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Lawrence Video

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  • #83532

    I just found this wonderful video of Lucile Lawrence on YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bm_-Omk_bl0

    It is very instructive. This is Salzedo method playing at the highest level. Note her expressive gestures, and the releasing or opening of the hand at the end of a phrase, at the end of the section of harmonics. And note all the lighting changes, the blackout. Anything can happen on television. She is playing her Style 3 harp, which she taught on at home.

    In her freelance career as a harpist, following years of touring in the Salzedo Harp Ensemble and the Lawrence Harp Quintette, she performed as solo harpist in the Radio City Music Hall orchestra for many years, and turned down (!) positions with the New York Philharmonic, Philadelphia Orchestra and the Metropolitan Opera. In those days, the studio work she did paid more and gave her a more flexible schedule. She was also one of Leopold Stokowski’s first-call harpists and is featured on many of his recordings. She taught at the Mannes College of Music, Manhattan School of Music and Boston University for many years, and had students at Yale and other top institutions. She was also offered the position at the Juilliard School, but as I was told, the offer was withdrawn under pressure.

    I think this video well illustrates her class, grace, strength and character. Yes, she has a brief memory lapse or distraction in the beginning, but recovers so touchingly. I believe these pieces are available as rentals from G. Schirmer. The cadenza was partly composed by Edgard Varese. The conductor, Howard Barlow, was one of the most respected conductors of that time. Conducting on a television program was one of the most prized positions.

    As an advanced player, you see she is not closing her fingers tightly, but she is producing a full-bodied tone, nevertheless.

    #83533

    P.S., that this video even exists is a miracle. It was the only surviving portion of a tape among many that were destroyed while in storage, so I was told.

    #83534
    jessica-wolff
    Participant

    Yes, thanks for calling attention to it.

    #83535
    Philippa mcauliffe
    Participant

    Thank you Saul, that is wonderful footage.

    #83536
    sherry-lenox
    Participant

    This was what we knew of harpists when I was a very young child. All of the TV harpists that I remember were beautifully dressed, beautiful hands and arms, beautiful position and posture.

    The Musical Snuff Box was played frequently on an early morning radio program in the NYC area, but never as beautifully as this. Still, it is another of my childhood memories.

    I wonder about the techniques of this recording. It sounds to me as though something happened in the orchestra that was either out of balance with the harp, or somehow caused the distraction to the harpist. The second statement is flawless.

    THis is wonderful to watch and hear, and I love it!

    #83537

    I don’t know, but playing through lighting changes and a blackout is plenty disconcerting in itself! In playing the original production of The Fantasticks in New York, there was a blackout just before the Moonlight cue, and you have to remember to place the notes before the blackout, or you are in trouble starting to play. And one memorable time, I forgot that there was a blackout coming. Quite a little scandal ensued.

    #83538
    carl-swanson
    Participant

    It looks like it’s about the same vintage as the video of Mildred Dilling that I put up on youtube 2 years ago. 1941. Do you know when this was made?

    #83539
    leonard-lim
    Member

    She is so graceful and so poised, and her playing is impeccable.

    #83540

    Awesome! Thanks, Saul.

    #83541
    kay-lister
    Member

    That was just lovely!

    #83542
    sherry-lenox
    Participant

    The very brief introductory screen at the beginning says 1953, for The Voice of Firestone TV show.

    #83543

    That means she was 46 years old at the time of filming if I can do subtraction. 53 minus 7 is, yes, 46.

    #83544
    Katherine Denler
    Participant

    How beautiful! I just looked and the Musical Snuff Box is available from Lyramusic.com

    🙂 Wonderful recording!

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