Paying tribute to great composers

Soulful rendition

Paying tribute to great composers

Talented: Nancy Lee Harper

Her recent book on Manual de Falla has been hailed as a landmark biography and study of the composer. Hence, her piano recitals are often sprinkled with Portuguese works. But for her Indian tour, she has kept to the more traditional and well-known classical composers with one exception.

“This is my first visit to India and I have received a warm reception from audiences in different cities,” she says. Choosing her pieces carefully she played with dramatic intensity keeping the audience spellbound through her recital. “I call this my anniversary concerts as I am commemorating the 200th year death anniversaries of some of the greatest European classical composers down the ages. Last year it was Hayden and Mendelssohn, this year Chopin and Schumman and next year it will be Liszt,” she explains.

The programme began with lyrical pieces by the Romantic composer Felix Mendelssohn, from his collection of compositions titled Lieder ohne Worte which translates into Songs without Words. She then took the audience through a beautiful rendition of well loved compositions from Hayden and Schumman before moving on to the French composer Maurice Emmanuel's ‘en divers modes hindous’  meaning "in various Hindu modes".’

“I felt it was appropriate to include this particularly inspirational piece since I am touring India,” said Nancy going on to say that she had a special fondness for the  Antonio Fragoso, the young Portuguese composer and pianist who passed away at  the very young age of 21. “His music is pure genius and had he lived he would have definitely become one of the greatest composers of our time,” she added.

The concert ended on a high note with the lively Hungarian Rhapsodies by Franz Liszt which carried overtones of gypsy music and Magyar folk tunes into the night.

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