Ballade Arctique on CD


Fantasias & Fugues:

Music for solo harp by Bach, Parish-Alvars, Kimbell, Turina and Renié, performed by Katrina Szederkényi — includes
Michael Kimbell’s Ballade Arctique (full version)

Ballade Arctique, written for Katrina Szederkényi in 2013, explores the coloristic and virtuosic capabilities of the harp to retell a true story of the Canadian north, originally told by Farley Mowat in his book People of the Deer. An Inuit hunter and his family are starving as the life-giving herds of caribou disappear from the northern tundra. In desperation the hunter sets out on a quest, finds and shoots a lone caribou. On his way home he encounters another starving family. Breaking the law of men, he refuses to share any of the kill. During the night he has a nightmare in which he is surrounded by howling wolves. Waking suddenly, he discovers that wolves have indeed stolen the carcass. He arrives home empty-handed to find his wife feeding the last drops of her blood to the infant. The grandmother curses him.

“Michael Kimbell’s Ballade Arctique is based on a story concerning the indigenous Inuit people of Northern Canada, a tale of a hunter who refused to share his kill with a starving man. It opens with a rather mysterious theme making a fine contrast to the preceding work. This harpist brings all of her fine skills and musicianship to reveal the many beauties of this piece. The music soon runs into a faster passage full of fantasy and invention before slowing to its original slow and mysterious nature whilst later picking up for a rhythmic, fugal passage. This is wonderfully descriptive music, brilliantly played.”
— The Classical Reviewer, 11 October 2014

CDs can be purchased in person from Michael Kimbell,
or online at MSR Classics or Amazon.

Hear the beginning of Ballad Arctique:

Ballade Arctique (full version):
The Desolate Far North — Starving Family — The Hunt — Another Starving Family —
Wolf Nightmare — Stolen Carcass — Death of Wife and Infant —
The Grandmother’s Curse (fugue)

Ballade Arctique (short version):
The Desolate Far North — Starving Family — The Hunt —
Death of Wife and Infant — The Desolate Far North

Purchase short version score from