I am happily reading my July/August issue of HarpColumn. However, I am disappointed that one of my favorite columns, “Music Review” is once again dominated with Frank Voltz arrangement reviews. I like him as a teacher and as a person. However, I would love to read about other arrangers and arrangements once in a while. His arrangements seem to show up in almost every issue. I understand that he is prolific, but I’d love to know about other arrangers. Also, an entire review dominated by hymnal arrangements seems imbalanced…what percentage of harpist actually play them (50% is probably being very generous). I don’t like reading publications that seem imbalanced or driven by favoritism. I do hope they either choose to branch out a bit, or find a different columnist for Music Review.
Hi, Karen. Thanks for your feedback on the music review in the July/August issue of Harp Column. We appreciate hearing from our readers. The music selected for the review in each issue of the magazine is chosen by our music review editor Jan Jennings from the pool of music that is submitted for review by arrangers, composers, and publishers. I can assure you that favoritism is absolutely not a factor in the music chosen for review. Our music review editor tries to choose titles that fit a theme for each issue. This issue’s review focused on hymn arrangements, our last review centered on pop arrangements, the review before that featured technical and fundamental materials—so different music genres are represented throughout the year. I hope this helps explain a bit about what goes into the planning behind the music review you read in each issue.
Editor, Harp Column
This is not exactly a followup to Karen’s original post, except that it is also a comment on a past article. In the issue before the current one, the issue with Suzanne McDonald on the cover, there is an article on one handed trills, in which Heidi Hernandez says: “Salzedo technique allows for wrist oscillation, where Grandjany calls for a stationery wrist and only closing of the fingers.”
First off, the opposite of Salzedo technique is NOT Grandjany technique. Grandjany would be horrified to hear his name attached to a school of playing. He did not attach his name to the way he played and taught the way Salzedo did. He was a disciple of the French school of playing and saw himself as one of many teachers of that school of playing. Secondly, to say that his method of playing calls for a stationery wrist and only closing of the fingers is flatly wrong. So please Miss Hernandez, if you are asked to explain a point of technique in the future, just explain how you do it and leave it at that. There is no need for remarks about any school of playing.
Another comment that I have is that the article did not fully explain all of the ways to play a one handed trill(one was left out) and the reasons for them.
There are 4 ways to play a one handed trill. The first is simply 1-2-1-2-1-2 etc. This is the most difficult and in Renie’s Method book she admits that some people can do it and some can’t. The second way is to alternate 2 and 3. So the fingering would be 2-1-3-1-2-1-3-1-2-1-3-1 etc. This is the way most of us who can’t do the first way do it. I can do a presentable one handed trill with this fingering. The third way is to use all 4 fingers, with a fingering of 4-3-2-1-4-3-2-1 etc. 4 plays the lower note and 3 plays the upper one. Then 2 plays the string 4 had played, and 1 plays the string 3 had played. If you go to youtube you can see Mildred Dilling doing this one brilliantly in the Zabel La Source. The last way, which was not mentioned in the article, is to brace the thumb on the next string above the upper of the two notes to be trilled and then strum the two notes 2-2-3-3-2-2-3-3-2-2-3-3 etc. I asked Xavier de Maistre to give me a lesson in one handed trill years ago when he stayed at my house. He told me he couldn’t do a one handed trill! This was right after winning the USA competition with the Boildieu Concerto!! He said that he had done all those first movement trills with the strumming technique. He then did it for me. It was gorgeous.
The queen of one handed trills is Janna Boscova, and she uses all of these techniques depending on where they are and what’s going on around them. So anyone who wants to really add one handed trills to their technique should learn all of these ways of playing them.
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