Marcel Tournier 1879-1951, is an important composer who was also a virtuoso harpist. His music has impressionistic harmonies with romantic melodies. He wrote for harp, chamber ensembles, piano and other instruments, and composed for choir and stage. One of his most famous harp compositions, “Au Matin,” is recorded and performed often.
His family was musical, his father was a luthier, and his first teacher was Hasselmans (as was Renie’s). He won first prize at the Connservatoire of Paris in 1897, and then decided to focus on composition, his teacher being Charles-Marie Widor.
Tournier won many competitions, and became instructor at the Paris Conservatoire (he was chosen over Mme. Renie because she was a woman and because of her public disdain over the Nazi invasion. The excuse was made that they didn’t hire her because of her religious beliefs.) Tournier was actually married to a virtuosic harpist as well who also taught at the Paris Conservatoire.
Tournier’s “Images”, issued in four suites between 1925-1932, is absolutely awesome.
Feerie is a 19-page pedal harp solo of great difficulty requiring substantial ability and technique at the harp. Often used as an audition or competition piece. Very French!
Here it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0PrWt2CaALE