Dancing In Place
O.O. Discs

Elizabeth Panzer ‎– Dancing In Place
Label: OODiscs ‎– oo56
Format: CD, Album
Country: US
Released: 1999

1 – Elizabeth Panzer | Invocation 7:27
2 – Gustavo Matamoros | Re: Elizabeth 9:17
3 – Eleanor Hovda | Dancing In Place 3:30
4 – Eve Beglarian | Play Nice 6:02
5 – Elizabeth Panzer | Syncophony 7:21
6 – Kitty Brazelton | Down N Harp N All A Rond O 15:32
7 – Richard Einhorn | New Pages 4:12
8 – Wendy Chambers | Moments 6:35
9 – Elizabeth Panzer | Green Tea With Oranges 7:40

Harp – Elizabeth Panzer


Elizabeth PANZER Dancing in Place • Elizabeth Panzer (harp) • OO DISCS oo56 (64:70)
by Signor Scardanelli [August 1999. Originally appeared in La Folia 2:1.]

I remember reading something Mark Twain said about heaven as a place where angels strum harps the day long. He went on to confess an inability to attend a terrestrial harp recital for fifteen minutes without squirming, never mind eternity. Thus would be hell the preferred destination. Mr Clemens’ musical (un)interests were really quite encompassing. He’s been told, he said, that Richard Wagner’s music is better than it sounds. One wonders, would curmudgeonly Samuel L. have been as good a music critic as curmudgeonly GBS?

Harpist Elizabeth Panzer counteracts her instrument’s lace-curtain burden with a nicely varied program by a number of prominent moderns, as well as three of her own pieces, beginning with Invocation, as an effective demonstration of unorthodox chops. I especially like Gustavo Matamoros’ curious, often droll textures trotted out across an approximately narrative spread in Re:Elizabeth. The work, which employs tapes the performer activates, “having set volume thresholds so that [the music’s taped aspects] aren’t necessarily audible … .” Eleanor Hovda’s brief Dancing in Place has a nice, malevolent lushness to it. At 15:32, Kitty Brazeton’s ambitious Down n Harp n All a Rond o luxuriates in a number of pyrotechnically campy runs — real Fountains of Rome stuff — as a counterpoint to rather arid passages of plucking-with-thumping, and so on. I find the work as puzzling as I do enjoyable. Richard Einhorn’s instantly lovable New Pages has Panzer in a lyrical, rhythmically sure-footed duo with herself. In all, six composers have written works for the harpist (those I’ve mentioned plus Eve Beglarian and Wendy Chambers). David Merrill’s recording is just as intimate as it needs to be.