Since the 1900s French composers have advanced the harp to new levels of virtuosity and expression, with growing technical demands.
Caplet's Divertissements features some of the most unique and perfectly executed writing in the harp's entire literature; great technical poise is required to deliver the bold pedal glissandi. Tournier and Debussy established the harp as a crucial exponent of the dreamy impressionist style; its colours and sonority are key.
A century later Mantovani utilises a breath-taking spectrum of attacks and techniques: furious scalic motives, nail sounds, bisbigliandi, and sudden, shrill fortes which makes Tocar a testament to the harp's more virile characteristics. Schoeller's Esstal is in sharp contrast; its delicate figurations create a more peaceful mood and demonstrate another side to this versatile instrument.
The programme closes with Fauré's Impromptu which makes use of harmonics, glissandi, cross fingerings and rich arpeggios.
View the booklet in full here.
Audio Video Club of Atlanta
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'...his reputation as a harpist with a demon technique has continued to grow.'more >>AllMusic
'Magen plays cleanly and precisely, making every note fully audible, even at the softest dynamics, and he articulates inner details that could be missed among the sweeping glissandi and dense chordal passages…delightful.'more >>The New York Times
'…Mr. Magen’s playing is always responsive and richly colored.'more >>Harp Column
'We’re particularly excited about French Reflections…Even if you’ve heard these works a gazillion times, you owe it to yourself to hear them again as performed by Magen.'Audiophile Audition
'A fine multichannel SACD of one of the most difficult solo instruments to record.'BBC Radio Scotland 'Classics Unwrapped'
'This is lovely, French harp music…[Tournier’s] Sonatine is stunning. The last movement requires great virtuosity, but that’s not a problem for the player who’s been called a magician when it comes to playing the harp. Here is Sivan Magen…the star of the harp world…glorious, glorious music, beautifully played.'The Sunday Times
'pure enchantment...one may feel the poetic "mysteriousness" of the instrument is inseparable from sheer meatiness of technique.'more >>Sinfini Music
'Sivan Magen's latest album is a Francophone fantasy of virtuosity and sensuality, says Alexander Rider, who finds that elusive je ne sais quoi in this young harpist's refined performances.'more >>