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Les Jeudis Classiques: online classical harp recitals

Les Jeudis Classiques, January 7, 2021: Sylvain BLASSEL


Happy New Year! Here’s to 2021; may it bring health, happiness, and lights up on-stage throughout the world. 

Speaking of concert stages: our “Jeudis Classiques” series of broadcasts from the stage of Camac Harps Paris continues at 19:30 on Thursday, January 7th, @CamacHarpsOfficial on YouTube. We are delighted to welcome Sylvain Blassel, who will play Haydn’s Sonata n° 60 Hob.XVI.50, followed by Beethoven’s Six Bagatelles, op.126. 

For this performance, he has selected one of our new models: a straight-soundboard Égérie

Sylvain Blassel has earned his reputation as a specialist in the virtuoso adaptation of music hitherto undreamt-of on the harp. As anybody who has witnessed his interpretations of Bach, Liszt and Wagner will testify, he does not perform transcriptions of digestible solos, but rather giants of the piano and orchestra repertoire.

As 2020 saw the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, Sylvain has been focusing on Beethoven’s piano sonatas and variations, some of his chamber music, and comparative repertoire by other composers. 

“When I play pieces on the harp that were originally written for other instruments, I do not try to imitate the sound of the original instrument. On the contrary, I accept the harp completely – I want to reveal its capabilities, and show how it is worthy of the score.

The harp’s mechanism was quite basic until 1810, when numerous innovations allowed the new, double-action instrument to play a full part in the increasingly chromatic music of the day. By this time however, Beethoven was almost completely deaf. What he could remember of the harp were the small, salon instruments. 

Today’s concert grand pianos are even more distant from an early 19th century Broadwood, yet nobody questions their suitability for Beethoven. I don’t believe that using a different instrument disfigures a work. We see them in a different light, but their faces do not change. This is also why I prefer to adapt the instrument to the text, and not the other way round.”
Sylvain Blassel

Experience it for yourselves @CamacHarpsOfficial, Thursday, January 7 2021, 19:30.

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