Concerto for Harp and full symphony orchestra composed for Małgorzata Zalewska by Gary Guthman.
After its impressionistic introduction, a syncopated and jazzy rhythmic pulse from the orchestra, the orchestration is full-throttled with brass and percussion interspersed between the harp passages.
The second movement is by design thematic with full capacity of the instrument’s sonority. Taking advantage of the orchestral accompaniment, the structure of the harp solo is a combination of lush harmonies, expressed melodically with arpeggiated accompaniment - a 20th century approach and including an atmosphere taken from the Romantic era of composition, highlighted by jazz-inflected harmonies.
The third and final movement begins with the ‘pixie-like’ phrasings from the harp as the string section provides a delightful pizzicato backdrop. As the movement progresses, long-flowing phrases by the orchestra with 1st movement-like rhythmic recapitulated punctuations, give it a delightful mystique. The piece ends as the 2nd-half of the final movement returns to Slavic rhythms, culminating in a Carnival atmosphere of fireworks and celebration!
Full Orchestra :
Vn I, Vn II, Vl Vc, Cb,
Fl (1, 2), Ob. (1,2), Cl (1.2), Fg (1,2), Cor (1,2,3,4),
Tr (1,2,3), Tbn (1,2,3), Tb
Timp, Perc (1,2)
"Wow! What a concerto! I really love the massive aural landscapes you've created with broad expanses but then with more intimate visits to places within that canvas. Impressive.Beyond the architectonic, structural features of the work, I am impressed with the feeling tone it carries...for me it's like a love letter from the composer to the harpist."
- Eric Funk
(American contemporary classical composer and conductor)
"This Concerto shines with all shades of color and is instrumentally delightful.Along with complex and syncopated rhythms, the harmonies change quickly as both the musicians and audience are drawn into the piece as it develops.”
- Ewa Jaślar
(Harp Soloist - New York Harp Ensemble, President - Polish Harp Society)