“From the moment she started to play, the children were completely mesmerised and after a few stunned seconds they were looking around at each other in amazement, some wide-eyed and some grinning”.
(From: Emily Hoile playing her Clarsach - the Celtic folk harp - in four primary schools in East Lothian, Scotland).
" Ever wondered why so many harpists are female? Apart from the fact that it is true, does it really matter? I couldn’t help posing myself the question at a time that gender equality in all spheres of activity seems to be a prime concern. This is usually translated into ‘as many women as men’. Difficult for a smaller orchestra with only one harp player. If quality and not equality were to be the prime yardstick, I for one wouldn’t mind having any number of female players in the equation, and certainly so if their quality matches that of the British ‘harpiste’ Emily Hoile!
Having said that, I have in fact said it all. Lovers of this kind of music, and I suspect there are many, will welcome this carefully chosen solo recital of seldom played repertoire and newly by Emily Hoile transcribed favourites. Her delicate yet impressive playing will not fail to appeal to initiated and new audiences alike. She not only brings out the beauty of the music but also the beauty of the harp as a solo instrument. Emily plays a Chicago-built Victorian Lyon and Healy style 23 professional pedal harp, but I’m sure she would be just as good on any other, including her Clarsach.
All of it is splendidly engineered by Manfred Schumacher in well-defined DSD, though slightly overexposed surround sound.