Help for left-handed harpists performing the Saint-Saëns Fantasie for vln & harp

Posted In: Repertoire

  • Participant
    emily-mitchell on #200653
    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #200846

    Excellent ideas. If I may add to those, with any difficult passage, I have found it helps to turn it into an exercise. If you take that pattern and play it in other octaves, other sequences, it will in time become very natural to play. Also, Salzedo edited it so that you play the bottom note with your left hand thumb sometimes, which can facilitate it. And do it in each hand, it gets your brain more accustomed to it.

    Participant
    emily-mitchell on #200854
    Participant
    Alison on #200899

    I practised this so much once that I ended up with my RSI and a sore elbow again and I think tryng to play this strictly to tempo put too much prssure on me – as a listener I wouldn’t object to a lttle rubato in what is essentially the harps’ cadenza and it might take the pressure off the performer and result in an easier, more secure passage.

    Participant
    emily-mitchell on #200904
    Participant
    Alison on #200907

    I heard a marvellous performance of this work, a real dialogue between violin & harp, in the sections and the joins, they’d definately gotten rid of any metronome before they started rehearsing, and I remember not only loving it but vowing not to continue with my own violinist who is a conductor & like to set a strict tempo.

    Participant
    emily-mitchell on #201061

    The piece is a fantasy and should have that improvised feeling, but Saint-Saëns’ markings are very specific and suggest steadiness. If students realize that the accel between 2 & 5 is not all that fast, they’ll be able to adjust the largamente tempo so they don’t run into a brick wall when they get to the solo at 6. This is extremely important for left-handed harpists who struggle with RH dexterity.

    Participant
    Alison Attar on #201205

    This is marvelous. Thank you so much, Emily Mitchell!

    Participant
    emily-mitchell on #201476
    Participant
    emily-mitchell on #201657
    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #204898

    You are right about tempos. Students feel such need to prove themselves, that they race through so much music, or speed it up to make it sound harder or more impressive than it really is. The Faure Impromptu is a perfect example, which has the tempo indication of Allegro MOLTO moderato. That means, VERY moderately happy. And, I am certain, he intended for that tempo to maintain throughout the piece for all the chord passages. Then it is not so hard to play the big arpeggios in time. And the Saint-Saens solo Fantaisie is a wonderful preparation for the Fantasie with Violin, and the Faure as well.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #204899

    I agree, Emily, using LaRiviere was very helpful for me in developing facility. The more one has played a pattern before, the easier it is when encountered in repertoire.

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