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Leah Stuttard — The Wool Merchant and the Harp

A rare and delightful new CD from a "medieval harpist" of today, who impressed in duo at Greenwich.

Leah Stuttard's classy first solo CD has been put 9together with artistic flair and has been a delight to play through over lunch upon arrival - perfect tafelmusick !

Leah shares the learned commentaries with David Fallows (future PhD stuff) and they are a pleasure to read.

We are told that the 1400s and early 1500s were "an absolute heyday for English music" with more English song manuscripts to be found on the Continent than those of the famous European composers !

Only a couple of points; it is hard to see the beautifully compiled insert booklet before getting it out of its slot - I nearly missed it there !

There are no track times anywhere for the 25 short items (think of radio producers !). And the disc carries no label's name; it's self-financed with the Medieval Song Network (of which I'd never heard. Interesting !). Maybe that's how it's going to get, as making your own recordings becomes affordable?

And whereas most CD leaflets are swamped by excessive CV information, this one tells us nothing about Leah herself...*

Perhaps it should all be duplicated on line?

Peter Grahame Woolf

* Leah Stuttard hails from a Lancashire mill town and has played the medieval harp for 15 years. Graduating with a first class music degree and prizes in musicology and performance from Manchester University.She studied with the well-known medieval musicologist, Professor David Fallows. In the Schola Cantorum in Basel, Switzerland she deepened her understanding of the performance techniques and background of the early harp, with Heidrun Rosenzweig as her tutor. She has also worked with bray harp expert, Bill Taylor. Her career has taken her around the world, appearing in festivals such as the York Early Music Festival, at the Southbank Centre in London, and in Rome, Madrid, Berlin, Paris, Amsterdam, New York, Los Angeles, Boston.

See also Leah playing a few pieces on YouTube.