Press

microphone “…The unexpected delight of the evening was violinist James Ehnes and harpist Heidi Krutzen in a Saint-Saens “Fantaisie” (Op. 124), which was all elegance and subtlety.” – The Seattle Times

“The musicians [Couloir ~ Ariel Barnes cello Heidi Krutzen harp] are skillful, deeply connected to the moment of creation both with their own instruments and each other” – The Minnedosa Tribune

★ ★ ★ ★  “…..flautist Lorna McGhee, violist David Harding, and harpist Heidi Krutzen worked their Debussian magic, they captured the flow and the feeling that delivers this music as an entity, free of bumps, paragraphs, and all the structural definition and articulation Debussy so wanted to avoid. This was beautiful, fluid, atmospheric and seam-free.

The rest of the programme was drop-dead gorgeous….. – The Herald Scotland

“The afternoon [at CBC Glenn Gould Studio, Toronto] was brought to a sensational conclusion by Ravel’s “Introduction and Allegro”…. During the solo cadenza of the final allegro, Ms. Krutzen’s outstanding touch made the hairs on the back of my neck tingle.” – Showtimemagazine.ca

“…the body language of (cellist) Barnes and harpist Heidi Krutzen drew the assemblage into their shared artistic vision so convincingly… many welcome moments of emotional/intellectual bliss.”  [Ottawa International Chamber Music Festival] – JWR International Directory of Fine Arts and Film

“Flutist Lorna McGhee and harpist Heidi Krutzen were perfectly attuned to each other and to the music.…two delectable contemporary rarities for flute and harp…..The evening opened with Astor Piazzolla’s “Histoire du Tango”….., a hugely entertaining work in two parts that varies from ebullience to intimate yearning. They also presented the U.S. premiere of “Taheke,” by New Zealand composer Gareth Farr; it’s a musical representation of waterfalls, evocative and adventurous at once – a piece that deserves a place in the flute-harp repertoire.” – The Seattle Times

★ ★ ★ ★ superb style and finesse…..exquisitely expressed……highly accomplished and at ease across different styles of music.   – The Scotsman [Trio Verlaine]

“…Commenta for solo harp…bears the mark of Pentland’s adventurous imagination with her use of bent tones, echo effects, and eerie harmonies.  It is an exciting work, especially in this incisive performance by harpist Heidi Krutzen.” – Wholenote Magazine [review of Disasters of the Sun CD]

“The shimmer of Maurice Ravel’s Sonatine launched the concert proper with a sensuality that only the combination of French music, flute and harp can create: pure decadence.  Local duo Lorna Mc Ghee, flute, and Heidi Krutzen, harp were joined by violist Scott Dickinson of the U.K.-based Leopold Trio for an exquisite performance.  Once you have heard this [Salzedo] arrangement, the original solo piano version will never satisfy again.

“…the Ravel held me in raptures…” – The Vancouver Sun

“….the mature, sensitive artistry of the Krutzen/McGhee Duo sets this disc apart from and above many  other flute and harp recordings.  If you are a member of a duo, listen to this disc to hear how it should be done.” [review of Canada, New Works for flute and harp] – The Harp Column Magazine

“ …Sensuous, romantic and all but airborne, the Ravel drew sighs of enjoyment from [the] audience.  A stellar ensemble was assembled for the Ravel: harpist Heidi Kruzen, flutist Lorna McGhee, clarinetist Frank Kowalsky, and a string quartet featuring Erin Keefe, Steven Copes, David Harding and Robert DeMaine.  Krutzen’s performance was immaculate; the rest of the ensemble took graceful turns with the melodies.” – The Seattle Times

“…Their rendition of the Mozart Flute and Harp Concerto at the Gala Concert was the single most extraordinarily exquisite performance of that piece that I’ve ever heard, and it became the talk of the convention.  This special duo breathed new life into this work ….they looked genuinely surprised when the audience rose to their feet in a standing ovation.” – The Flutist Quarterly

“…Only in a festival format can we hear live Ravel’s Introduction and Allegro for harp, flute, clarinet and string quartet.  It’s hard otherwise to gather the players together, and rarely at such a polished level, as here.  Harpist Heidi Krutzen, flutist Lorna McGhee, clarinetist Frank Kowalsky, violinists Erin Keefe and Steven Copes, violist David Harding and cellist Robert DeMaine drew out its dreamy, color-washed feel from the first gentle notes of the winds together to the equally exquisite harp cadenza near the end.

