A0226-CD: Harp

Maria Krushevskaya

CD Cover: A0226-CD Harp by Maria KrushevskayaYoung and talented harpist, Maria Krushevskaya, has won international acclaim as one of today's foremost virtuoso harpist of her generation. Maria was born in Moscow into the musical family. She started playing the harp at the age of 7 at the Moscow's Gnessin's Special Music School, where she studied with professor Milda Agazarian.

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Track Listings & Audio Samples

1   Rondeau sur le trio Litti du "Barbier de Sebille" de J. Rossini R.N.C.Bochsa
2   Sonate C-dur D. Scarlatti
3   Sonata h-moll D.Scarlatti
4   Fantasie - Impromtu, Op.66 (arr. W. Posse) F.Chopin
5   Fantasy on Themes of the opera "Eugene Onegin"
by P. Tchaikovsky (arr M. Agazarian)
E. Walter - Kuhne
6   "The Lark" (arr. M. Agazarian) M.Glinka
7   "Legende" H. Renie
    Piano concerto No 12 K.414 A-dur (arr. S.Kanga) W.A.Mozart
8   Allegro  
9   Andante  
10   Allegretto  

About this CD

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Bochsa,(Robert) Nicolas Charles (1789-1856)
Outstanding French harpist and composer of 19th century. His father, Charles Bochsa, was a Czech oboist and composer, Nicolas began to study music with his father. He studied the harp in Bordeaux and Paris under Naderman and Martin, composition formally with Franz Beck and Catel. His reputation as a harpist owed much to his compositions for the harp, which immensely expanded its technical and expressive range; he was constantly discovering new effects, exploiting the full range of Erard's new double action.  

In 1813 Bochsa was appointed harpist to Napoleon, and in 1816 to Lois XVIII. During this period he had a long run and became known outside France. He was invited to London, where he was soon appointed professor of harp and general secretary. He made a great influence on harp performing in England.

Bochsa was the first harpist who played regularly with consistent success in many European countries and also Russia, Australia, America. He was one of the most prolific of all composers for the harp: his music is not profound, but it is often adventurous and sometimes brilliant. His harp method was long regarded as a classic.

Bochsa wrote over 350 works among which are 8 operas, 2 concertos, fantasies, preludes, 100 studies and others. Among his pupils are E. Parish-Alvars, J. Chatterton, T. Labbar.

Domenico Scarlatti (1685-1757)
Well-known Italian composer and conductor, remembered chiefly for his keyboard sonatas. A Scarlatti's son and pupil was born in Naples. His first opportunity to engage in opera came with the appointment of Nicola Barbapiccola, as impresario of the S. Bartolomeo theatre for the 1703-1704 season in Naples. Scarlatti provided three operas for the season. The years 1708-1719 were spent in Rome, mainly as a church musician, and in 1714 he was appointed maestro of the Cappela Giulia at St.Peter's. It was during these years that he composed his other operas, seven of them for the dowager Queen of Poland, Maria Casimira. During this time Scarlatti owned a high reputation as a composer of spiritual music and music for high society. The last years of his life he spent in Madrid where he died in 1757.

Scarlatti's creative legacy is really huge: 12 operas, two oratories, about 70 Kontatas, Stabat mater, Te Deum, Salve Regina, Miserere, 17 symphonies and also over 550 keyboard sonatas. After composer's death his music was forgotten. Lizt was the first who revealed it to the audience.

Chopin, Fryderyk Franciszek (1810-1849)
Outstanding Polish composer and pianist, father of Polish classical music. He combined a gift for melody, and adventurous harmonic sense, an intuitive and inventive understanding of formal design and a brilliant piano technique in composing a major corpus of piano music. One of the leading 19th century composers who began a career as a pianist, he abandoned concert life early; but his music represents the quintessence of the romantic piano tradition and embodies more fully than any other composer's the expressive and technical characteristics of the instrument.

He was born in the mixed Polish-French family. After graduating from Higher School of Music in Warsaw Chopin had a successful run in Vienna and after he moved to Paris. France became his the second motherland. Here, he owned an excellent reputation among the aristocracy of Paris, played regularly in England, Germany and Austria. He was surrounded by famous people in the music world such as Liszt, Schumann, Mendelssohn, Bellini and others.  The greatest part of Chopin's music was written for piano: from mazurkas, valses, nocturnes, etudes, polonaises, impromptus and preludes to concertos, fantasies, sonatas and others.

