Bizet’s “L’Arlesienne”

  • Spectator
    Sid Humphreys on #151854

    I would appreciate any help with this piece from anyone who has played the third movement (Menuet). At rehearsal point D it has become apparant to me that this part was written for a piano as the decending scale seems to be designed for 5 fingers instead of 4. Also, the D natural in the third measre of that same section, what a tricky change to do when you just played a D flat and there are several C’s near-by to use instead. I’m seriously wanting to whittle this down as there are too many instruments playing here to really hear the harp part well if not at all. I would appreciate someone’s input here!

    Sid Humphryes

    rosalind-beck on #151855

    Sid, possible modifications:

    Sid Humphreys on #151856

    Thank you Rosalind, I have already started the thumb slide as you suggested, and leaving out the D in the 3rd measure as well. I’m going to try the rest of your suggestions. With so many intruments playing in this section I just see no reason why to knock myself out. You are very right that this piece responds well to practice. The tempo is nice and easy.


    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #151857

    To my ears, it is a major harp part, and the harp leads the other instruments. They are doubling the harp, not the other way around. I would think of it as classical rather than pianistic. I love to play it as a solo. It’s a bit like Berlioz in his Symphonie Fantastique: hard to learn, but worth it in the end. The harp also seems to carry pretty well.

    Sid Humphreys on #151858

    I agree with you Saul that this is a major harp part, but really, really listen to a recording of this piece. Do yo hear the harp in that section? I hear it in the first two measures and then if fades out and comes back in. On the front of my music it says “for harp or piano.” That gives me a clue that, like so much of our music, it was written by a pianist who had knowlege of the harp. I could be seriously wrong here. And you encourage me to learn the part as written ( I never thought of playing this as a solo). Still I welcome advice from others who have palyed this!


    rosalind-beck on #151859

    Saul, it makes a nice duet with just flute and harp.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #151860

    I love it with flute and harp. I have recordings by Beecham and Stokowski, and they certainly liked to hear the harp. Some harpists just don’t project or don’t try to. Bizet writes beautifully for the harp. Don’t be put off by the part.

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