Solo Harp

I learned a lot about the harp in my second marriage, and noted that there were few serious solo pieces for it (the Hindemith Sonata stands out among them) in the general welter of fluffy ones. So I took up the challenge to add to that short list, with a fine artist to realize it in performance. The first movement in particular has an exceptional buildup of tension near the end; an audience member told me he found himself sitting up on the edge of his seat waiting for the cadence . . .

ListenScoreTitleScoringDur.Year
See on YouTubeview scoreSonata for Solo Harpsolo harp14'1999
Order This»Written for my friend Maria Casale. A serious solo sonata for a fine artist. Darker than typical harp music.Notes»
I. Legend8'
Extensive modified developmental sonata form, more contrapuntal than chordal, modal d minor. Much ostinato accompaniment, themes like folk stories, long development, strong recap building tension to a stern, proud ending.
II. Meditation4'
Pensive, solemn, dignified meditation, in alternating oriental modes. Impressionistic middle episode (glissandi, tremolo), serious return, simple poignant ending. Dedicated to the memory of my paternal grandfather Aaron Avshalomoff.
III. Danza2'
Quick, dancy bagatelle on changing polymeters over a covert blues harmonic scheme. Quick microvariations on the opening tune, cheery surprise ending.

The showy harp solo variation in my Lifeboat Variations for band can also serve as a short encore piece (yes, some concert bands used to have a harp). See Works/Band.