Images of Gottlieb Kruger

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    Aaron Fernuik on #193131

    Maybe some of my harp historians can help me out with this one. It’s usually simple as can be to find paintings, drawings, or photos of famous historical harpists that most of us trace our pedagogical pedigree through. Every harpist that I’ve looked for images or some kind of likeness of have been really easy to find… nothing more than a quick Google search. However, one seems to elude me: Gottlieb Kruger.

    Who?! Well, let me take it back for you a bit. Some of us take our harp pedigree back to any of the famous students of Alphonse Hasselmans (Marcel Grandjany, Carlos Salzedo, Marcel Tournier, Henriette Renie, etc.) and then stop. That’s enough to satisfy most. But Gottlieb Kruger is our link to older harpists like Nicolas-Charles Bochsa. So if were going from older to more recent, Bochsa taught Elias Parish-Alvars, and HE taught Gottlieb Kruger, Kruger taught Hasselmans, and Hasselmans taught almost every modern pedagogue for the harp.

    But where are the images of Kruger? There has to be a painting or drawing of him somewhere. Does anyone know or have any ideas of new places for me to look? I’ve done all the research I can without being in the immediate vicinity of any archives or collections where I could physically look.

    Aaron Fernuik on #193133

    Well, for heaven’s sake. Not even 30 minutes, and I get the help I needed. And to be honest, I didn’t expect even one reply. Tayce, that’s fantastic! Thank you SO much. Truly, I’m grateful to you.

    carl-swanson on #193134

    Hasselmans studied with a variety of people, including Kruger. My teacher, Pierre Jamet, who had studied with Hasselmans, told me that it was Hasselmans who really codified modern harp technique. Before him there were various hand positions, various ways of articulating(pulling) the fingers, various arm positions. But it was Hasselmans who figured out what worked and what didn’t. Hasselmans had no use for the chromatic harp and I think regularly stole promising students from that class at the Paris Conservatory, including my teacher Pierre Jamet. Hasselmans best student, Henriette Renie, wrote her Methode to document the principals of Hasselmans technique. So you can read all about this in Renie’s book.

    Aaron Fernuik on #193135

    I had no idea you studied with Jamet. How fortunate! When I was listing Hasselmans’ pupils, I just knew I was going to potentially offend (not that you’re offended) possible students of the other equally important harp giants that I so carelessly grouped under the heading “etc.” Jamet is by no means an “etc.” My apologies.

    The reason I was trying to trace myself back to at least Bochsa is for the purpose of my FRSM (still at least three years off) written submission and Viva Voce. I’m focusing my program on music that makes the transition from late Classical to early Romantic, which also happens to be right around the time we pivot from single-action (Bochsa) to double-action (Parish-Alvars). I also just came into a double action Erard built in 1813 (three years after the double-action patent) to play some of my exam music on. So, as I say, we’re still a few years off, but I gotta do something in the time I’m not practicing, and research/reading/gathering is never a waste of time.

    Thanks for your input, Carl. Impeccable and welcome resource, as always.

    carl-swanson on #193138

    Aaron- Absolutely no offense at all. Hasselmans taught virtually all of the 20th century virtuosos and established the method that virtually all harpists use to play the harp. And please, to all the Salzedo harpists out there reading this: Salzedo did NOT play using Salzedo method. Many harpists who knew and studied with him told me he played the way he was taught, with solid French method!

    Gretchen Cover on #193150

    Since this thread digressed to harp methods, I would encourage harpists to go online and find a copy of Mes Exercises pour la harpe by Felix Godefroid. Maybe Carl could summarize the introduction because he speaks/reads French. But my reason for this suggestion is the engraving of Godefroid’s hand position and his four observations below (the one I could understand said “don’t rock the harp”). Hasselmans studied with both Krueger and Godefroid. Godefroid dropped the single action pedal harp in favor of the newly invented double action pedal harp and pioneered much of the modern harp technique. You can see that in his exercises and music.

    carl-swanson on #193152

    Gretchen- If you or someone else can provide a link to the Godefroid text, I’d be happy to read it and either translate or summarize it. I’ve got piles of old music and method books here. But I don’t think I have one by Godefroid. I’ll look, but I’m not hopeful.

    Gretchen Cover on #193153

    Carl, I emailed you my download. I cannot figure out to get a link onto HC. If you go to google and type “mes excercices pour la harpe godefroid”, a link to and come up. You can then export as a pdf to download. The book is 57 pages total. The exercises are great and a good add-on to your Boscha etudes.

    Harpist Celia Chan wrote a dissertation about Godefroid that is very useful and interesting. It gives insights into the transition from the harp as a right hand melody instrument with left hand accompaniment to what is played now. I find it fascinating how the early harpists figured out such complicated finger patterns and pushed the limits of the harp. It is available at Cost is $38.00US for a download. Search under the Dissertation and Thesis link for “Felix Godefroid: Virtuoso Harpist and Composer.” If this does not work for you, contact me offline and I will send you the link from Celia’s email to me.

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