Also of note are two albums of original transcriptions, beginning with British harpist Keziah Thomas’s glorious arrangements of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons, the first ever for harp.
Describing her desire to play these masterpieces—a mash-up of both solo and orchestral lines—she looks to the larger set from which they derive, “The Contest between Harmony and Invention,” and suggests she’s won that contest by searching out bountiful timbres resulting in a wholly new and engaging sound world. In “Spring” (which needed to be transposed up a step to work) the “birds salute with happy song” is whispered on the highest strings. Through the use of palm slaps, we hear thunder and gunshots in “Autumn,” while fast tremolo and icy harmonics become the chattering of teeth in “Winter.”
This is a lovely album to hear, for sure, though the best part of all may be that the sheet music is available too.