Need Insights on music by Bernard Andres and Frank Voltz

Posted In: Repertoire

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    Jodi Ann Tolman on #183039

    I’ve been playing the harp now for 6 months (36 string lever), and am looking to buy some new music. I’ve heard wonderful things about Bernard Andres and have viewed several sample pages online from various works of his, but I’m wondering if anyone can give me a better idea about the relative skill level needed for some of his pieces. Specifically, I’m interested in:

    1. Charades
    2. Ribambelle
    3. La Gimblette

    I can’t find anything other than two sample pages from Charades, but I’m wondering if Charades would be a good book for developing new skills and helping me progress.

    From what I’ve been able to listen to online from YouTube videos, Ribambelle sounds like certain songs might be too easy for me, but I’ve heard a couple clips that make it sound too advanced, so I just can’t decide if it would be a good purchase for me.

    Looking and listening to La Gimblette makes me think it might be the most difficult. Is this true? I don’t have experience with four-note chords which this seems to have. Would this be a good piece to get me started with four-note chords, or is this one probably too difficult?

    I’m also interested in some music by Frank Voltz, but again, I’m having a hard time determining if it would be too difficult for me since I can only view one sample page. I’m particularly interested in:

    1. Celestial
    2. Dreaming of You

    To give you an idea of my skill level, I finished McDonald and Woods “Graded Recital Pieces Vol. 1” a few months ago, and I’m currently working to polish Hasslemans “Petite Berceuse”. I’m also just starting to learn “Grand Mere Raconte Une Histoire” by Renie and “A Martine” by Andres.

    Can anyone give me any insights on the above listed Andres and Voltz pieces to help me know if they would be on my level–to push me to develop new skills, but not be so difficult that I’m overly frustrated? Are any of the Andres books progressive in difficulty level?

    I really appreciate any insights you can offer, or other recommendations of music you think would be good. I’m having such a hard time trying to decide on music that I can’t fully view first.


    Alison on #183121

    Charades is a set of interesting and tuneful 10-12 studies to develop your skills from about grade 2 onwards – so it would be a good investment. If you have only been playing 6 months there is still a lot of groundwork for you to cover and you will find them challenging but interesting…… and they will develop your reading, placing and articulation.

    Jodi Ann Tolman on #183127

    Thank you, Alison! That’s very helpful to know. I think I’ll move Charades to the top of my list. Thanks for your insights!

    christie-wareham-norfolk on #183263

    Everyone learns at different speeds so it can be hard to judge what music to tackle next. I have been playing for a couple of years and am learning Frank Voltz’s Celestial at the moment. I was lulled by the first couple of pages with lots of repeating motifs, but then it has taken me ages for the next couple of pages with lots of rolled chords and big left hand stretches. I would say you would need more time to build up skills before tackling Celestial. I don’t know Dreaming of You. I did find that Above the Clouds (another Frank Voltz piece) was a lot easier to learn and very pretty; it is now part of my permanent – if limited! – repertoire so I would recommend you try that rather than Celestial.

    Jodi Ann Tolman on #183266

    Thank you so much for your insights, Christie. That’s very helpful. It’s so hard to judge a piece when I can only see 1 or 2 sample pages. I might hold off of Celestial and look into Above the Clouds instead. Thanks for your feedback!

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