Emily Levin | Something Borrowed

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Classical: Contemporary Avant Garde: Classical Avant-Garde Moods: Solo Instrumental
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Something Borrowed

by Emily Levin

Levin's debut album explores the art of musical borrowing through solo works inspired by music, literature, and culture.
Genre: Classical: Contemporary
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Divertissements: No 1, À La Française
4:20 $0.99
2. Divertissements: No 2, À L'espagnole
6:03 $0.99
3. R.S.V.P to Shel: I. ...Comes the Light
4:53 $0.99
4. R.S.V.P to Shel: II. The Magic-Bean-Buyer
4:57 $0.99
5. R.S.V.P to Shel: III. The Wisher
6:31 $0.99
6. R.S.V.P to Shel: IV. If You Are...a Liar
2:39 $0.99
7. French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: I. Allemande
2:38 $0.99
8. French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: II. Courante
1:00 $0.99
9. French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: III. Sarabande
3:58 $0.99
10. French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: IV. Gavotte
0:59 $0.99
11. French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: V. Bourrée
1:13 $0.99
12. French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: VI. Loure
2:03 $0.99
13. French Suite No. 5 in G Major, BWV 816: VII. Gigue
1:55 $0.99
14. Le Rossignol (Arr. H. Renié)
4:52 $0.99
15. Sonatine pour Harpe, Op. 30: I. Allegrement
5:39 $0.99
16. Sonatine pour Harpe, Op. 30: II. Calme et expressif
4:37 $0.99
17. Sonatine pour Harpe, Op. 30: III. Fièvreusement
5:40 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
“Harpist Emily Levin was a standout...Levin drew nuanced timbres and textures while making the mechanics of her instrument disappear.”
—Philadelphia Inquirer

"Emily Levin...played beautifully throughout.”
—The New York Times

"Levin played from peak to peak, exhibiting technical wizardry and artistic intuition throughout.”
— Herald Times

About the album:

Each piece on Something Borrowed takes its inspiration from a different art form, highlighting the connection between music, literature, and culture.

Caplet’s Divertissements are musical depictions of French and Spanish culture. Divertissement “à la française” is brilliant and sparkling, while “à l’espagnole” is unexpected and quirky as it wanders through textural episodes.

R.S.V.P to Shel is a collection of character pieces inspired by the poem “Invitation” by Shel Silverstein. For each character (the dreamer, the magic-bean-buyer, the wisher and the liar), I asked a different composer to capture the essence in a short piece. Each composer is a dear friend of mine, and I chose their character assignment based on his or her musical style. The poem is an invitation for these vastly different characters to join together for an evening of storytelling. I love the message of community and inclusion.

More than enough has been said about Bach’s French Suites, so here are a few words on the process of transcribing the 5th suite to harp. There are so many variations in sound and color possible on the harp, which makes Bach especially magical to play. The most challenging part comes in achieving harmonic clarity—because of all of the strings, the harp is very resonant. While recording, my focus was on ensuring that the music retained its purity of sound. I love how this suite works on the harp, and thankfully borrowing from the keyboard literature provides harpists such good music to play!

The second piece featuring instrument borrowing is Liszt’s Le Rossignol, transcribed by the French harpist and pedagogue Henriette Renié. This haunting work, which so beautifully fits the harp, draws to mind the lines from “Ode to a Nightingale” by John Keats: “Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades…/Was it a vision, or a waking dream?/ Fled is that music:-- do I wake or sleep?”

The final work on Something Borrowed is one of my favorite pieces in the repertoire. Tournier’s Sonatine reminds me of the Ravel Sonatine, both in form and in certain melodic materials and gestures. It highlights the harp’s rich color palette and dynamic range, and is (in my humble opinion) one of our best pieces.

--Emily Levin

About the artist:
Emily Levin is the Principal Harpist with the Dallas Symphony Orchestra, the youngest harpist with a major American orchestra. She is the Bronze medal winner of the USA International Harp Competition, the Classical Recording Foundation’s 2017 Young Artist of the Year, a Finalist in the International Harp Contest in Israel, and a winner of the 2016 Astral Artists auditions.
As a soloist, Emily has performed at Festspiele Mecklenberg-Vorpommern, the World Harp Congress, with the Colorado Chamber Players, the Lakes Area and Aspen Music Festivals, and the Dallas, Jerusalem, and Colorado Symphony Orchestras, among others. She has given recitals throughout North America and Europe, and has performed in solo and chamber settings at the Philadelphia Kimmel Center, Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, and the Meyerson Symphony Center in Dallas. A passionate performer of new music, Emily is a core member of Ensemble Echappé, a new music group based in New York City.
Emily completed her Master of Music degree in 2015 from The Juilliard School, under the tutelage of Nancy Allen. She completed undergraduate degrees in both Music and History from Indiana University, where she studied with Susann McDonald. Her honors history thesis discussed the impact of war songs on the French Revolution.



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