Posse, Wilhelm (1852-1925)
German harpist and composer. He studied at the Neue Akademie der Tonkunst in Berlin under Ludwig Grimm. He was solo harpist of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra and Opera and taught at the Berlin Hochschule fur Musik since 1880. He was one of the first to adopt the "Lyon & Healy harp", demonstrating it in Brunswick in 1898. Lizt considered Posse the greatest harpist after Parish-Alvars, Posse did a lot of transcriptions of piano pieces of his outstanding contemporaries: F.Chopin and F. Lizt. he also composed some solo works for harp among which it is necessary to mention Acht grosse Konzert-Etudes and Carnival of Venice. However Posse's greatest renown was as a teacher who stressed a full tone and well-grounded technique; his performance style has been carried on by Alexander Sleypuskin, Maria Korchinska and Vera Dulova.

Walter-Kuhne, Ekaterina (1870-1930)
She has made a considerable contribution to the development of the Russian school of harp playing. One of A.G. Tsabel's the most gifted pupils, she was a brilliant virtuoso, composer and teacher. She was born in St. Petersburg in a German musical family. She studied the piano and harp at the conservatoire. Walter-Kuhne played in the Italian Opera orchestra and from 1891 to 1901 she taught at the Smolny Institute and from 1904-1917 at St. Petersburg Conservatoire. She gave recitals as a pianist and harpist all over Russia and abroad. She was a talented composer. Her virtuosic transcriptions of music from Rigoletto, Faust and Eugene Onegon were very popular, Walter Kuhne taught such eminent musicians as K.A. Erdeli, E.A.ALymova, E.A.Damskaya, M.A.Alexandrova-Gorelova, V.M.Pushkaryova-Polivanova and A.Y.Gelrot.

Balakirev, Mily Alekseyevich (1837-1910)
Russian composer, conductor, teacher and pianist. His musical education began with a course of summer lessons in Moscow with Aleksandr Dubuque. Since 1855 he lived and worked in St. Petersburg where he met Glinka and Dargamizhsky. At the beginning of 1850th he formed a circle of his own known as "The Mighty Handful", which included Vladimir Stasov, Kui and the young composers- Musorgsky, Borodin, Rimsky-Korsakov- much of whose early work he was to superintend; for these three musical amateurs Balakirev was an instrutor of magnetic personality capable of inspiring them to improbable heights of creativity. In 1862 on Balakirev's initiative the first free music school was set up in St. Petersburg. He was instrumental in doing a successful production of Glinka's Russian and Lyudmila in Prague. Balakirev was a prolific composer and created works in many genres. Among his better known works is a virtuoso piano piece Islamey and a transcription of Glinka's song Zhavoronok (The Lark).

Renie, Henriette (1875-1956)
French harpist, teacher and composer. She was born in Paris and at the age of 8 began learning the harp with A. Hasselmann. When she was 10 - she became a student at the Conservatoire and in two years' time became the professor's assistant. She graduated as a harpist and composer. When still a girl Renie started performing in public, playing in salons and spiritual concerts. In 1946 her two-volume harp playing instruction handbook "Method complete de harpe". She contributed a lot to the harp repertoire: Concerto in C Minor and Elegie & Caprice for Harp and Orchestra. In her composition she used literary sources as in her well-known Ballade fantastique based on Edgar Allan Poe's short story and Legend based on Leconte de Lisle poem "Elfes". Pupils include Marcel Grandjany, Carlos Salzedo, Susann McDonald and others.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (1756-1791)
The greatest Austrian composer. Lived and worked in Salzburg and Vienna. His style essentially represents a synthesis of many different elements, which coalesced in his Viennese years, from 1781 on, into an idiom now regarded as a peak of Viennese Classicism. The mature music, distinguished by its melodic beauty, its formal elegance and its richness of harmony and texture, is deeply coloured by Italian opera though also rooted in Austria and South German instrumental traditions. He may thus be regarded as the most universal composer in the history of Western music. During his short life he wrote over 600 works in different genres: operas, oratorios, sonatas, symphonies, Concertos for different instruments (among them is Double-concerto for flute & harp C-dur). His Piano Concerto No 12 in A, K.414 is the first in a series of 17 concertos composed in Vienna. Together with Piano Concerto in F, K.413 and Concerto in C, K.415 it forms a group of 3 concertos written in 1783 and an orchestra, including the wind instruments, as well as a string quartet. All cadenzas were written by Mozart.