…. another inspired pairing for harp, flute and viola followed with Krutzen, McGhee and Harding. Sofia Gubadulina’s “In the Garden of Joy and Sorrow” uses all the resources of the instruments to create the sense of a garden alive with growth and fluttering… the result was a wonderful mesh of instrumental colors.” – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“Do I have an unfair bias reviewing a harp CD that includes a flutist? Might your humble reviewer—a flute player from the past—be hyper-critical? Let’s just put things in perspective. As Trio Verlaine’s new CD Six Departures awaited my review, I played it numerous times on air, maybe too numerous. It is so beautifully balanced, contains new music for trio (at least to my ears), and is filled with such marvelous musicianship, that I could not hold myself back.

Many a trio is formed to play Debussy’s Trio, and then find they want and need to make more music together. Trio Verlaine kept the fires burning and has successfully brought new music into the fold that is worth learning and performing.

Arnold Bax’s Elegiac Trio begins the disc with the harp gently crashing waves along a lonely shore. A man who used the pseudonym Dermot O’Byrne to write romantic Irish novels, Bax was fascinated with the sounds of the Emerald Isle. His use of flute and harp is obvious, the viola gives this memoriam to those lost in the Easter Uprising of 1916 depth and profundity. Violist David Harding’s tone is astonishingly rich, matched by Lorna McGhee who never allows her sound to become harsh even as she reaches to the upper register of the flute. Harpist Heidi Krutzen brings out just the right qualities to tie the bow on a ravishing color.

That’s exactly it—exactly what hooks you throughout this entire disc—the color. There is never a moment when you feel the instruments are disconnected. Clearly they are distinct sounds, but if you bear with me as I make up a new word, it’s as though they are one instrument, a vioflarp. The quality of ensemble is so complete. This becomes most evident on Jeffrey Cotton’s Six Departures. In writing this piece commissioned for the trio, Cotton clearly has their sound in mind. They can play a pianissimo that will make you weep, while never losing quality and a forte that screams, but again, is full and pregnant with meaning. The Departures come from the land of sunshine, but look back in time to Expressionist Germany with dances given just the jagged punchy edge of an open Pandora’s box.

R. Murray Schaffer is a composer as well as an environmentalist and founder of “acoustic ecology.” His Trio pulses with life, verdant and green, and movement that’s organic and as primeval as a virgin forest in the far Northwest. Trio Verlaine sings splendidly together and also finds the lightness of footing for the sassy finale “Rhythmic.”

The final work by Jolivet returns the ear to the more familiar French version of flute/harp/viola music, but with a twist. Jolivet traveled through North Africa to rediscover the magic qualities of music and places incantation forefront as this music’s purpose. Trio Verlaine unabashedly enters the realm of the mysterious in his Petite Suite. The result is otherworldly, haunting, and mesmerizing.

I am not surprised to learn these three musicians who make up Trio Verlaine are deeper friends than simply chamber music partners, but it must be lonely living across the continent from one another. Let’s hope they keep making music of this spectacular quality. ” – Harp Column Magazine

“…all of the works have a sort of timelessness born of the instrumentation’s haunting brilliance of sound, especially in the hands of so capable artists as Trio Verlaine. They sparkle with carefully balanced and meticulously phrased lyricism and so bring out the highlights and contrasts of these fine works.” – Gapplegate Classical-Modern Music Review [Six Departures]

“…Krutzen and McGhee, so vibrant and young, have boldly ventured into territory originally staked out by Robert Aiken and Erica Goodman and have emerged with wondrous stories to tell.” – Wholenote Magazine

 “…The virtuosic eight-minute Commenta requires a performer who can respond to the work’s substantial variety of textures and registral changes, as well as the extensive number of extended harp techniques.  Harpist Heidi Krutzen tackles these passages with the utmost aplomb.” – CAML Review (Canadian Association of Music Libraries)

“The evenings biggest highlights, however, were both expected and totally unanticipated.  The surprise came from a fresh work by young New Zealand composer Gareth Farr, whose recent Taheke was written for flutist Lorna McGhee and harpist Heidi Krutzen.  This sensational Vancouver duo made the piece instantly familiar; it managed to evoke the French impressionism associated with those instruments while maintaining a contemporary edge.” – The Georgia Straight

“…their understanding of each other is readily apparent…..

