“Three Romances” by Elias Parish Alvars
Edited by Samuel O. Pratt
For Pedal Harp
Intermediate / Advanced / 9 Pages
-“Romance 3 - Traum Am Bache”
The music Parish-Alvars wrote played on the harp fairly takes one s breath away. Liszt was so enchanted by Parish-Alvars writings that he brought many of his works to him as possible transcriptions for the harp. His virtuosity on the harp between 1825 and 1850 had no peers, nor has it been matched since, if the record is accurate. These Romances, in our opinion, are probably his best works. He wrote almost two dozen of them, published in four books for the first time complete in about 1875. They are not cast in a weak form, but seem to give him complete freedom of self expression. They are very similar in style to some of the Nocturnes by Chopin. They even show some debt to Felix Mendelssohn, with whom Parish-Alvars was known to be acquainted. In fact there is reference to a visit, or contact between the two men which it was noted that there was a great improvement in the compositions of Alvars. It is true that Mendelssohn had a particular apathy for the very type of weakness that we have noted in Alvars compositions, and it is possible that he took the liberty of giving the harpist a few pointers, whether they were asked for it or not. These Romances are not as difficult as most of the composer s other harp works, but still they will pose many problems for a harpist of today. A free and facile right hand is always a must. Single hand trills, scales, arpeggios, broken chords are all realities to be dealt with by the end of the second page. Since he was a fine harpist, it will be found that the passage work lies well for the harp, once the concept of good fingering is learned.