Identify this piece for me?

Posted In: Repertoire

  • Member
    Janis Cortese on #183760

    I’ve bookmarked the time in this video, a masterclass by Catherine Michel, where this piece is played. It’s a beautiful set of variations in Am:

    I’d love to adapt it for piano at some point. I’m nowhere NEAR where I’d need to be to play it on a harp, of course.

    Thanks for any information!

    Member
    patricia-jaeger on #183761

    Janis, there is a traditional Ukranian folk song called, Minka, Minka, and there are several groups that sing it, on YouTube. Some arranger has taken this same melody and changed the rhythm from simple eighth notes in 4/4 time, to a dotted rhythm and made it into a short piece for the harp. It may have a new name in that form, just as has happened with the American folk song Aura Lee which Elvis Presley sang as “Love Me Tender”. “Full Moon and Empty Arms” is now sold as a popular song but we know that same melody is from Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto. This happens.

    Member
    Janis Cortese on #183765

    I hope someone knows who the someone is … I’d love to chase this sheet music down. The student in question continues on with multiple variations on this during the course of the masterclass that are all wonderful.

    Participant
    Donna O on #183766

    Janis here is a link to an easy piano version . You may be able to adapt for harp. http://www.sheetmusic2print.com/Beethoven/Russian-Folk-Song-107-7.aspx

    Also the complete score here. http://imslp.org/wiki/10_National_Airs_with_Variations_for_Flute_and_Piano,_Op.107_(Beethoven,_Ludwig_van)

    Member
    patricia-jaeger on #183768

    Thanks to Donna O., for providing the link to inslp where can be found the information that Beethoven also used the Minka, Minka melody with his own variations, keeping the rhythm of the main theme intact, however. See No. 7 below:

    Composer Beethoven, Ludwig van
    Opus/Catalogue Number Op.107
    Movements/Sections 10 pieces
    Air tirolien (“I bin a Tiroler Bua”)
    Air écossais (“Bonnie Laddie, Highland Laddie”)
    Air de la petite Russie
    Air écossais (“St. Patrick’s Day”)
    Air tirolien (“A Madel, ja a Madel”)
    Air écossais (“Merch Megan”)
    Air russe (“Schöne Minka”)
    Air écossais (“O, Mary at thy Window Be”)
    Air écossais (“Oh, Thou art the Lad of my Heart”)
    Air écossais (“The Highland Watch”)
    Year/Date of Composition 1818–19
    First Publication 1820
    Piece Style Classical
    Instrumentation Flute (or violin), piano

    Member
    Janis Cortese on #183772

    Thanks, everyone! Looks like I’m working up my own versions. 🙂

    There are a couple real gems in this masterclass, too — I can understand French well enough to just barely keep up, and I found it very useful when she told that kid playing the Am variations to maintain the fingers as low as possible and use the thumb as a pivot, and also that while dogged by tension in her wrists and elbows, she found it useful to simply imagine that she had no wrists nor elbows but just two disembodied hands flitting around on the harp.

    I’m finding keeping that low-ish reach and a relaxed hand to be the most important things so far. ANY tension in my fingers, and I’m hosed.

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #183786

    I’ll just say you should have NO noticeable tension when playing the harp, ever. I would say that pivoting just transfers tension to the thumb.

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