“…McGhee with a gutsy, emphatic approach on the flute, and Krutzen, delivering a percussive sharpness on the harp, made the most of the piece, aligning their instruments with Piazzolla’s aesthetic.  [Farr] gives the musicians much to do – quick and rapid passages to long, simmering phrases – which McGhee and Krutzen delivered with poise.” – Seattle Post-Intelligencer music critic

“One of the happiest arrangements of Ravel’s music is one by the French master harpist Carlos Salzedo, of the early Sonatine for piano solo into a trio for harp, flute and viola.  Flutist Lorna McGhee, harpist Heidi Krutzen, and violist Marcus Thompson made it sound as though Ravel couldn’t have written it any other way, bringing out the rippling-water effect that is one of Ravel’s trademarks.  The harmonious meshing of timbres was sheer delight.” – Seattle Post-Intelligencer

“…Flute, harp and viola are not natural companions, but McGhee, Harding and Krutzen made them seem so with a keen sense of ensemble.  Separate voices blended readily but not to any sacrifice of their individuality.  The sonata is the kind of Debussy that moves in its own particular Debussian universe, dissimilar to most composers around him.  The three musicians had no trouble with those distinctions; in fact, they reveled in them.” – Seattle Post Intelligencer

“[Heidi Krutzen] managed the Japanese-influenced composition by sounding both like a koto and, when required, a philharmonic of angels, even simultaneously……this piece [Hendrik Andriessen’s Intermezzo for flute and harp] flew through the concert venue and our psyches, propelling us to heights of wonderment.” – The Vancouver Observer

“Her solo performance of an arrangement of Handel’s Prelude and Toccata transported the enthusiastic audience to another space and time.” – The Vernon Morning Star

“….This is a wonderful disc [Taheke, 20th Ce Masterpieces for flute and harp], and an excellent addition to the flute and harp discography.  I find the Krutzen/McGhee Duo a very exciting and forward-thinking combination.” – British Flute Society – Pan Magazine

“Part of this recording’s success is of course the ensemble being just that, an actual ensemble, so the performances by Lorna McGhee, David Harding, and Heidi Krutzen are assured and enthralling…..nothing of it’s content becomes repetitive, ragged, or gimmicky.  It’s one of a kind.” – Wholenote Magazine [review of Fin de Siècle – Music of Debussy and Ravel]

“…Debussy’s  unique Sonata for Flute, Viola and Harp opened the program….it was an innovative mix of sound, and the Trio Verlaine (flutist Lorna McGhee, violist David Harding and harpist Heidi Krutzen) made the most of Debussy’s 1915 score…. Harding’s wide vibrato suited the music’s angularity well, and the ending and fading into the ether, was captivating. McGhee’s control of pianissimo highlighted the Interlude, connecting the swirl of harp arpeggios and a beguiling false cadence before the ending…” – The San Francisco Classical Voice

“These two musicians [Lorna McGhee (flute), Heidi Krutzen (harp)] are to be celebrated for their superb musicianship….The Handel Prelude and Toccata played as a harp solo was a tour de force. Bravo!” – Oliver Chronicle

“…The Debussy Sonata, with Lorna McGhee (flute), Heidi Krutzen (harp) and David Harding (viola) , was a particularly happy combination of textures and beautifully balanced sound.” – The Seattle Times

“….For performance, sound and music, this is a splendid disc [Taheke, 20th Ce Masterpieces for flute and harp] all around” – The Vancouver Courier

“…Guest harpist Heidi Krutzen moved forward eight centuries with the willowy “Siciliana” by Ottorino Respighi, a solo that showcased lightening-fast fingerwork and the lovely timbre…of her instrument…..Krutzen demonstrated why she’s one of the city’s finest instrumentalists with an emotional rendition of Handel’s “Prelude and Toccata.” – The Georgia Straight

