<< August 2020 | 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 >>

2020.05.01 Friday

Differences between Sleeping Beauty Op.66 score and harp parts

Only where I noticed.

2. Scène Dansante
Measure 31, left hand. The score is D but the harp part is C.

19. Entracte Symphonique (le Sommeil) et Scène
Left hand on measure 15. The treble clef is written at the beginning of both the score and the part score, but it may be unnecessary.
At the beginning of measure 18, there is no quarter rest in the parts. The score is correct.
In this song, the bar sound at measure 17 is marked with  natural, and the measure 18 is marked with flat.
However, since it was a handwritten part, it was difficult to distinguish between flat and natural, and I thought that both were natural until today.
For the past few days, the strings of B and E broke in quick succession while I was playing. It's easy to see that this song, B and E, is frequent.

2019.08.03 Saturday

Nightmare of C4

The public performance of the full version (excerpt) of Tchaikovsky's "Sleeping Beauty" is over.
I was glad that my ex-colleague came to the concert in spite of the heat wave of summer and his busy schedule.

The suite version of this work, I had the opportunity to play it when I had little experience with orchestra. There were many harp solos, so I was very very nervous. But there were more thought-provoking events.

At that time, I borrowed a harp from a rental company, but the string on the stage was broken. Moreover, it was the C red string, and for some reason only that string, no replacement string was prepared. I wasn't in the situation to get someone's help. The rehearsal time was getting close. So, I had no choice but to attach a string of another note and color it with a red oil-based pen to indicate it was a C string.
Immediately the first rehearsal began. In tension, I started sweating despite the midwinter. Red ink was transferred to the sticky fingertips, and it was transferred to another string, and eventually many strings began to stain red. It's unbearable to live.

My head was full of question marks and cold sweat. I don't remember how much I was playing. It was a nightmare.
Regardless of the circumstances, it is the player's responsibility to manage the instrument. 

The harp has 47 strings. However, the risk of playing without a string is not necessarily 1/47. It is possible that some strings are not used at all during a song.  Alternatively, if unlucky, that the song cannot be played unless the sound of that string. 
It seems that the broken string is frequently used.
I'm sure that another harpist  often played with C4. And, probably before the rental company lent the harp to me, the C4 string was broken.
The rental company decided to replace the C4 string and took out only the C4 string. However, he probably left the instrument on stage, forgetting to replace the strings.

2019.02.09 Saturday


Of the four Masques et Bergamasques songs by Gabriel Urbain Fauré, the harp appears only on the 4th song, Pastorale.
Hands are not busy, but delicate pedal operation is required.
When I played the same song in another orchestra last time, I played it fairly simply. However, this time, conducter asked me to play the scale tenaciously and slowly. This is a good experience because I tend to get faster tempo when busy pedaling.

On the rehearsal day, the person I met for the first time drove me to carry the harp. He has all the experience of driving a car of any kind. Thanks to that, I was able to ride with peace of mind for two hours round trip. 
I told him the harp of an orchestra would often be inaudible to anyone, even if they played it desperately. However, he said that even though sounds seem inaudible, they are in some way actually affecting people. I see...  must not give up.


Wanna play beautifully and gracefully like this illustration ... but the reality is far from ideal lol


stage setting

It was snowing from the morning on the day of the concert. If the road freeze, harp cannot be carried. After 6 am, we had a phone meeting with the  driver. I left home one hour and 20 minutes before GP and used the highway to arrive at the venue earlier than anyone else as usual.
Even though it was long distance and bad weather, unexpected colleagues came to listen to it. And I got a present from the concertmistress. Thanks thanks.

2019.02.09 Saturday

Pavane pour une infante défunte

I played it for the first time in 10 years. After all it is a timeless masterpiece.
The harp appears like a decorative sound. Timing is very difficult. Even a slight deviation makes it no longer cool.
For the last Glissando, I tried to play it so that each note could be heard. I wonder what kind of atmosphere would it have been if I played it simply?

2019.01.31 Thursday

harp and audience seats on stage



ThrowBack Thursday.

The snare drum virtuoso who was sitting next to me asked me, "This chair ... a great person or someone come?" 
Since there were not enough audience seats, temporary seats were set up on the stage. It looks like Vienna Phil.
I felt nervous when there are audience behind me...lol

When I move to the stage wings after we've finished playing, I'm the one who gets the first attention from the audience in the stage.
After the performance, I and some audience bowed to each other many times.

