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Caroline Leonardelli | Impressions De France

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Classical: Impressionism Classical: Chamber Music Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Impressions De France

by Caroline Leonardelli

Classical harp by French composers from the Paris Conservatory Early 20th Century
Genre: Classical: Impressionism
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  Song Share Time Download
1. Étude De Concert in E-Flat Minor, Op. 193
4:34 $0.99
2. Pièce De Concert, Op. 32
9:23 $0.99
3. Dans La Forêt Du Charme Et De L'enchantement, Conte De Fée, Op. 11
5:56 $0.99
4. Impromptu, Op. 21
6:24 $0.99
5. Rhapsodie, Op. 10
8:40 $0.99
6. Pièces Pour Harpe, Op. 41: I. Berceuse
3:16 $0.99
7. Fantaisie in a Minor, Op. 95
9:06 $0.99
8. Six Pièces for Harp Solo: II. Scherzetto
2:51 $0.99
9. Deuxième Ballade
9:04 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Is a collection of original harp repertoire by composers who studied at the Conservatoire de Paris during the first decades of general acceptance of the modern double action concert harp. The compositions cover the period of 1878 to 1935. This was the time of discovery of the capabilities of the instrument. There are diverse styles in the repertoire as this was a period of musical transition. The earliest composition represents the origins of the modern concert harp and the first major French performer on the instrument in Felix Godefroid. Some pieces are regularly performed and recorded, while others including the pieces by Büsser, Renié, and Dans la forêt du charme by Grandjany, and to a lesser extent Tournier have been forgotten. Perhaps this recording will give them new life.

While the repertoire is diverse they all have a connection as can be seen by the dedication references. They all were written for or by the master harpists of the Conservatoire de Paris. This recording could have been a typical recital by any of these masters. My goal was to capture the essence of these performances and the history.

I am a graduate from the Conservatoire de Paris as was my Mother. We both studied under Jacqueline Borot. I had the great fortune that my Mother was a student of Lily Laskine and later became a friend. Miss Laskine spent several days each summer at our home as a break from performing and recording. On occasion Miss. Laskine would bring flutist Jean-Pierre Rampal with her. Sometimes Miss Laskine would assist with my performance preparation or be a judge at my examinations at the Conservatoire de Pau. I listened to Miss Laskine’s recordings often and dreamed of one day performing the repertoire. She was an inspiration for me.

I hope you enjoy the outcome.

Caroline Léonardelli

Pièce de Concert Op. 32 was composed in 1910 and dedicated to Alphonse Hasselmans. The composition was written for harp and small orchestra, with an option for solo harp was also produced which appears on this recording.
Marcel Grandjany was a devout Catholic and the Rhapsodie on a Theme of a Gregorian Easter Chant Op. 10 was drawn from his religious experiences.
Dans la forêt du charme et de l'enchantement, Conte de fée pour harpe, Op. 11 is dedicated to Pierre Jamet. This is a tone poem in simple narrative style filled with the influence of French Impressionism. It is based upon the poetry of Jean Moréas
Albert Roussel (1869 – 1937) was one of the most prominent French composers of the interwar period. The piece, dedicated to and premiered by Lily Laskine, and quickly became central to the harp repertory.
Marcel Tournier (1879-1951) a French harpist, composer, and teacher. Berceuse was composed in 1935. This mysterious piece was written for performance without the use of the harp pedal action.
Fantaisie Op. 95 was written later in Saint-Saëns career (1893) and was first performed in 1899. The piece is based on two themes.
Scherzetto is the second part of Six pieces for harp solo. Ibert was a student at the Conservatoire de Paris at the time of composition and it is one of his earliest pieces.
Henriette Renié (1875-1956) was a trailblazer for women in music, and was a performer, teacher and composer. There is very little known about the Deuxième Ballade (Ballade #2). The piece was composed in 1912. It is believed this is the recording premiere.



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Harp Column Magazine

Impressions de France
HARP COLUMN MAGAZINE – July-­‐August 2014 Impressions de France
Impressions de France Caroline Leonardelli, CEN, 2014 4  .75 harps
How do you become a world class harpist? Practice, practice, practice.
Right, very funny, Alison. But aside from countless hours of work, there is usually a
spark, an inspiration, something that grabs a young budding musician and sends her off in
the direction of all that diligence.
Canadian harpist Caroline Leonardelli has been blessed with that magical moment and
with a cadre of muses to help get her there. In her new disc of French music Impressions
de France, she pays homage to all of them in a most tender and loving way.
It’s a narrow moment in time, a span of a little over 50 years. The double-action harp had
gained traction as a legitimate instrument at the Paris Conservatory and composers,
realizing it was there to stay, began writing a lot of music for this elegant giant, exploring
colors and expressive capabilities to see how far they could push the new virtuosi.
Caroline was a student herself at the Paris Conservatory decades after these pieces made
their debuts, and her warm touch, coupled with an articulate technique, shows she paid
attention in class.
But what got her to Paris in the first place was her mother, also a harpist, who befriended
the great Lily Laskine. I like to imagine these formidable harpists guiding Caroline and
her delight in her youthful ears hearing her own hands being able to bring this French
repertoire to life. Inspiration secured, assistance in curating a series of pieces from this
era came from one of Marcel Grandjany’s star pupils Kathleen Bride.
This is a French album for me like no other. Several pieces are rarely on any programs
today and for no really good reason. Henri Busser’s mysterious incantation of a concert
piece is reflective of his great success as an orchestrator, having arranged Debussy’s
Petite Suite for symphony. Caroline gives us equal measures of grand romance and epic
stature next to the gauzy indeterminate nature harpists love to revel in. Next to
Grandjany’s puckish tone poem Dans la forêt du charme at de l’enchantment, the disc
takes on the proportions of a well-planned recital program, the pieces responding and
commenting on one another. Caroline times the revelation of characters just so, like a
mother reading a fairytale to young ones.
Of great interest to me is harpist Marcel Tournier’s little gem Berceuse Negre. While
there was a great flowering of the harp in music history, Tournier shrugs his shoulders
and writes a perfect little piece, modal and dark, without having the harpist move a pedal.
Never recorded until now is a work by the trailblazing harpist Henriette Renié. Renie
knew that her harp professor Alphonse Hasselmans wanted her to succeed him at the
conservatory, but instead the committee chose Tournier. The event could have
contributed to Hasslemans untimely death that very day, and we can hear Renié’s lament,
longing, and even resignation in this second Ballade. Caroline chooses a quiet, reflective
mood underscoring the very real piety of a woman who is successful in a man’s world,
though hardly in the material sense. A true find.
With thoughtfully chosen and laid-out repertoire, filled with surprises and all masterfully
presented, this is a must for any serious harpist’s library.