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A Harp Concert at King’s Chapel

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

copyright 2010 the Bettina Network, inc.

(If you would like to know more about King’s Chapel, another Bettina’s Blog reviews King’s Chapel and it is also included in Bettina’s Menu of Events.)

On Tuesday, June 15th at 12:15pm there was a wonderful harp concert in King’s Chapel. The harpist was Franziska Huhn

Her concert included the Ciaccona from J. S. Bach’s Partita in D minor for solo violin (BWV 1004). It was amazing to hear this piece played on the harp. The ciaccona is considered a pinnacle of the solo violin repertoire and has been transcribed for other instruments – the piano, the full orchestra, the guitar, organ and others. Franziska played the Ciaccona brilliantly and set in the background of King’s Chapel the incredible feelings this piece generates came through the harp playing and made the afternoon.

Also included in this concert was Bach’s French Suite no. 5, BWV 816. Written by J. S. Bach for the clavier, Ms. Huhn transcribed these pieces for the harp. I thought I would share with you the musicians thoughts about the French Suite and her transcription.

A lot of movements have melodies based on arpeggios and some on scales, allowing for a sonority that should work well on the harp. I have had the French Suite on my mind since I first read through it in 2000. I thought then it would work beautifully on the harp and finally I decided to sit down and do the transcription.

All of the movements can be played in the original key and all voicings can be left intact. The only movement which proved tricky was the gigue. It has fast moving left hand lines which can easily lose their clarity on the lower register of the harp. That area tends to build up a lot of vibrations and clarity of lines can easily be lost. In Bach, both lines – the melody as well as the bass line – are equally important, so it is critical that the lines are clear. In later periods the melody rules and the left hand is “serving” the right hand, but in Bach they are equal partners. In the gigue, it took several small discrete register changes of the left hand to make sure it could be heard clearly.

Overall, the character of the Suite is very intimate and personal. It is not a large showy piece, which is one reason I love to play it and thoroughly enjoyed transcribing it for the harp. In this concert, it was a great contrast to the much more extroverted style of the Chaconne.

Ms. Huhn is a rising young musician who has an international resumé of concerts performed throughout the United States as well as Poland, Turkey, Georgia, Luthuania, Norway, Russia, Syria, Germany, Pakistan and more with several concerts performed for German Presidents – both Johannes Rau and Horst Koehler. Ms. Huhn performs as a substitute harpist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra, plays regularly with several chamber groups and studied with both Lucille Lawrence and Ann Hobson Pilot, among others. She serves as harp faculty at the New England Conservatory and Longy School of Music, received the Artists’s Diploma from the Conservatory in 2005 and has several harp albums available for purchase. She is the Assistant Director of the Harp Seminar at Boston University’s Tanglewood Institute and the above is only a partial list of Ms. Huhn’s musical accomplishments. We know you will hear a lot about Ms. Huhn in the future and hope you take the opportunity to hear her play when she appears in your area of the world or when you are travelling to where Ms. Huhn is performing.

If you would like to follow Ms. Huhn’s career you will find her on the web at www.FranziskaHuhn.de.

She is also an important part of the Bettina Network, inc. and has been for over a decade.

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A Guests’ Review – Boston Harbor Islands

Friday, August 14th, 2009
copyright Bettina Network, inc. 2009 by “Mac”
A trip to the Boston Harbor Islands is becoming the thing to do when visiting the Greater Boston/Cambridge area. A very knowledgeable guest took the boat trip and spent the day and was generous enough to write a review for all of us.
There are 34 islands and peninsulas. Most are glacial drumlins, basically a drowned drumlin field. They were created between 100,000 and 15,000 years ago when glaciers moved across the region. Deposits of glacial till beneath the ice were left behind as elongated hills when the glaciers retreated. These hills were later covered by rising seas with some tops remaining above water – these are the Boston Harbor Islands. The harbor’s great tidal swings and moderate salinity create environments hosting an array of land and marine wildlife.
Since 1995 they have been rescued from filth from human activities with the help of local American Indian tribes, the Deer Island’s Wastewater Treatment Plan and others in a partnership which is emphasizing “green” among other priorities.
“Summary of my trip to the Harbor Islands:
Make your way to the New England Aquarium and from there, walk around or through the Long Wharf Marriot to find the ticket booth. (note that tickets are also online at http://www.BostonHarborIslands.org).
You have to book a return time at the time of ticket purchase. Late afternoon returns from Georges Island fill up so its best to be early on weekends during good weather.
I only made it to Spectacle Island, made mostly of material from the “BigDig”, but it affords a great view of the harbor and city, and has miles of ADA accessible walking paths and large grassy play and picnic areas. One theme of this island seems to be “Green Technologies” so, for instance, they have a large photovoltaic (PV) array on the main building and ranger led programs on recycling and alternative energy.
The islands are part of a National Park and you can reserve for camping on some of the islands. There are ranger led programs on Georges and Spectacle Islands. The ferry costs $14 for all islands round-trip fair. The boats appear well maintained and safe. If you want to spend a day on or around the water, the
Harbor Islands make for a fun adventure.”
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Want to join us? Have a home that you want to open to become one of Bettina Network’s Hedge Schools? Call us and lets talk – or email us.

Ed. Note: Members of the Bettina Network Lifestyle Community can contribute to the Bettina Network Blog whenever they have anything they want to say and be heard by this fantastic group of people. Send your blog to bettinanetwork@comcast.net or mail it to us at P. O. Box 380585 Cambridge, MA. 02238 or call us on the telephone at 617-497-9166 to tell us what you want to say and we will write it for you.

Volunteer with Bettina Network Foundation, inc. to work estate sales; to help move items from one home to another; to contribute your ideas on how we can better use our resources in this effort to relieve and eliminate homelessness and poverty. We also need photographers; designers; and more. However much or little time you have, we are grateful.

Send your event information to be included in Bettina Network’s Menu of Events to: bettina-network@comcast.net

This is a curated blog so you cannot write your responses at the end of each entry. TO RESPOND TO THIS BLOG email bettina-network@comcast.net or info@bettina-network.com

TO LEARN MORE try www.bettina-network.com

 

 


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