2019.01.30 Wednesday

Scores, parts and recordings

I compared a variety of different "Pavane pour une infante défunte" .André Cluytens (1905-1967), Conductor
Paris Conservatoire Orchestra

Rec. 17,  January 1950, at Champs Elysees Theater
6 minutes 30 seconds

Rec. September-Ocyober 1962, at Salle Wagram, in Paris
6 minutes 58 seconds

Rec. 7 May 1964, in Japan "Legendary performance"
6 minutes 44 seconds

26 December 2007 EMI Music Japan CD
6 minutes 57 seconds

I was interested in the harp at the measure7 and measure 34. The 1950 recording sounds like a half beat faster. Was the old score or harp part different from now?
At least, the score and parts that can be seen now are that the harp has an eighth rest (quaver rest) in the 4th beat and is to be played after that. However, in the case of a piano solo score, the timing of entry is fuzzy.

By the way, in the recording of Karajan / Berlin Phil (1985), the performance time is 7 minutes and the Naxos Classic Curation is 6 minutes and 30 seconds. It was 5 minutes and 56 seconds for the 1967 Samson François's piano solo. And 5 minutes and 40 seconds for the 10th anniversary special performance of Nobuyuki Tsujii's debut (November 13, 2017). 
The other day I realized that piano solos versions are often faster. For example "Aufforderung zum Tanz", by Carl Maria von Weber.

The second topic is Fauré's Pastorale.
At measure 12 and measure14, the score has a harp on the 2nd beat, but the harp part has harp on the 3rd beat. When I played it last time, I played it on the 2nd beat according to the score, but nobody said anything, and the various sound sources in the world that the harp can hear are also on the 2nd beat. Therefore, the harp part may be wrong.

The third topic is Sibelius...
but I omit it because I wrote it in the article on April 2, 2006.

2019.01.19 Saturday

Invitation to the Dance (orch. Berlioz)

Carl Maria Friedrich Ernst von Weber《Invitation to the Dance》(Aufforderung zum Tanze,) Op.65(orch. Berlioz)

This song is especially famous for piano solo. There are orchestral arrangements by Berlioz and Weingartner. The former has two harps and the latter one, and the latter has a more harp-like playing style.
The former, like other Berlioz orchestra works, assigns the harp a piano-like melody and accompaniment. As with the Symphonie Fantastique, the part where the piccolo or flute and two harps play together on the scale often appears. (Moreover, the tempo is faster than the Symphonie Fantastique.) 

The performance tempo varies depending on the orchestra, and the performance time is about 9 to 11 minutes. 
Up until one week before the actual concert, I've mainly listened to about 11 minutes of sound source, so this time I realized the fact that the tempo of the majority of the sound sources was 8-9 minutes. So I felt awful. In particular, if we are going to participate only in G.P. and public concert, it is necessary to prepare in advance so that we can respond to whatever tempo we are playing, and it is also important to listen to various sound sources as long as we can find it and check the tempo range. 
Also, since I was supposed to play with one harp this time, I tried to synthesize the sound by studying the score to play two into one. However, after all, the speed was too fast, and it was difficult to synthesize and play two units perfectly. (The same pattern as Elgar Symphony No. 1 that I participated in last year ...) It was a difficult song to match with other instruments in the first place. Even with two harps, it may have been difficult to match them perfectly. It's been a while since I realized the difficulty of ensemble so much.

Today's concert was full of seats and an extra seats were arranged on the stage. It's like a Vienna Philharmonic concert. This is the first time for me to have a audience behind me.
Tomorrow will be a day of work (not related to music) that will be quite tense.

2019.01.19 Saturday

Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald

Johann Strauss op.325《Geschichten aus dem Wienerwald》


Introduktion and Nr.2, Nr.4, are Tacet. 
After about 3 minutes and 20 seconds after the start of the song, the right hand starts to cramp lol. Looking at youtube etc., there is also a harpist who is playing the single note on the left hand of measure 27 instead of the octave. Certainly, even if we play  the lower strings, it will not be heard in the audience, so it may be better to reduce the risk...?
Overall, there are no such difficult points, but it may be difficult to play because the left hand of the accompaniment for the 5th Waltz jumps a little.

This time, the Zither part will be played in an orchestra. The score says Arpa, später Zither in the harp. At first, I didn't understand the meaning of "später", so I rushed to wonder if I would play it with a harp like a Zither. The harp and the tweeter are stringed instruments that are the same plucked string instruments, but the Zither has about 30 accompaniment strings and 5-6 strings with frets for melody, and the guitar and harp are put together in a small instrument.

Appearance that looks like. We can see the demonstration on Youtube, but it is a musical instrument that seems difficult to play.

2019.01.17 Thursday



2019.01.05 Saturday

Candide overture

It's so fast that I don't have time to be nervous, and it's a fun song that alternates between 2 and 3 beats. The harp often plays the same chord three times each, very quickly, but it is easy for the finger to touch other strings and other sounds are often mixed.
Since I have to change the pedal quickly and also stop the vibration of the strings to an appropriate degree, I have no time to be idle. Anyway, it didn't make me nervous, it ended in no time.