I’ve been looking at a lot of classical-period harp music recently, from 1775-1850 or so, and I’ve come to two major conclusions: they all used appoggiaturas, not grace notes, so all grace notes you find in such music must be played on the beat and in equal value to the following note; and all that music is sheer drudgery, of no artistic merit what so ever. I had hoped to find something interesting, but aside from the few pieces we already know, like the Spohr Fantaisie, there is not a drop of genius, real talent or plain creativity in the lot. They are content to use stock figures and patterns in stock ways, and to seek no further. Further, they pick unbelievably trite tunes to do variations on, that don’t even suit the harp well. Thankfully, even Nadermann and Bochsa could occasionally shine, but for the most part, they set their standards too low. And I fear we are back in such a period nowadays, when to feed the throng, our creative people set their goals too low. It just goes to show, I think, the better you know our history, the better your perspective. That’s my opinion. But it’s not a
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