Video: Andrew Lawrence-King Performs Music of Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz

22

March
2010

There are a handful of world-class performers of early harps. And even from that group there are just a few names that come to mind—Mara Galassi, Maxine Eilander, Siobhan Armstrong, Arianna Savall, Frances Kelly, and Andrew Lawrence-King.

The last name on the list belongs to the one artist I particularly admire for a commitment to the Spanish baroque repertoire, both as a soloist and with many ensembles (including his own).

If you’ve ever heard Lawrence-King’s recording of selections from Luz y Norte, a collection of pieces and instruction manual for the Spanish harp by Lucas Ruiz de Ribayaz, you’ll know that he’s an imaginative artist, at the very least. But to see him perform live is that much more of an enjoyable experience.

A recent Youtube performance of Lawrence-King playing “Paradetas” from Luz y Norte really brings home my last point.

To give you an idea, first, listen to my arrangement of Ribayaz’s work for violin and basso continuo. I keep the piece, originally for solo harp, relatively faithful to the score:

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Now, watch Lawrence-King create a extended work using Ribayaz as a jumping-off point. He uses the harp to play melodies, harmonies, and perscussion(!), constantly riffing (improvising?) on the original and coming up with new and often funky surprises.

Lawrence-King begins with a spoken introduction in Russian (the performance takes place in Moscow):

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