A harp made in 1827
The story tells of a harp made in 1827 by Erard, the manufacturer of the famous pianos played by Franz Liszt, which a German officer exchanged for a sack of food in a village in western Transylvania in 1944 and which came into the possession of the Iușceanu-Corjos family, who had deep musical roots in Romania.
In perfect working order, this storied harp, carted away by the retreating German army during the Second World War, still has an absolutely unique sound, which recently amazed the celebrated Kings Singers when they were in Bucharest and also Maria Bîldea, one of the Romania’s most important contemporary harpists, who, through painstaking restoration, has brought the instrument back to life.
The miraculous instrument bears the inscription of the first double-action harps manufactured by the Erard Brothers in London, who at the time were suppliers to the French and Russian royal houses.
A Storied Harp sets out to recreate the musical atmosphere of the early nineteenth century, when the instrument was made in Great Marlborough Street, London, bringing us an anthology of works for solo harp, duets for harp and clarinet, and pieces that interweave the delicacy of vertical harp strings with the acoustics of horizontal piano strings, featuring a repertoire that stretches to the twentieth century.
Joining the clarinet and piano to form an unusual trio, this jewel of an instrument, the double-action Erard harp, symbolises the roots and conservation of the Romanian musical tradition in the most beautiful and optimistic way.