Any tips on whether I should bother trying to combine all 3 parts?
Diane- Are you performing the 1911 edition? Most performances of the Stravinsky ballets are of the 1940 something editions. The only reason he made the later editions was so he could get copyright and therefore income, which he couldn’t get from the original editions. Maybe after all this time conductors are thinking of going back to the original versions.
You nailed it, Saul. They actually only thought to hire this lone harpist on Tuesday for a Saturday rehearsal concert that also includes Don Juan. Actually, the contractor only mentioned those two pieces, but their publicity release also lists Barber’s Knoxville… The contractor seemed surprised when I mentioned he might want to look into a harp part for that and I haven’t heard from him since. The musician in me wants to be studious about the Stravinsky (I do have the score), but the realist is resisting – too many notes in not enough time with just harp 1. It’s not my problem to solve, unless, of course, they pay me the salary of 3 harpists…
Personally, I would play harp 1 and harp 1 only. If the conductor or anyone else asks you to combine parts, ask if the oboist is also going to play both first and second parts as well!
Sorry, but the harp being the one instrument that gets asked to combine parts is a pet peeve.
Funny story about this concert. The orchestra manager sent me a pdf of the Barber 2 days before the concert, and a pdf of the 1919 edition, but no apology for sending the 1911 2 days earlier. OK, fine, I’ve played 1919 and the Barber, just needed to focus on the Strauss. Rehearsed the Strauss right before the concert, conductor says, let’s do the Mahler and then take a break. I glance at the music on a neighbor’s stand: it’s the Adagietto. Final score for the orchestra manager? He accurately hired me for 1 out of the 4 pieces on the program.
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