Orchestra Repertoire

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    Ian McVoy on #146343

    The conductor of my school’s orchestra has asked me which piece I would like us to play next year… So I wanted to know which fairly standard piece has the biggest, baddest harp part! He said that he would like something by Debussy/Ravel/Stravinsky or someone of similar style or was writing at the same time.


    eliza-morrison on #146344

    I assume you mean an orchestral part, not a harp concerto. Stravinsky: Symphony in 3 Movements. Ravel: Tzigane or (easier) La Valse. Debussy: La Mer, Afternoon of a Faun. Rimsky Korsakov: Capriccio Espagnol. Bartok: Concerto for Orchestra. Tchaikovsky: Romeo and Juliet. Just a few that I found particularly fun to play! There are many others. (Tzigane is a violin concerto—maybe not too practical).

    Ian McVoy on #146345


    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #146346

    A lot of great orchestra repertoire requires two harps, (i.e. Debussy: La Mer, Berlioz: Symphonie fantastique, Ravel: La Valse) so make sure that you only request the ones that only need one harp. You also may have to keep in mind how advanced your orchestra is. Ravel’s Mother Goose Suite has a lovely harp part. Respighi’s Fountains of Rome and Pines of Rome are fun to play. Debussy’s Petite Suite has a lovely, single harp part, and The Prelude to Afternoon of a Faun can be done easily combining the two parts. Stravinsky’s Firebird Suite has one harp part, and it is really gorgeous.

    Ian McVoy on #146347

    Additional info-
    We have recently played
    Ravel: Tzigane
    Respighi: The Pines of Rome
    Debussy: La Mer

    eliza-morrison on #146348

    I forgot you might not have 2 harps available. I also forgot Firebird; how could I forget that? The Stravinsky Symphony in 3 movements has a very exposed, beautifully written harp part, and also a complex and beautiful piano part. You’ll need an excellent pianist.

    eliza-morrison on #146349

    Though I’ve never played it, Ravel’s Le Tombeau de Couperin looks/sounds like it might be a lot of fun. By the way, you are VERY privileged: no conductor has ever asked me what I would like to see programmed!!

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #146350

    Some great Stravinsky parts to play: Symphony in Three Movements, Orpheus, Ebony Concerto, Firebird Suite, Petrouchka 1947. The first two would be the most exposed.

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