Charlotte Balzereit

Antonio Rosetti: Six Harp Sonatas

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Bohemian composer Antonio Rosetti was roughly a contemporary of Mozart. This set of six sonatas was originally published for keyboard with violin accompaniment (usually doubling the melody) in the early 1780s. The second edition designated the set for the recently developed pedal harp "or clavecin or fortepiano, with violin accompaniment." The six sonatas have become standards of the harp repertoire, performed without the violin, and Charlotte Balzereit performs them as solos here. Each of the sonatas is in three movements -- fast, slow, fast -- and is musically succinct, lasting between six and nine minutes. Some of the movements betray their roots as keyboard works; rapidly moving bass parts that would sound crisp on a clavecin are a little muddy in the harp's lower register. Even though the sonatas are not hugely original, they are unfailingly graceful and charming and attractive, and their brevity perfectly suits the elegant simplicity of their musical material. German harpist Balzereit plays them with delicacy and lovingly nuanced attention to detail. The recorded sound is clean and bright, with just enough resonance.

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