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Friday, June 18, 2010

The Moldau on glass harp- B. Smetana-Robert Tiso

The sound of glass music is unmistakably unique. Ever since this art has been performed, the audience has always found it surprisingly intriguing. 

The inventor of the glass harmonica,Benjamin Franklin, after listening to the sound of musical glasses, wrote with much enthusiasm "...it's tones are incomparably sweet beyond those of any other".

Robert Tiso is a classical guitarist and has been playing glass music since 2002. His instrument is known as the glass harp or more commonly musical glasses, and consists of 39 stem glasses of different sizes and shapes, fixed to a wooden base and tuned by adjusting the quantity of water each one contains. 

The sound is produced simply by rubbing the moistened fingertips along the rims, this friction causes the vibration that makes the glasses resonate.

With this ethereal sound Robert Tiso performs a wide repertoire that includes many classical masterpieces by Bach, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky.... and more contemporary compositions by Morricone, Pink Floyd... 

All carefully chosen to suit the sound and arranged to express the potential possibilities of the glass harp. An exciting and curious concert for all kinds of audiences that gives the opportunity to see a live performance of a 300 year old musical tradition almost forgotten by modern times.

The Moldau (Vlatva) from Mà Vlast (My Homeland) by B. Smetana played on glass harp by Robert Tiso.

The piece contains Smetana's most famous tune. It is an adaptation of the melody La Mantovana, attributed to the Italian renaissance tenor Giuseppe Cenci (also known as Giuseppino), which, in a borrowed Moldovan form, was also the basis for the Israeli national anthem, Hatikvah. The tune also appears in major in an old Czech folk song Kočka leze dírou ("The Cat Crawls Through the Hole") and Hans Eisler used it for his "Song of the Moldau".

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