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

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