Within the broad spectrum of chamber music repertoire, pairings of harp and piano are rare. Perhaps that’s because the sometimes subtle differences between the sounds of a piano and a harp in tandem made many composers question the practicality of partnering the two.
Yet upon hearing both instruments together, many listeners have been captivated by the blending of the piano’s more solid and incisive sonorities with the harp’s diaphanous and celestial sounds. Their musical partnership is especially magical in quieter passages where even the sharpest ears can’t always discern just where one instrument leaves off and the other begins.
Since relatively few composers have written music for harp and piano, harpists themselves (or selected arrangers) have blessed us with often striking musical syntheses of well-known classics, adding fresh sonic and interpretive dimensions to these familiar pieces. And certain intrepid composers as well as compositionally gifted harpists have created impressive music for these instruments that both delights the ear and satisfies the soul.
In this unique album, emerging harp virtuoso Hae Joo Hahn and rising pianist Sang-Eil Shin perform six intriguing arrangements of familiar classics. Complementing these pieces are three fine original works that will beguile listeners and leave them wondering why the composers are unknown to them—unless they’re knowledgeable harp fans, of course.