“Armanini does deserve thanks for his own contribution to the program: Green and Gold/Black and White/Red, in which yangqin (hammer dulcimer) player Vivian Xia and harpist Heidi Krutzen used the contrasting tones of their respective instruments to stunning effect.  The yangqin is nasal and penetrating, the harp soothing and lush…” – The Georgia Straight

“Particularly charming was the performance of [R. Murray Schafer’s] Theseus by Quatuor Bozzini and [Heidi] Krutzen. This musical, onomatopoetic narrative of the Greek myth of Theseus slaying the minotaur was wonderfully executed by the group, with the sensitive and enthusiastic Krutzen leading the charge.” – Straight.com

“Three superb musicians, flutist Lorna McGhee, harpist Heidi Krutzen and violist David Harding [….] have a CD out on Skylark, called Fin de Siècle with music by Debussy and Ravel, one that I’d give five stars for its ravishing playing.” – Vancouver Sun

“…In their “Tao of Windflow” program June 28, these three showed how good a trio can get when they spend a lot of time together…making music and coming up with truly original programs.” – The Register-Guard

“…an exceptionally full and round flute sound, combined with a luscious harp tone….a rare and memorable treat.” – Kamloops Daily News

“Lorna McGhee is joined on this CD by two excellent musicians: her husband, the viola player David Harding, and her long-term recital partner, the harpist Heidi Krutzen, in a programme of arrangements plus the Debussy Sonate……the Sonate is played superbly….I had difficulty imagining the Ravel Sonatine on anything other than a piano, but this version works beautifully, so does the trio arrangement by Jocelyn Morlock of Le Tombeau de Couperin, and indeed all of the other works.  This is a delightful and hugely enjoyable disc.”

[review of Fin de Siècle – Music of Debussy and Ravel] – British Flute Society – Pan Magazine

“Perhaps it’s not a huge step form the original guitar, but Krutzen’s reworkings for harp loses none of the spirit of Piazzolla’s original and adds a bracing freshness of it’s own.” – The Vancouver Courier

“always nicely performed and recorded.  Five stars.” [Canada, New Works for flute and harp] – Sound Advice, CBC Radio

“Of all the instruments in the world, nothing, to me, is more beautiful than the harp. Krutzen was as captivating to watch as she was to listen to. They were simply spellbinding.”

[Krutzen/McGhee Duo] – The Kelowna Daily Courier

The highlight of the program—which was all romantic—was the four Brahms songs for three-part chorus, and there isn’t a lovelier one in the bunch than the opening number, “Es tönt ein voller Harfenklang”, which we got to hear twice, since Krutzen broke a string on her harp right at the end of the first go. Twice wasn’t too much: it was just as moving, if not more so, the second time. The singers’ [Elektra Women’s Choir] performance was radiant, while the harp suggested wind and water and the horns evoked distant woods……

And Krutzen, a terrifically sensitive harpist, said the last word with Gabriel Fauré’s Une châtelaine en sa tour.” – Straight.com

“McGhee on her flute sustains high notes on a feather and Krutzen’s captivating warm sound and clean finger work on harp is an art form in itself to watch.” [Mozart’s Concerto for flute and harp] – Vernon Morning Star 

“The soloists – Heidi Krutzen, Harp and Lorna McGhee, flute, …..were outstanding….they tackled virstuoso passages with ease, playing as one…their cadenzas were full of vigor and warmth.” [Mozart Concerto for flute and harp] – Kelowna Daily Courier

“Flute and harp duos looking for recital fare will find much music here worthy of discovery.” [Canada, New Works for flute and harp] – Gramophone Magazine

“The piece [R. Murray Schafer’s “Theseus”] was full of interesting extended techniques for the harp, and no shortage of equally interesting sounds from the string ensemble.  The performance was nothing short of transfixing….” [Heidi Krutzen, Carmit Zori, Suzanne Beia, Yura Lee, Parry Karp] – 77 Square Madison

“Il y a plusieurs belles rencontres à faire sur ce joli disque…..Superbe maîtrise des deux solistes. Un hommage à la diversité canadienne.” – La Scena Musicale

“The two musicians returned as a duet for New Zealand composer Gareth Farr’s “Taheke,” with McGhee’s double breathing and Krutzen’s nimble strumming making music that flowed as if down a hill.” – San Antonio Express News

