All of your favorites, in one place.
Although credited to Houben, as all of its compositions are hers, she does not play on Voice with Harp which is performed by the duo of harpist Christine Kazarian and soprano Tatiana Kuzina. Recorded in April and August 2017, the album opens with the 2009 solo harp piece "Aeolian Harp" on which Kazarian gives a fine performance that highlights its sheer beauty.
In an inspired piece of programming, the album features both "Adagio" and "Songs for the Island" from Voice with Piano, allowing for comparisons of the pieces with the different instruments. Unsurprisingly, despite subtle differences between the versions, both pieces work just as well with harp as with piano. It would be senseless to say that one version is "better" than the other, because to appreciate them as compositions both versions should be heard at length.
Another intriguing choice is the inclusion of "Two Songs with Piano" here. The pieces may have been composed with piano in mind, but the versions here show them to be ideal for harp and voice. The remaining track, "Hatid," again displays the simple, uncluttered beauty that typifies so many Houben compositions.
Taken together, these three releases make a varied and fascinating introduction to Houben. With every track being of a high standard, they make a strong case for her being better known and appreciated. Highly recommended.