American Rapture

American Rapture—Yolanda Kondonassis, harp; Rochester Philharmonic/Ward Stare (Azica 71327)

"Yolanda Kondonassis’ enthusiasm for her instrument is infectious," says Jennifer Higdon when describing working with her to create her new Harp Concerto.  This world premiere recording by Yolanda Kondonassis with Ward Stare and the Rochester Philharmonic is a showcase for the expressive possibilities of the harp through Higdon’s new work.  The four movements are entitled First Light, Joy Ride, Lullaby and Rap Knock.  The recording also features the 1936 First Symphony of Samuel Barber, and rounds out with Rapture by Patrick Harlin.  The 2011 work is inspired by the experience of “ultra-caving,” exploring the deepest recesses of the earth.  Spelunkers who venture into such spaces are subject to extreme emotional states, and the musical elements in Rapture start subtly and are then magnified to their extremes,

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