Music review: Hannah Stone
Edinburgh International Festival Fringe Scotsman review: Hannah Stone at The Hub, reviewed by Christopher Lambton
How many ways can you pluck a harp? During Hannah Stone’s mesmerising recital I witnessed familiar ripples and whooshes but also bell-like poings, percussive plinks, and best of all great reverberating thwangs from the lower octaves. Now try to tell me that the harp is just rather an awkward way of playing piano music.
True, transcriptions formed a reasonable chunk of the programme. But Debussy’s Valse Romantique and Claire de Lune flowed so naturally under Hannah Stone’s agile fingers that it was easy to think that this was the instrument for which they had been written.
The official harpist to HRH the Prince of Wales is a graceful performer, talking easily to the audience about her choice of music and the difficulties of trundling her huge golden instrument up Edinburgh’s vertical streets to reach the venue. But the revelation in this recital was the variety and breadth of tone that she coaxed from the instrument.
JS Bach’s Suite for Lute was appropriately ascetic, while Granados’s Danse Oriental had a translucence that transported us to lazy days in the sun. In the Rondo from François-Joseph Dizi’s Grande Sonate an expansive melody soared over a dense arpeggiated accompaniment, underpinned by luscious pedal notes. How she achieved this miracle with only ten fingers I cannot begin to explain.
Originally published in The Scotsman