Keziah Thomas is releasing the first ever complete arrangement of Vivaldi’s much-loved The Four Seasons for solo harp, with Convivium Records on 10 June 2022.
In tandem with the release, the award-winning harpist will embark on a UK-wide album tour of The Four Seasons, which comes to Birmingham at St Paul’s Church, Jewellery Quarter at 7pm on 27th September.
Keziah Thomas arranged the entire work of The Four Seasons over the course of one year. She began working on Concerto No. 4 “Winter” in wintertime, before sharing a performance video of the piece across social media. The video was met with great interest, with over 23,000 views. This prompted Keziah to embark on the challenge of arranging each of the remaining concertos in the very seasons they were portraying.
Striving to expand the repertoire for concert harp through her creative programming, Keziah was drawn towards The Four Seasons on account of how brilliantly Vivaldi communicates our extraordinary relationship with nature. With her unique take, Keziah presents a detailed, vivid and colourful interpretation that hones in on the imagery within the work.
For Keziah, working out how to capture the fullness of Vivaldi’s The Four Seasons for solo harp was a journey of exploration; evoking the different sounds within the work provided a chance to delve into harp technique and more fully comprehend the instrument’s capabilities. Keziah has used trills to represent the birdsong of spring, the bisbigliando technique to convey the stamping of feet in winter, and harmonics to represent the warmth of a fire after a cold winter’s walk.
Speaking further, Keziah Thomas said: “Each of the concertos depicts the season musically but they are also each preceded by a sonnet, presumably written by Vivaldi, which tells myriad details about our response to this eternal cycle. Lines from the sonnets are woven into the music inviting the listener to join the composer on a human reaction to the weather as dogs bark, the wind blows and wasps buzz. When combining the orchestral and solo violin parts to make my harp arrangement, I created a display of virtuosity, in which the harp showcases the breadth of its colour palette, and the harpist gives a display of technical prowess.”
Keziah has been described as ‘totally original and engaging’ by the New York Concert Review, and of possessing “scrupulous attention to the harp’s rhythmic and dynamic possibilities” by The Times.
Keziah, who is principal harp with the Covent Garden Sinfonia and performs as a chamber musician with 4 Girls 4 Harps, has won several awards including London Harp Competition, the Camac Harp Competition and the Contemporary Record Society Performing Artists Competition.
Keziah has performed at major venues and festivals around the world including a solo tour of Japan for Aoyama Harps, concerts for Astral Artists in the USA and performances at the World Harp Congresses in Geneva, Dublin, Amsterdam and Cardiff.
Elsewhere, Keziah is the founder of two popular harp programmes: Retreat to the Harp, a series of workshops and study weekends that bring together those who share her love of the harp and Little Harp Social, a group learning programme for adults. Keziah has also been teaching in the harp department at the Guildhall School since 2020 and is a resident musician for the charity Breathe.
Birmingham Concert details: Tuesday 27th September. The concert begins at 7.00pm. Tickets are priced £10 for adults, £3 for under-18s, and can be booked via Eventbrite HERE