La Sylphide – help!

Posted In: How To Play

  • Spectator
    Catherine Ashley on #60272

    I’ve been booked to play harp for the ballet “La Sylphide” with my state orchestra, and I am having a horendous time with the piu vivo A major section, in “The Sylph Scene- Divertissement”. The stretches in the left hand are quite wide, and there are section where the hands need to use the same strings successively, and it all goes at a fantastic speed! I’m hoping this is one of those parts where some harpists may have tricks, or arrangements they use to make it more playable. I’m wondering if some of the left hand could be left out? Any suggestions?

    Participant
    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #60273

    Can you get a look at the score? It’s possible that it might be covered enough that you could leave out the last two sixteenth notes of the left hand patterns. If it is necessary to have a note on each of the sixteenths, keep the harmony intact but perhaps change the voicing slightly to avoid the large reaches.
    I used to play La Sylphide but it was a different orchestration. In the bottom line, I would take the second sixteenth of the second beat with the thumb of my left hand.

    Participant
    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #60274

    Hi, Catherine! What did you finally do with this part?

    Spectator
    Catherine Ashley on #60275

    Hi Elizabeth! I ended up leaving out the last 2 semis of each group, which was still a bit nasty! I spoke with the conductor and he said that as long as the right hand is voiced clearly and the harmonies are there that is the main thing! I think if I play it again some time I might do as you suggest and revoice the left hand in semiquavers. 🙂

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