Godefroid Stella, Romance sans paroles
Félix Godefroid (1818-1897) was the best-known concert harpist in France during the romantic era, in the wake of virtuosos like cellist Servais and violinist Bériot. While most of his works were formidable pieces for his own recitals, in his old age he also composed some delightful, easier gems for his students. Several of those are gathered in the two books of Pensées musicales. Heart-felt and uplifting, Godefroid’s musical writing reveals his propensity for melody (also in a strong left hand) and capacity for creating enchantment with the simplest devices. Celia Chan Valerio’s CD, released in honor of the bicentenary of his birth, provides a great introduction to this lost fairy-tale world.