Origin of the Harp, The


by Thomas Adès

chamber ensemble of 10 players
Mixed Chamber Ensemble
3 cl(I in A.I+II in Bb=bcl) – perc(1): 3 susp.cym/siz.cym/BD/wood chimes/shell chimes/2 pair med marimba mallets with small rattles attached/7 gongs/6 susp.gongs/mar/2 pedal rototoms/timp/marimbula/grand pno – 3 vla.3 vlc(III=rain stick)

Commissioned by the Hallé Orchestra

First Performance
6.10.94, Free Trade Hall, Manchester, UK: Ensemble from Hallé Orchestra/Thomas Adès

Score 0-571-51811-7 on sale, parts for hire.' Acceptable ossia list for percussion' to go with set

Programme Notes
Thomas Ades - The Origin of the Harp Op 13 for chamber ensemble of ten players (1994) The Origin of the Harp was commissioned by Halle Orchestra The first performance was given by members of the Halle Orchestra conducted by the composer in the Free Trade Hall, Manchester, on 6 October 1994 Duration: 9 minutes The Origin of the Harp is recorded by Thomas Ades and Friends on the EMI Debut Series 'Living Toys' CDZ 5 72271 2 Programme Note This piece takes its title from a painting by Daniel Maclise (1806-1870) in the Manchester City Art Gallery. Its subject is the Celtic Legend of a water nymph who falls for a mortal and struggles hopelessly to leave her element and join him on land. The Gods, taking pity on her failure, intervene and turn her into a harp, transforming her weeping into a gentle music of wind through strings. The painting shows her in the moment preceding the metamorphosis, the strands of her hair framed by a triangle of her body, a rock and her arm. In this piece, too, the harp itself is not featured but suggested, at the start of the fourth and final section, after a flash of divine intervention. TA

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