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Harp part – does anyone know where I can get a copy/see it?

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  • #281515
    jaydg
    Participant

    I’m looking for a copy of the score, or harp part, for Rosy Wertheim’s ‘Overture for Orchestra’.

    The only place I’ve found the score is on Forbidden Music, where you can download it if you join, but when you try, it wants you to choose which Dutch bank you belong to – I’m in the UK, so that’s not getting me very far.

    Backstory – our community orchestra plays as part of the Brundibar festival in Newcastle. In a very casual aside at a weekly rehearsal, our conductor said ‘one of the pieces for the Brundibar this year has a little harp bit, would you do that?’. So I said ‘yes, as long as I can see the part well in advance, as you know I’ve only been playing a year, so I can’t sightread well’. ‘that might be difficult, as it’s one of the ‘new’ pieces (Brundibar celebrates musicians who suffered under the Nazis, and whose work is often less known than it should be, as a result).

    So – this concert is in three weeks. We will have a rehearsal six days before – that might be the first time I see the music. This is standard for our orchestra, we are master sight-readers. But I am not, on the harp. So I would really like to get an early peek to see what I have let myself in for – and write in fingerings, pedal changes or whatever.

    Any help very gratefully received!

    #281544
    Alison
    Participant

    Jaydg, ring him and ask him to get the part to you, or a good photocopy. You don’t have time to mess about, he should know harps can’t sight read everything and anyway you might need to erase and correct pedalling marks to suit yourself. Alison

    #281547
    jaydg
    Participant

    I feel like I don’t want to be someone making a ‘fuss’. But I really do need to look at the part before that rehearsal. Thank you for the reassurance that even harpists who know what they’re doing might not like to sight-read everything.

    The difficulty is that the festival is a collaboration, someone else could have rented the parts, maybe they don’t have them yet….

    I did find the place in the Netherlands that transcribed it, and I could buy the full score – but that’s obvs expensive. I have emailed to see if I could just get the harp part.

    Our conductor is totally brilliant, but I don’t know how much he’s had to with what harp players need to do with music before we can play something.

    The little bit I could see on the Dutch website suggests that there are flurries of activity for the harp, involving lots of pedal changes.

    I’ll try to get hold of someone on Monday…..

    #281577
    balfour-knight
    Participant

    Jaydg, I hope you can get the harp part in plenty of time to prepare it. I can sight-read most anything on the piano, but not on the harp, ha, ha! Even the great Henriette Renie preferred to sight-read on the piano instead of the harp, so we are in good company.

    By the way, how is learning the pedal harp going? It is so different than the lever harp! I was so lucky to learn pedal harp first, so I think it is much easier than flipping levers, ha, ha! I also love having all the flats, naturals, and sharps “under my feet,” instead of just naturals and sharps I have to change with my HANDS, which want to stay on or near the harp strings.

    Best to you, and all,
    Balfour

    #281585
    jaydg
    Participant

    Hi Balfour, Happy New Year 😊

    The producers of the music say they can send me the part early next week,so that will be sooner than the first rehearsal at least. Good to know it’s not just rank beginner harpists who don’t like to sight-read!

    I am loving the pedal harp, for the range of music I have access to, the big sound, and I prefer changing # and b with my feet too. Loads to learn though.

    Had my first online lesson yesterday which was totally brilliant – waiting to hear if there is room for me on a regular basis. Now have a million things to work on, it was so helpful 😊

    #281593
    balfour-knight
    Participant

    So glad to hear all that, Jaydg! It sounds like you and the pedal harp are meant for each other. I play piano, organ and harp professionally, and I must say that the harp is the instrument of my soul. At one of my piano concerts a few years ago, a man remarked to me after the concert “you play that piano like it is a large harp!” I asked him if he knew that I was also a harpist, and he said no, but it all made sense to him now! I had never even realized that about my piano playing, but it really made me think about it, ha, ha!

    Best of luck with your pedal harp learning,
    Balfour

    #281716
    jaydg
    Participant

    I got the part today. The parts actually hadn’t been written out, and I got mine the second they finished it, which was so kind of them. It’s mainly fine, though there are quite a lot of pedal changes, so I’m glad I got it in advance to mark them.

    Including between two glisses, where I have two beats at crotchet = 126, to make five pedal changes. Even doing two together, that’s still three sets in under a second! Hmmmmm. I’ll see who else is playing there – if there’s loads of brass going on, I won’t worry too much 😉

    #281719
    balfour-knight
    Participant

    Great you got the harp part, Jaydg! But, that place between the two glissandi sounds impossible. Wonder who overlooked that? Is there any possibility that pedals can be changed in advance before that place? Or is it one setting for the 1st gliss, and then a whole new setting for the 2nd gliss? In that case, it should have been written for two harps instead of one!

    Best of luck,
    Balfour

    #281720
    jaydg
    Participant

    Hi Balfour,
    Yes it’s one setting for the first gliss and different for the second.

    The composer was a good pianist. She’s one of the composer’s not much known because she had to go into hiding from the Nazis, so she may not have had chance to get much feedback from players.

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