Friday, 15 July 2011

Another star review from the Lichfield Gazette!

“4 Girls 4 Harps” was what it said on the poster, and four girls with four harps was exactly what we saw on stage at the Lichfield Garrick. That was it: no gimmicks, no stunts, no fancy costumes beyond elegant evening wear – just engaging chat and rather lovely music.

In fact, these performers - Keziah Thomas, Angharad Wyn Jones, Harriet Adie and Eleanor Turner – are quiet revolutionaries. You don’t often see four harpists performing together, and with good reason: composers don’t tend to write music for harp quartet! Yet as Adie explained, 4 Girls 4 Harps has single- (or should that be octuple-) handedly set about changing that situation. With the exception of Paul Patterson’s whimsical “Avian Arabesques”, most of the music we heard tonight was actually arranged or composed by members of the group.

That included arrangements of Handel, Mozart and Khachaturian as well as a brilliantly effective original composition by Turner and – most impressive of all – Adie’s transcription of three movements from Ravel’s “Mother Goose”. With its whispered tremolandi, jewel-like harmonics, and deep, clangourous gong effects, this was superbly transcribed and equally superbly played. It made the more familiar piano version seem positively drab by comparison.

Richard Bratby

Many hundreds of miles driven

Well, we have come to the end of our run of summer concerts, finishing with a fabulous concert for Chester Summer Music Festival. We played in the beautiful setting of St Mary's Centre with wonderfully atmospheric lighting effects and a packed hall - so packed in fact that the organisers had to turn people away at the doors!

It has been a busy six weeks fitting in concerts for the Beaumaris Festival, Greshams School, the Bledington Music Festival, the Bramley and Little London Music Festival, the Lichfield Garrick Theatre and finally, Chester at the beginning of July. Every concert has been enthusiastically received and several sold out with waiting lists!

We will now be taking a break for the rest of the summer but will be back on 28 September with a performance for the North Wales International Music Festival.