Position of Harp 2 in the orchestra

Posted In: Performing

  • Participant
    Gretchen Cover on #214093

    I am playing harp 2 of The Planets by Holst arranged for Winds. I have never played an orchestra piece with two harps. On which side of harp 1 does harp 2 get placed? I believe the harps will be on the conductor’s right side as he faces the orchestra due to the stage and entry door. Thank you and any other advice about performing The Planets is welcome.

    Participant
    Tacye on #214123

    As second harp I expect to set up stage right – I find it is easier to follow your principal when they are on your music stand side and a tiny bit in front. I presume this is the same between countries.

    I like playing the second part to Planets, the pairing with first works well. Do mark the part up so you don’t slip onto first’s line -you may wish to also mark up first’s choice of arpeggiation to make it easier to duplicate.

    Participant
    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #214124

    I hope they are using the same harp parts that would be in the orchestra score. At the end of Saturn, the harp parts can be re-distributed between the two harps to avoid all the jumping. There are some other adaptations that make it a little easier to play. There are many repetitions of patterns, so cues are essential.

    Participant
    Gretchen Cover on #214131

    Thank you for the performance tips. The winds harp score is almost identical to the original orchestra score. Wish harp 1 would work with harp 2 (me) but that is not to be. This is just one performance so I need to manage as best l can. I have been listening to Tokyo Winds and going through the conductor’s score to find cues and practice counting. Thankfully, I have performed with this conductor before and he knows I will do my best.

    Participant
    balfour-knight on #214502

    Hi, Gretchen–good luck on the performance! I am doing a solo pedal-harp concert tomorrow which includes some French classics–send me good thoughts!
    Best wishes,
    Balfour

    Participant
    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #218756

    I would imagine it is up to the first harp, if they care. If not, I would say upstage and either parallel or a little behind.

    Participant
    Sylvia on #221118

    It has been my experience that the conductor decides harp placement in orchestra.

    Participant
    Alison on #221124

    The single bars go by very fast in Neptune, when you are adding colour with sweeping chromatic broken chords you would be advised to create a 2nd part with just your notes in because turning those pages is very difficult. You also have a few very exposed bars ear
    Ier in Neptune, doubling with flute melody, the figure and fingering tricky and even though I listened to it last night and loved it. A long time ago, once I knew the work well enough I went through the double part and created separate, largely independent, parts. A very interesting scientific review of each planet was provided in the UK’s radio 3 performance last night. Both Voyagers still transmitting back to earth, voyager 2 did a fine job on the planets.
    https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m0000kfx

    • This reply was modified 2 years, 9 months ago by Alison.
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