Saturday, 28.12.2024
7.30 pm

A Harp Affair


Alexander Boldachev, harp
Semion Gurevich, violin and cello

Alexander Boldachev, solo harpist of Andermatt’s Orchestra in Residence, here presents a festive concert with virtuoso pieces and magical melodies that reveal the impressive breadth of possibilities offered by the harp.

Prices: CHF 90 / 75 / 60 / 45 / 35


A musical journey from the Middle Ages (Hildegard von Bingen) via the Baroque (Bach), the Classical (Mozart) and the Romantic (Schubert) into our own time (with a Star-Wars medley).

About the programme

He’s both an aesthete and a dignitary, a member of the village council appropriately clad in a red cloak, an unrecognised musical genius and at the same time a victim of physical abuse – and he’s hanging bound and gagged, high up in a tree, looking down forlornly on the rowdy party celebrating the Gauls’ glorious victories over the Romans. It’s the poor bard Cacofonix, who sadly isn’t able to have much of a positive impact when he strikes up on his lyre. But the Gauls in Asterix and Obelix aren’t the only the audience to lose their senses at the sound of a harp. In Gottfried von Strasbourg’s medieval poem Tristan, the eponymous hero manages to bewitch his audience with the intoxicating music of his harp: “Now Tristan began playing them a melody […]. He played so beautifully and plucked the harp so wonderfully […] that many stood there or sat there, forgetting their own names. Their hearts and ears grew numb and dazed and lost their way”. Countless myths, fairy tales and stories tell of the legendary, supernatural impact of plucked, stringed instruments in olden times such as the lyre, the lute and the harp: Gods are appeased, wild animals experience the peace of paradise, people are saved from death, and giants are tamed.

Alexander Boldachev on the harp and Semion Gurevich on violin and cello are also capable of enchanting their audiences with their music – though the Andermatt Concert Hall admittedly offers a more Earth-bound experience than for the harps of legend. In chronological order, these two musicians will play some of the best-known melodies in music history. They demonstrate the versatility of the harp while taking you on a musical journey from the beginnings of Western music to the present day. Their programme begins with a hymn from the 14th century BC that is considered to be the oldest surviving written melody. From Hildegard von Bingen’s medieval O viridissima virga to music by the Renaissance composer Palestrina, this “best-of” programme leads into the Italian and German Baroque of Vivaldi and Bach. Then follows the Classical era, with music by Mozart, and works by the Romantics Schubert and Tchaikovsky, before we come to the music of the 20th century in the shape of Debussy’s “Clair de Lune”, Shostakovich’s catchy, vivacious Waltz No. 2, and a medley from Star Wars. The audience in Andermatt will soon realise why out of all the instruments, it is the harp that succeeds in exerting such a fascination on us.


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