A ‘GRAND DUET’ OF HARP AND PIANOFORTE BY DUO PRAXEDIS

The duet op harp and pianoforte is in itself grand. There is no denying it with these two large instruments, right . . .? But in this instance the description ‘Grand Duet’ is not about the size of the instruments, but rather about its format as a composition.

The Grand Duet was very popular around the turn of the 19th century. The Duo Praxedis (Rütti Hug - harp and Geneviève Hug – pianoforte) produced a double CD with joyful duets for their instruments. Should you be a little bit depressed, buy this double CD and bring it home, for the performed works will generate a cheerful atmosphere in your living room, or wherever you will listen to these CDs. You will be overwhelmed with joy from the very first notes.

Harpist Rütti passionately plucks the strings, as a master of her instrument lively notes and warm caressing tones compliment each other and form a wonderful harmony with Geneviève Hug’s softly muted sounding well-balanced pianoforte playing (accompaniment?) that is neither overpowering the harp or being subordinate to it. How do mother and daughter, for this is who they are, prepare a programme together?

On both CDs you will hear late classical as well as early romantic music. The lion share, however, is for Johann Nepomuk Hummel (1778-1837), interspersed with works of unfamiliar or little-known contemporaries of the present, like François-Adrien Boieldieu, François-Joseph Dizi, Frédéric Kalkbrenner, Johann Baptist Krumpholz, Guillaume Gatayes, Daniel Steinbelt and Frederigo Fiorello.

Would you like to try a daring court dance? The third part of the first work on CD1 already gives you this opportunity. It’s by no means grand, ingenious music, but *all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy, in other words: a little light relief will be relaxing, as long as the strings of both harp and pianoforte remain accurately strung.