The CD comes with a 20-page booklet of program notes, narrating Chopin's life and love affair with Georg Sand, and tying in the story behind each piece. Excerpt: "Do [Chopin's] Polonaises not represent the solemn dance of valiant lords, those superb Palatines, interrupted by alerts, by departures for combat, by proud surges of patriotism?" -Solange Clesinger Composed during Frederic Chopin's youth in the early 1820's, the Polonaise in G# minor easily affirms this observation made by Georg Sand's daughter and Chopin's devoted friend, which not only expresses the deep patriotic significance of this national dance, but also conveys to us the exoticism and nationalism associated with Polish exiles in Paris during the 1830's. Links between France and Poland have existed for centuries, reinforced by royal alliances and the Napoleonic Wars. The relationship between Chopin and Sand reflects this deep Franco-Polish bond: a romantic alliance between an iconic Polish pianist and a renowned French authoress. Theirs was a union that exemplified not only the connection between their two countries, but also the ideals of the Romantic Movement in which artists of varying disciplines gained inspiration from each other's work. After nine years together, however, an unfortunate misunderstanding drove them apart, and before explanations could be brought forth, the tuberculosis that Chopin had been battling since his youth finally claimed his life. Despite the fact that Chopin composed almost exclusively for the piano, never writing a single note for the harp, he was an active participant in the exchange between artistic disciplines that was common at the time. In this spirit, the exploration of Chopin's musical style does not have to be confined to the piano. Much of the early repertoire of the then-innovative pedal harp was born of the musical style and artistic inspirations surrounding Chopin and Sand, and in this way brings alive the story of their love and their life for listeners today. Biography: Based in Paris, France, timeless source of artistic inspiration and cradle of the modern harp, the Atlantic Harp Duo undertakes to bring the richness of two harps to music otherwise beyond the possibilities of a single instrument. Founded in 2006 by Marta Power Luce and Elizabeth Jaxon, both natives of the Great Lakes Region of the United States, the harp duo performs regularly on each side of the Atlantic. Ms. Luce and Ms. Jaxon both studied under Isabelle Perrin at the École Normale de Musique de Paris. Ms. Luce received her Diplôme de Concertiste in 2008, and holds a degree in Musicology (Licence de Musicologie) from the Sorbonne. She has participated in numerous international harp competitions, winning prizes in the Félix Godefroid International Competition in Belgium and the North London Festival of Music and Drama, among others. Ms. Jaxon received her Bachelor's of Music in 2006 from the University of Illinois where she studied with Ann Yeung. In 2009, she earned her École Normale Diplôme de Concertiste. After moving to Paris, she was awarded prizes in several international competitions, including the First International Harp Competition of Szeged in Hungary, and participated in the world-renowned International Harp Contest in Israel in 2009. Ms. Luce maintains an active teaching studio and performing career in Paris, and Ms. Jaxon has recently been appointed Lecturer of Harp at Mahidol University College of Music, in Thailand. The Atlantic Harp Duo has been among the finalists in the International Chamber Music Competition with Harp in Madrid, Spain, and in the UFAM Competition in Paris, and has been invited to the Villecroze Music Academy in 2010. Since it's conception, the duo has performed in the Great Lakes Region of the USA, as well as in Europe and Asia. Always striving towards the most informed musical interpretation, the duo has consulted directly with composers of the major works of their repertoire - Jean-Michel Damase, Bernard Andrès, Anthony Girard, and Caroline Lizotte. They have also inspired new compositions by Damien Luce and Franck Villard and regularly compile their own transcriptions in an effort to enrich the harp's repertoire.