Evelyn Huber – harp
Elisabeth Fuchs – conductor
Philharmonie Salzburg – orchestra
Evelyn Huber belongs to a new generation of harpists who have freed the instrument from its cor-set of classical music and given it new tonal colors and forms of expression, that are impressively experienced in her latest album, “JOY.”
Most recently “CALM” was released, Evelyn Huber’s new harp solo album, recorded in the intimate environment of the home studio, it focused entirely on the pure harp sound. The follow up and counterpoint to “CALM” is Huber’s latest work, “JOY.”
In “JOY” Evelyn Huber presents her harp as a solo instrument in combination with the brilliant sound of an orchestra, together with the Philharmonie Salzburg under the direction of Elisabeth Fuchs, and profits magnificently from all the possibilities of playing together.
“JOY” is the quintessence of a multifaceted musical life. During her classical harp studies in Munich and the USA, Evelyn Huber began to play with various bands and ensembles. She accompanied the Klezmer king Giora Feidman, was very successful with the trio Lauschgold with violinist Martina Ei-senreich and performance percussionist Wolfgang Lohmeier, as well in a duo with saxophonist Mulo Francel . It was Francel who introduced Huber to Quadro Nuevo in 2008, and began a success-ful 12 year career performing all over the world with Germany’s most successful world music band. The combination of these experiences has proliferated her harp playing style in the direction of jazz, improvisation and world music, all of which can now be heard in “JOY.”
The impetus for “JOY” began through a friendship with Elisabeth Fuchs, founder and principal conductor of the Philharmonie Salzburg . The Austrian conductor studied Orchestral and Choral Conducting, Oboe, Educational Music and Mathematics at the Mozarteum, Paris Lodron University in Salzburg, and the Cologne Academy of Music in Köln. Elisabeth Fuchs has since stood at the po-dium of many large symphony orchestras and renowned classical ensembles. Her openness to all forms of musical expression and her sense of staging have made her orchestra a favorite to a wide range of audiences since its founding in 1998. Fuchs and Huber became acquainted through vari-ous projects with Quadro Nuevo that were open in style, more intensively during “Volkslied reload-ed,” which was recorded with Fuchs conducting the Munich Radio Orchestra. In June 2021, for the Salzburg convert to concert, Fuchs gave Huber a carte blanche opportunity in which Huber per-formed, “Spanish Music Night” and formed the basis for “JOY”.
The central piece of this album is “Soñando en Español”, a suite in three movements by the US jazz harpist Deborah Henson-Conant, with whom Evelyn Huber has a special personal relationship: “As a teenager I attended Deborah’s jazz & improvisation course for harp. That excited me incredibly and set the course for making the harp my profession.” Evelyn Huber then learned the orchestral tradition from Helga Storck in her classical harp studies at the Hochschule für Musik in Munich. “That was also important to me, but we both knew that I would go in a completely different direc-tion. After graduating with my master’s degree, I afforded myself the luxury of staying at Deborah’s neighbor’s house in Boston/USA for six weeks, where the jazz harpist I so admired put down her harp and worked with me every day. Now, many years later, I was privileged to record her stirring and incredibly multifaceted “Soñando en Español” in a
WORLD PREMIERE RECORDING together with the magnificent Philharmonie Salzburg under the direction of Elisabeth Fuchs.” What a great pleasure: JOY!”
This suite is incredibly multifaceted. Spanish and Mexican sounds and rhythms permeate the com-position as well as flamenco and jazz. There remains room for improvisation and many possibilities of expression for the harp: Sometimes Evelyn Huber makes it sound like a guitar or a vibraphone here.
The album’s other tracks also reference special musical partnerships or encounters. “Sunday Morn-ing” was originally composed for band by Evelyn Huber’s longtime musical companion Wolfgang Neumann. It is heard here as a sunny orchestral arrangement.
As a great admirer of the Spanish film music master Alberto Iglesias, his “Los abrazos rotos” had long been on the harpist’s wish list.
(It`s going South American) South America makes an appearance with “Viva Brasil,” which was composed especially for her by Munich composer Willi März.
“Para un mejor mundo sinfonico” – an emotional highlight of the album – is the orchestral version of the hymn-like title piece of an album Evelyn Huber recorded with violinist and composition pro-fessor Gregor Hübner and his New York “Sirius Quartet.”
Two of the harpist’s own pieces, written during travels with Quadro Nuevo, round out “JOY”: “Lav-endel” captures the memory of a magical moment during a video shoot on the rocky (shores of the) Corsican coast, “Nilade”, the impressions of an inspiring concert tour through Egypt.
A remarkably colorful arc – recorded with the greatest pleasure in making music together. And may this (great) pleasure spill over to those listening to this inspiring music. Simply: JOY!