One of my earliest experiences with a complex contemporary music piece occurred in 1969 with the performance of Alla Rustica for harp and flute by Andre Jolivet. Thomas Howell was the flutist. This performance was recorded in Smith Music Hall at the University of Illinois, in Champaign. Since the then current harp professor declined the invitation to participate, I was approached. I didn’t hesitate to tackle the challenge. It was very likely this performance that ultimately resulted in my securing the harp position at the University of Illinois.
The style of the composition is reminiscent of Indian raga music that begins with a slow improvisational introduction followed by a rigorous rhythmic section. In this composition, the improvisational material becomes increasingly rhythmic and speeds up from 56 per quarter note to quarter note equals 112 or double speed. Many of the pedal markings were cumbersome as written and had to be edited for the sake of facility. As in the Brun sample, brackets were used to indicate the placement of hands.
Fortunately, there were not any pedal changes during the formidable 3 against 4 section below. I'm not sure that I was able to play this at the indicated metranome marking, however. In my score, I marked this part as 92 per quarter note.
The foregoing material should make it quite clear why it is essential to employ an editor when writing harp music. After having dealt with an avalanche of harp parts including solo, ensemble and symphonic works, I have a passion to participate as an editor. It would be a joy to see harp notation accurately depict the performance practice. As both an experienced harpist and composer, I am uniquely qualified to assist composers in viably realizing their musical ideas. It is very important for the survival of harpists in the 21st century to be included in new works. It is my desire to assist in this endeavor and to encourage composers to courageously venture forth.