Skaila Kanga
Well-known harpist and composer, professor at the Royal Academy of Music in London. Skaila Kanga began to study harp with Tina Bonifacio at the age of 17, she quickly became established in London, working with great conductors-Kempe, Haitkin, Maazel, Boulez and others. She worked intensively in films, recordings and TV with the likes of Sinatra, J.Mitchell, P. McCartney, J. Goldsmith and a host of pop celebrities. For 25 years Skaila was the solo harpist of the renowned Nash Ensemble and performed over 30 premiers all over the world. For many years, she has been the principle harp of the Academy of St. Martin in the Field, the London Mozart Players and the Royal Philharmonic Concert Orchestra. Skaila has been the Head of Harp Studies at the Royal Academy of Music since 1988 and in 2003, she was awarded Professorship of the University of London. Her students have won many competitions and hold eminent orchestral positions.

Skaila has published 12 books of music for harp and also published Mozart's Piano Concerto No 12 in A-dur, K.414 in her own transcription for harp. "It has been my intention to reflect as much as possible Mozart's original phrasing and articulation marks". (S. Kanga).

Milda Agazarian
Professor at the Russian Gnesins' Academy of Music. She also teaches at the Gnesins' Special Music School. From 1992 she has been President of the Russian Association of Harp Teachers. She studied with such legendary harpists as M.A. Rubina, K.A. Erdeli and V.G. Dulova. She is Artistic Director of the annual Moscow Open Harp Festival. She has been on the juries of many international and Russian harp competitions. She has given master classes in Russia and France, UK, Japan, Hungary. In 2004 she gave a solo recital of Russian works at Bloomington, USA, at the VII International Harp Competition. She is the harpist in a number of distinguished orchestras among which is the Tchaikovsky Symphony Orchestra whose principal conductor is Vladimir Fedoseyev. Milda Agazarian has been teaching for over 40 years. Many of her pupils are winners of prestigious international competitions. She has made a number of transcriptions for the harp.




Sound engineer V. Ivanov
Editing F. Uzbekova (1-7), V.Parfyonova (8-10)
The recording was made using a harp manufactured by Lyon & Healey 2005
at the Pavel Slobodkin Centre Concert Hall
The "Kremlin" Chamber Orchestra
Artistic Director & Principal Conductor Misha Rakhlevsky
Design : J. Kompaneets.  

Album Information

Title Harp
Instruments: Harp + Orchestra (8-10)
Genre: Classical
Format: Audio CD
Our Ref: A0226-CD
MCPS: --
Label: private
Year: 2006
Origin: Russia

About the Artist

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Maria Krushevskaya

Young and talented harpist, Maria Krushevskaya, has won international acclaim as one of today's foremost virtuoso harpist of her generation. Maria was born in Moscow into the musical family. She started playing the harp at the age of 7 at the Moscow's Gnessin's Special Music School, where she studied with professor Milda Agazarian. Since very beginning, she has won number of national harp competitions, and was a prize-winner at 1999 Concours International de Harpe "Hommage a Martine Geliot". Followed by the Second Prize at the 2002 Lily Laskine International Harp Competition and the Fifth Prize at the 2004 USA International Harp Competition.

Ms. Krushevskaya has charmed audiences as a recitalist and concerto soloist throughout Russia and Europe. Her solo engagements have included the State Cinematography Symphony, the Saratov Philharmonic Orchestra, Nigniy Novgorod Philharmonic Orchestra, Chamber Orchestras "Kremlin", "Four Seasons", "Cantus Firmus" and the Chamber Orchestra of St. Petersburg's Philharmonic in addition to numerous performances as a chamber musician.

Maria Krushevskaya has appeared as a soloist at the Gargiles International Harp Festival, the Moscow Open Harp Festival, as well as was invited to perform solo recital at the Royal Academy of Music in London.

Maria gave a number of national premiers of harp compositions in addition to the world premier of Mozart's Piano Concerto No 12 A-dur, K-414, at the sixth Moscow Open Harp Festival in 2005 (arr for harp by Skaila Kanga).

Ms. Krushevskaya records regularly for TV and radio programmes. She was awarded scholarships of the "International Spivakov Fund", the "Russian Preforming Arts" Fund as well as receiving Grant from the President of the Russian Federation under "New Name's" programme of the Goverment of Russia.

Maria Krushevskaya is currently studying harp with Professor Milda Agazarian at the Gnessin's Music Academy in Moscow.  

Written 2006

Since this CD was made:

Maria was the Gold Medalist of the 2007 USA International Harp Competition, Bloomington, where she was also awarded the Jan Jennings Prize for best performance of Pierné’s Concertstück for Harp and Orchestra, the Mary L. Ogg Prizes for best performance of Küne’s Fantaisie sur un theme de l’opera Eugene Onegin, and best performance of Alvars' Introduction and Variations on Themes from Bellini’s Opera Norma