Camac Harps is delighted to announce a fourth series of online harp concerts: Les Jeudis de la Harpe, season IV! 

Our online concerts were initially born of necessity, and indeed emergency. We devised Season 1 in under a week, immediately after l’Espace Camac had to close. However, we soon discovered that top-quality recitals online did not simply respond to the pandemic, but in some ways transcended it. Harp recitals became accessible to audiences and geographies who would never normally have the chance to hear them, or who need shorter or different formats in order to do so. 

Fast forward to season 4: the concert halls are open again, and we are making the most of it. We continue to develop our partnership with J. Hanck Production, and this time we’re filming in Paris’s magnificent Salle Colonne. To transport yourselves there virtually, just click on CamacHarpsOfficial on YouTube, every Thursday at 19:30 CET.

 

Evelyn Huber is one of Germany’s best-known jazz harpists. She is the recipient of the the Bavarian Cultural Award, a multiple winner of the Jazz Award of the German Phonographic Industry, and – as a former member of the band Quadro Neuvo – “Live Act of the Year” at the German Music Awards in 2010 AND 2011. 

At 19:30 on December 2nd, Evelyn Huber will be performing standards, her own compositions, and many tracks from her latest album, “Calm”. “Calm is about musical stories,” says Evelyn. “You can close your eyes and immerse yourself in the music. I also wanted to evoke a sense of finding peaceful ways to sweeten the time. That was the plan.”

 

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Léo Doumène (harp), Marie Laforge (flute) and Raphaël Pagnon (viola) are longtime friends who all met while studying at the Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique et de Danse de Paris. They are now also all members of the Appassionato Chamber Orchestra, a dynamic and flexible ensemble based in Paris.

 

Programme

Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918) – Sonate en trio L. 145 (137)
Pastorale. Lento, dolce rubato
Interlude. Tempo di Minuetto
Finale. Allegro moderato, ma risoluto

Tōru Takemitsu (1930 – 1996) – And then I knew ‘twas wind

Debussy’s Sonate en trio is a late work (1915). It is part of a planned cycle of 6 pieces after French baroque sonata form: “Nothing can excuse our having forgotten the tradition of the works of a Rameau, which is almost unique in the abundance of its ingenious ideas,” the composer wrote. The homage is backlit by the First World War and Debussy’s fading health.

From the opening “Pastorale”, the delicacy and clarity of French baroque textures is clear, and a wistful quality which intensifies in the plaintive F minor of the second movement, “Interlude” in a slow Tempo di Minuetto. The third movement begins with powerful rhythms on the harp, evocative of the Javanese gamelan music that first so inspired the 27-year-old composer at the Paris Exposition Universelle of 1889. The finale oscillates between pensive, poetic motifs and wild, quasi-ritualistic passages. “I don’t know whether to laugh or cry at the sonata, perhaps both”, Debussy wrote.

Takemitsu’s And Then I Knew ‘Twas Wind is also a late work, written four years before the composer’s death. It is inspired by Emily Dickinson’s poem “Like Rain it sounded till it curved”.

Takemitsu wrote that it “has as its subject the signs of the wind in the natural world and of the soul, or unconscious mind (or we could even call it ‘dream’), which continues to blow, like the wind, invisibly, through human consciousness.”

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We have often worked with Ben Creighton Griffiths; we love his creative and wide-ranging mastery, from jazz manouche to his famous “one man band” sets. He’s performed for us in his home town of Cardiff, and much further afield: a tour of the Netherlands, several times in Spain, Hungary, Zagreb, Prague and at the Cambridge Jazz Festival. If you haven’t yet discovered his work, Ben has an excellent YouTube channel of his own: check out his fusion collection, standards collection, pop collection, gipsy jazz collection, and more.

We’re thrilled that Ben has made it across the Channel from Cardiff to join us in Paris, and he’ll be performing many numbers from his latest album – La Vie en Rose!

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This Thursday, November 11 at 19:30 CET on YouTube, it’s the turn of the classical harp – in the talented hands of young artist Mathilde Wauters from Belgium. Mathilde has won several national and international competitions, including the Godefroid Competition, Harpegio, and Belfius Classics. In 2013, she won the first prize at the Martine Géliot International Harp Competition. At the 11th USA International Harp Competition in Bloomington, she won the third prize as well as the special prize for the best interpretation of Rodrigo’s Concierto de Aranjuez.

Mathilde will be performing virtuoso works by De Falla, Attahir and Zabel, in a musical half an hour that is not to be missed.

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Born in Dublin, Dr. Janet Harbison is equally at home in traditional Irish and classical art music. Her Irish programme, broadcast on Thursday, November 4 2021, includes many of Janet’s own compositions. 

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