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Giovanni Caramiello: Operatic Fantasias for Harp & Piano / Letizia Belmondo, harp; Zsolt Czetner, piano

Notes & Reviews:

Finally a solo album by great harpist, Letizia Belmondo!!The harp and the Kingdom of Naples: an ancient bond that can be traced back to a period much before the introduction of the pedal harp in Italy. A history that was always poised between "popular" and "cultivated" tradition, between the streets and the theatres, between the churches and the drawing-rooms, and was characterised by a great mutual permeability of two musical worlds that, all too often, are regarded as separate and distinct. The great popularity of the harp in Naples began in the sixteenth century, during the period of the Spanish rule. In Spain the harp was highly appreciated and was often used in the choirs of religious institutions, noble families and the royal family; its popularity soon spread to the Neapolitan musical culture (but not to other Italian regions under the Spanish rule or to Milan). Besides this form there was also the paraphrase, in which the theme was simply stated in an instrumental form, with very few variations. Giovanni Caramiello's compositions cannot be definitely ascribed to either of these two categories. His works sometimes contain elaborate variations on the theme; in other works what prevails is the faithful transposition of the melody. In most cases, however, the original theme is preserved, and only very occasionally there are passages that are so varied as to make it difficult to recognise the theme.


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