Wagner: Magic Fire Music

Posted In: Repertoire

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    rebekah-atkinson on #198606

    I just had my first request to play this piece in an upcoming symphony program this spring.  Without prior experience with this part, I was wondering if with just one harpist, I would choose to play the part for hps. I,II,III?  Also, is there a rewrite/edited version out there that is the most playable?  Thanks so much!

    takayoshi on #198609

    If they are not willing to pay more than one harpist ask the persons in charge which parts are less important to them.


    carl-swanson on #198610

    There are arrangements of the Magic Fire Music that combine the parts. Hans Zingel made one years ago that works well. There may be others.

    rebekah-atkinson on #198611

    Hi Carl, Thanks so much for your input, do you know if the Zingel arrangement is easily playable and/or available for purchase anywhere?  Thanks!  🙂

    elizabeth-jaxon on #198697

    I wrote out a combined version for my own use, years ago, which I have used in many orchestra auditions since. You can find it here: http://www.elizabethjaxon.com/wagners-fire-music/

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #198786

    The best-known arrangement of the part is by Carlos Salzedo, published many years ago, and it is NOT easy, which is why it has often been on audition lists. It’s a good thing to know. It is probably what they want if they will only hire one harpist.

    patricia-jaeger on #198807

    The late Lynne Palmer, who studied with Salzedo, had a version, long ago memorized, that she demonstrated at a meeting of harpists in Seattle years ago with such speed of her feet changing pedals that we were all amazed. I am sure she passed on that technique to her students, who now pass it on to their students.

    Elizabeth Volpé Bligh on #198858

    Thanks, Elizabeth! I had written out something myself, years ago, but it is in handwriting. This is much neater.

    Tacye on #198877

    Whichever version you learn, you will probably not want to redo all that work to learn a different one later if it comes up again, so be sure you are happy with your choice.

    rebekah-atkinson on #199122

    Thanks so much Elizabeth, for sharing your version, it looks fantastic! Also appreciate all the input from others as I get started on learning this part! Interesting that the Salzedo version was so well-known and required on audition lists, but doesn’t appear to be in-print or available anywhere anymore…?

    carl-swanson on #199124

    Rebekah- I’m not aware of the Salzedo version of the Magic Fire Music being required on audition lists.  The Magic Fire Music is frequently required on audition lists. But not one particular version of it, and certainly not the Salzedo version. To be honest, I wasn’t aware that he made a version of it, and like you said, it doesn’t seem to be available anywhere.

    Saul Davis Zlatkovski on #200192

    I’m sure Lyra has it, and it has often been expected on auditions, such as at the Metropolitan Opera. If it says Magic Fire Music on an audition list, and doesn’t specify a part or provide, that is likely what they mean. I could copy mine, but it has lots of markings on it. Once you learn this, you can pedal anything.

    rebekah-atkinson on #200195

    Hi Saul, Thanks for sharing what you know about the Salzedo version of this piece with me! Interesting that you located the part at Lyra, because they told me that they didn’t have it… Do you think this is definitely the same part that you have that works with the orchestral version? Thanks again for the advice, really appreciate it! 🙂

    Katrina Szederkenyi on #200391

    I’ve always played the Zingel version, and 99% harpists I know (I’m based in Germany) and – unless I’m mistaken – the lovely ladies that play in Bayreuth also play the Zingel edition. (Bayreuth = Wagner) 😉 Here in Germany it’s also the most common version to be played at an audition (if they want to hear the whole bit – but what’s expected at auditions is a whole other slice of cake!) I find the Zingel very well playable, and once you’re sitting in an orchestra it’s not nearly as scary as one might think! 🙂

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