but a pianist of great accomplishment, superb conductor, and tireless promoter of his creative contemporaries. She also points out the influence of his Basque heritage on his music, in which the number five figures frequently—Basque music is commonly performed in 5/8— not only in meter, but in phrase lengths and even in the number of movements in suites or other collections. His music can be rhapsodic and impressionistic (the Ballade and Scintillation ), didactic in the best sense (the Five Poetical Studies ), in that it conceals technical objectives in musically ingratiating pieces, classically formal (the Variations , which revisit the French Baroque, reminding me at times of Georges Delerue’s similarly tinted film scores), and ethnically charming, à la Granados, in the Dances (not all, however, are specifically Spanish). If you love the harp, this one’s for you, but I’m convinced that this CD should have universal appeal, given the quality of Salzedo’s compositions and Giles’s marvelous playing. Recommended.

FANFARE: Robert Schulslaper
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Works on This Recording

Ballade for Harp, Op. 28 by Carlos Salzedo
Performer:  Alice Giles (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1910; USA 
Scintillation, Op. 31 by Carlos Salzedo
Performer:  Alice Giles (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1936; USA 
Poetical Studies (5) for Harp by Carlos Salzedo
Performer:  Alice Giles (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1919; USA 
Suite of Eight Dances for Harp by Carlos Salzedo
Performer:  Alice Giles (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1943; USA 
Variations for Harp on a theme in ancient style, Op. 30 by Carlos Salzedo
Performer:  Alice Giles (Harp)
Period: 20th Century 
Written: 1911; USA 

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