Now available in discrete multi-channel surround SACD as well as the CD recording!
"For me, the harp goes way beyond the classical vision of romance. My relationship with this extraordinary instrument has been a long marriage with a rich history of intimate experience."
—Yolanda Kondonassis, from the liner notes
The music of the Romantic Century took mood, melody and color as the foremost means to move the soul and uplift the spirit. Yolanda Kondonassis delivers one of the most evocative harp releases ever with The Romantic Harp. Spanning most of the Romantic period, this release includes transcriptions of such favorites as Musetta's Waltz from "La Boheme," Fauré's vocal gem "Apres un reve" and Debussy's "Valse Romantique." Ms. Kondonassis also includes works by Carlos Salzedo, Ernesto Lecuona, Gabriel Pierne, Marcel Grandjany and Camille Saint-Saens.
French Harpist and Composer Carlos Salzedo was invited in 1909 by Toscanini to be the first harpist with the Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. In 1913, he left the Met to establish the Trio de Lutece (from "Lutetia," the ancient name for Paris) with the flutist Georges Barrere and cellist Paul Kefer. Variations on a Theme in the Ancient Style is a series of character-etudes demonstrating Ms. Kondonassis' technical virtuosity. The Cuban ex-patriot Ernesto Lecuona's style spanned the popular music of his country as well as the higher art of operatic and concert compositions. The seductive Malaguena from "Andalucia, Suite Espagnole" is a wonderful representation of the popular idioms of Cuba.
Hailed by The New York Times as a harpist with "powerful playing and musicianly energy," Kondonassis is recognized as one of the world's foremost harpists, performing both as a concerto soloist and recitalist throughout the United States, Far East and Europe. As a Telarc recording artist, Ms. Kondonassis has won universal critical acclaim for her recordings, which have included much of the standard repertoire as well as her own transcriptions and compositions for harp. Her 1993 debut album, entitled Scintillation, features music by Ravel, Debussy, Salzedo, and Grandjany. Other discs include Vivaldi's The Four Seasons for harp and orchestra, A New Baroque, Dream Season (The Christmas Harp), Pictures of the Floating World, and Sky Music, which was selected by the New York Daily News as one of the "Ten Best Classical CDs of 1996." An all-Hovhaness disc, featuring the world premiere recording of "Spirit of Trees," was released in April 2000. The disc was named one of the Top Twenty CDs of the Year 2000 by Britain's Classic FM Magazine.
Her most recent album, Quietude, released in April 2001, was a collection of music especially selected by Kondonassis to evoke a spirit of serenity and repose. The recording contains the title work and five other pieces by legendary harpist Carlos Salzedo, in addition to Ms. Kondonassis' own transcriptions of pieces by Chopin, Satie, Debussy, Sibelius, Mendelssohn, and Respighi.