Hi there, I’m a principal with the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra and
I’m playing very old L&H ,now i want to buy a new Horhgacher harp for
the orchestra. What do you think about these harps.Thanks,Julia
About twelve years ago my husband and I were shown around the factory by Max Horngacher. Everything was orderly and you realized German thoroughness in detail was going on. Then we came to the room where several finished models were on display, that customers could try. The tone was beautiful on each, as well as the workmanship. What impressed me most was that the walls of the room were covered with glossy photographs of prominent solo harpists and orchestra harpists, each with his/her Horngacher, and a few words of praise for the instrument written beside their signatures. I feel you would not make a mistake in choosing a Horngacher but of course like any harp it will need service from time to time. Inquire if there is someone trained in this, in Israel. Best wishes, Julia.
Nancy Allen, the fabulous solo recording artist, plays a Horngacher. I played on one, many
years ago when the company was called Obermeyer, and I was very impressed by the true
harmonics and the smooth sound from one note to the next. I didn’t notice any false
sounds or buzzes.
I’ve heard two Horngacher harps played in recitals. They look elegant in a very Prussian sort of way. I wasn’t so impressed with the sound. It was very good up to a point, but didn’t seem to have the strength you may want for symphonic playing. You may also want to check the kind of wood they use and how it will respond to a dry climate. I used to hear that European harps were sometimes made of woods that needed humidity and that they would crack in North America. I don’t know if any of the builders still use such woods, I think larch or fruitwoods may have been the ones. It sounds like they are used to hearing Lyon & Healy. What are the Russian harps like?
Shalom Julia and hag sameach,
I had the opportunity to play on a fine Horngacher harp a few year ago and the World Harp Congress in Seattle, Washington. In comparison I found that the harps that have the Zabaleta dampening pedal installed were the best and produced a sound that was of a far higher and richer quality then L&H bests Gold Style 23. I recently purchased a L&H Gold 23 because of the higher cost of Horngacher and the import fee and customs trouble. I would be pleased to see one of those harps in the Israel Philharmonic Orchestra in the future. Perhaps harps like those will find themselves in the Temple Orchestra in the future.
When I played in a German orchestra in the 80’s, the orchestra provided an older Obermeyer and a newer Lyon & Healy. I always chose the Obermeyer for symphonic and solo performances because of its wonderful sound. I haven’t heard newer Horngacher harps — perhaps you could find a used one for your orchestra.
In my humble opinion, the sound of Horngachers and Camacs are the same. I played a duet with a previous teacher of mineat a recital; she was on her Horngacher, and I was on my Camac Atlantide. No one could tell which harp was which as far as sound quality went. Personally, I think when you get a Horngacher, you’re paying for the name. You can get just as well-made harps for much less expensive through Camac! I love Camac harps! The quality of Camac is really good, from what I’ve seen, and I endorse them completely!
I hope you alredy have a new Horngacher and you are enjoying it.
I have played on different kind of Horngachers(mostly Orchestra model)
and I have loved them for their deep warm sound. I also have noticed,
that there are no big balance problems in the orchestra because Horngachers have big sound and they are bright enough on the high octaves. For me Horngacher is good also because it is not so high as
Lyon&Healys so it is easier to play in high octaves. There is also
enough room for the hand.
I think that a Horngacher harp will also last for a long time, because most of them, that I have played on, were already pretty old.
In my point of view the only bad thing is the high price of these marvelous harps.
All the best!
I am sorry, but a Camac, made of carbon fiber, can in no way be compared to a Horngacher. Horngacher are top instruments, nothing to do with the name but the 800-900hours of work that go into each instrument, not being churned out of a factory. These 2 instruments should not, and I believe, cannot be compared.
I have not heard an instrument that can compare to a fine Lyon & Healy harp in an orchestra. The two harps they made for the Philadelphia Orchestra are about the finest I have ever heard. I would go with a specially ordered new harp from them if you haven’t already purchased a new harp. I hear the new Salvi’s have have a bigger sound, as do the Venus, but it’s a different quality. The Camacs I’ve heard so far
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