“People gathered….. to hear two people have a conversation….like old friends on a quiet afternoon, they described a beautiful girl with flaxen hair and an awe-inspiring waterfall with crescendos and fermatas, as well as spirited allegros and languorous adagios.” [Krutzen/McGhee Duo performance] – The Shreveport Times

“Adding to the delight of the canons was the presence of harpist Heidi Krutzen, whose delicate and precise touch lent added grace to the performance.” – North Shore News

“Debussy’s “Prelude to The Afternoon of a Faun” had been arranged for flute and harp, giving flautist and BDDS principal Stephanie Jutt and harpist Heidi Krutzen a chance to open the afternoon on a high note (so to speak.) The composition’s dreamy qualities were brought to the forefront in a performance beautifully and delicately played.” – BRAVA Magazine

“….there was a vulnerability as well, and Donizetti’s delicate harp accompaniment (gently and sensitively played by Heidi Krutzen) underscored Lucia’s fragile grasp on reality.” [Vancouver Opera] – The Westender

Blog Postings

“Harpist Heidi Krutzen and flutist Lorna McGhee were especially enjoyable. Lorna’s sound on two low register flutes…..was luxuriously rich. Heidi played with astoundingly controlled passion and confidence” – bikesbirdsnbeasts.blogspot

“To say their [Krutzen/McGhee Duo] performance last night was a glorious example of music making at its finest would be an understatement….the audience was treated to a stunningly beautiful and immensely expressive performance. Both musicians demonstrated complete mastery of their respective instruments at every turn of phrase.” – Flute List

“The Krutzen/McGhee Duo treated everybody to a luminous performance of Wild Bird (R.Murray Schafer) – heartstopping ensemble playing and as close to technical perfection as one can get!” – BC Harps Review

“Much of the program was a showcase for the excellent Vancouver-based duo of flutist Lorna McGhee and harpist Heidi Krutzen, who anchored the modern center of the program either on their own (in Gareth Farr’s atmospheric “Taheke”) or in combination with others.

Each of the three movements of Farr’s piece, commissioned by Krutzen and McGhee, portrays a waterfall in his native New Zealand…..it’s quite lovely, handsomely made and worthy of close attention…..

…..Crumb’s scoring for both flute and harp is highly coloristic….The performance [of “Federico’s Seven Little Songs for Children” with soprano Mary Bonhag] was fully attuned to Crumb’s aesthetic and entirely convincing. [Cactus Pear Music Festival] – incident light Mike Greenberg 

“Canada, New works for flute and harp” is the latest release on the Skylark Music label from the acclaimed Krutzen/McGhee Duo, one of North America’s leading ensembles of this instrumental combination. Flutist Lorna McGhee (former Principal flute BBC Symphony) and harpist Heidi Krutzen (Principal harp, Vancouver Opera) display their depth as musicians, with a dazzling show of instrumental colour, sensitivity and virtuosity in this, their second CD on the Skylark label. Committed to broadening the repertoire for their instruments, they shine the spotlight here on Canadian talent, including works by renowned composers R. Murray Shafer and Marjan Mozetich, as well as three of their own commissions from Owen Underhill, Jocelyn Morlock and Cameron Wilson, a harp solo written for Heidi Krutzen by Marc Armanini and a solo flute work by Milton Barnes. In short, the choice of repertoire is a personal one — reflecting the composers that have inspired both Heidi and Lorna. The result is a smorgasbord of differing musical styles, a window on Canadian diversity, from the Asian-influenced Pacific Rim to the Celtic music of the Eastern seaboard, from the Arctic Circle to the heart of Ontario. It is a toast to the health of Canadian artistry! – Seinfeld blog

“Bach to Bax for example, began with Bach’s Sonata in E flat for flute and harp, which in itself is an unusual combination, “A bit of a risk” as Schotten put it, and a risk well worth taking.  Artists Lorna McGhee on flute and Heidi Krutzen on harp combined for a fascinating piece, and I found a new appreciation for the harp.” – Strings in the Mountains blog

….Heidi Krutzen, an absolutely first-rate harpist from Canada….. – The Well-Tempered Ear