On March 20th Philharmonie Salzburg, harpist Evelyn Huber and conductor Elisabeth Fuchs created the first complete recording of my harp concerto “Soñando en Español” for release in 2022 – including all three movements:
- Mvt 1: “My Mother’s Mexican Hat”
- Mvt 2: “Merceditas”
- Mvt 3: “Baroque Flamenco”
We collaborated via Zoom to develop the final score – and I’m excited to share some photos and clip of the process, including a few iPhone clips they took to share the rehearsals with me.
How we Worked together, virtually:
1. Composer/Soloist Sessions
The soloist, Evelyn Huber, and I met several times to go over the special effects written in the music, and to work through semi-improvised sections to make them stylistically consistent with the rest of of the written piece — in other words, when Evelyn is improvising on a certain part of the music, we want to make sure that it still sounds like the same piece, in the same style, with the same basic harmonic vocabulary.
2. Sessions between conductor, composer & soloist
Before rehearsals started, and between the rehearsals, we discussed tempos, dynamics and alterations we wanted to make to the structure of the piece to create the best performance and recording possible.
There were also the inevitable questions about note discrepancies – like: “are players supposed to play G or G# here – or is it correct that different players are playing different notes?”
3. They sent me short rehearsal videos so I could hear tempos and transitions in context
Note: These are rehearsal videos only, taken with an iPhone, so the balance is completely different from the actual recordings, in which you’ll be able to hear the harp very clearly.
Rehearsal of Mvt 1, My Mother’s Mexican Hat
Rehearsal of Mvt 3, Baroque Flamenco
(the beginning of the piece)
Rehearsal of Mvt 3, “Baroque Flamenco” at “Letter I”
(the 3rd Flamenco section, where the strings and brass take over the melody)
Rehearsal of Mvt 3, “Baroque Flamenco”
(part of the harp cadenza)
Rehearsal of Mvt 2, “Merceditas”
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This is really exciting! I saw/heard the same orchestra when I was in Salzburg in 2010. I loved the music and the orchestra as well as the beauty of Austria. Vienna was also special.
What I loved about Austria was no matter what city I was in I heard Mozart in the streets.
I would love to get the recording when it is available. I have a lot of harp concertos and of course your harp music. I am not musical at all unfortunately. (But I LOVE all kinds of music)
Today I was listening to an old favorite singer/songwriter from the 70’s. Phoebe Snow was great, but very much under-rated. A 4 octave range and some really great music. She is the guitar version of you!
I will be looking out for your music with the orchestra in Salzburg.