Performance Tuesday, October 21, 2014 | 7:30 PM

Sivan Magen

Weill Recital Hall
Jerusalem-born harpist Sivan Magen has been praised for his “unheard of depth of colors, range of expression, and rhetorical flow” (American Record Guide). The first Israeli to win his country’s prestigious International Harp Contest, Magen brings his tremendous talent to Weill Recital Hall for a program that features the world premiere of a new work by Sean Shepherd, commissioned by Carnegie Hall.

This concert is part of Salon Encores. The contemporary work on this program is part of My Time, My Music.


  • Sivan Magen, Harp


  • C.P.E. BACH Fantasia in E-flat Major, Wq 58/6 (trans. Sivan Magen)
  • BRAHMS Intermezzo in A Minor, Op. 116, No. 2 (trans. Sivan Magen)
  • BRAHMS Intermezzo in E Major, Op. 116, No. 4 (trans. Sivan Magen)
  • SEAN SHEPHERD ribboned / braided / spun (World Premiere, commissioned by Carnegie Hall)
  • BACH JOHANN SEBASTIAN BACH Chromatic Fantasia and Fugue in D Minor, BWV 903 (trans.Sivan Magen)
  • M. TOURNIER Sonatine, Op. 30
  • DEBUSSY "La soirée dans Grenade" from Estampes (arr. Sivan Magen)
  • DEBUSSY "Jardins sous la pluie" from Estampes (arr. Sivan Magen)
  • SANCAN Theme and Variations


C.P.E. Bach's Fantasie in E-flat Major, Wq 58/6
Sivan Magen, Harp
Linn Records

In the Artist's Own Words

The first part of my program explores the expressive abilities of the harp through various transformations of the free form of the fantasy, while the second part explores the French sound of the harp by juxtaposing music written in Paris at the beginning of the 20th and 21st centuries. Sean Shepherd’s new fantasy, ribboned / braided / spun, connects the two halves of the program. Unlike the other fantasies, however, it was written specifically for the harp. And Sean, while staying true to his very personal language, is also a product of the history of Western music, in which the sound of the harp is traditionally French.

What is French about Sean’s writing? It is not his melodic or harmonic languages, which are very much his own; rather, it is his sensitivity to the nature of the instrument. Music for the harp, like much of the greatest French music, is concerned above all with color and resonance. These two qualities are intrinsic to the music of Claude Debussy and Marcel Tournier, who wrote roughly a century ago, and they are also central to the language of contemporary composer Bruno Mantovani, who revels in taking them to extremes.

At first glance, color and resonance may not seem to be primary ingredients in the works of the three German masters that I have transcribed for the first half of the program. But seen through the lens of the harp, it is color and resonance that shape the great structures of tension and release on which the expressive language of these masterpieces is built.

—Sivan Magen

Distinctive Debuts is supported, in part, by endowment gifts from The Lizabeth and Frank Newman Charitable Foundation and the Stavros Niarchos Foundation.
This performance is part of Distinctive Debuts.

Part of

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