“Sonata In G Major” by Frank Joseph Haydn
Edited by Samuel O. Pratt
For Pedal Harp
Intermediate / Advanced / 10 Pages
Copyright 1966 by CHARLES COLIN
History has recorded that Haydn s father was a singer and a harpist. It also shows that Haydn wrote trio for harp, flute and bass, which has never been located. There is also evidence that he wrote a Concerto in C for harp, now known as a harpsichord Concerto in D. We were struck upon examining this sonata in a piano collection, by the great similarity of its style to the harp writing of the period, and began to wonder if it could not have been intended for the harp. Mr. William Trezise, the noted harp musicologist, acted upon our suggestion and found that this sonata was one of six published about 1776, all having been written in the preceding three years. Five of these are in a style similar to this one, the sixth being quite noticeably pianistic; so much so, in fact, as to have brought criticism upon the other five. Add to this the fact that the excellent harpist, Johanne Krumpholz, had spent the years between 1773 and 1776 with Haydn at Esterhazy, and we are led to the conclusion that the five sonatas, this one included, were originally composed for the harp. Music of this period was readily interchanged among all the various keyboard instruments, so that actually it is of little import which instrument inspired a composition. These sonatas are real harp music and should be included in the harp literature. The early harpistic style of this composition needs little clarification to the student already acquainted with harp music of the period. Some passages that seem to require five fingers are readily playable by crossing over the second or third finger. Examples of such fingering are given. There is an easy way to play every passage if you will find it.