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Charles Bochsa

Six variations on Voi che sapete (Mozart)


edited by Christopher Hogwood

Nicholas-Charles Bochsa, the most innovative harpist of the 19th century, is known more for his life-story than his music; not only composer and impresario, but forger and bigamist, he fled France for London where he became Professor of Harp at the Royal Academy of Music. From there he eloped with Henry Bishop's wife, and spent the remainder of his life in musical travels; Russia, Italy, New York, Mexico (enlivened by encounters with bandits), California and finally Australia, where he died in 1856.
His writing for the harp was revolutionary and as colourful as his career; this set of virtuoso variations on a theme from Figaro survives both in print and autograph, showing illuminating differences. An appendix contains two short Mozart arrangements from his famous harp Méthode, fully fingered by Bochsa himself.

By producing this edition,
harp repertoire has recovered a glorious piece.
Well worthy of a place in a concert programme,
or as study material for those interested in
rediscovering the developing technique
that Bochsa was so instrumental in creating,
the music is a delight,
and this well thought out edition
makes it both accessible and legible.

The Consort, Summer 2009
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Six variations on Voi che sapete
hh178.sol · ISMN 979 0 708059 43 1 · ISBN 978-1-905779-08-6
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