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TOP 50 REVIEWERon 12 December 2012
I just want to add my endorsement of the other review: this CD is something quite special! I don't think I've ever focused on the harp as a solo instrument, except in Ravel, but here it is put through its paces by virtuoso Emmanuel Ceysson, and the results have real beauty. There is a wonderful ping to the sound, with the high notes sounding particularly ecstatic, as if plucked at high tension, and sounding a bit dryer than the reverberant lower strings. Ceysson runs up and down around the melodies of some great 19th century operas and they emerge still very much intact, full of song and emotion. With Bellini and Donizetti arrangements at either end, the programme takes us through Tchaikovsky - whose music fits the instrument like a glove - Mehul, Gounod, and Offenbach, arranged by harpists, while a Carmen paraphrase was penned by Ceysson himself. These works have such beguiling melodies it is interesting to hear them transcribed like this - there is richness, delicacy, and the power of Romantic melody; unlike the originals, however, the sound world is on a much smaller scale, even as it is recorded up close and has an amazing bloom as it comes through my loudspeakers. This difference in terms of actual volume and scale adds a further note of interest to what are brilliant performances, ideal for listening when you don't feel up to the demands of the full opera experience. And yet when I go back to the originals I'm sure I well hear them anew having spent some time with Ceysson's admirable CD.
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on 12 November 2012
Emmanuel Ceysson plays harp like an angel ! We love this CD and listen to it all the time. It's accessible classical music for non experts.
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on 5 March 2014
Very nice CD really nice at night to full asleep to my son also has it on as its that carming
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