NEW 2010 A4 ENGRAVING **
Parish Alvars spent
the winter of 1843-1844 in Naples, and his impressions of the
ambience and the typical sights and sounds of that vibrant Mediterranean
city are reflected in the series of three pieces he composed
there. The Serenade (op.
83) and the brilliant Grand Study in imitation of the
Mandoline (op.84) both of which are well known and have
figured in the Adlais catalogue for many years. In 2008 Adlais
added the genuinely amusing Souvenir
of Naples – Il Papagallo (op.85) with
its witty characterisation of a pet Neapolitan parrot to the
About the 2010 Engraving
This new edition contains
two versions of the work.
Version 1: Original
Version. This 2010 engraving is an exact replica of the 1979 Adlais
Edition taken from the John Thomas Lamborn Cock Edition.
Version 2: Enharmonic
Transcription. This 2010 engraving is a new Enharmonic Transcription
by Ann Griffiths
Notes from the new edition:
Mandoline - Enharmonic Transcription
Parish Alvars spent the winter of 1843-1844
in Naples, and his impressions of the ambience and the typical
sights and sounds of that vibrant Mediterranean city are reflected
in the series of pieces that he wrote there, and which were published
by Ricordi in Milan in 1846.
Three of these pieces, Serenade (op.83), Il
Papagallo (op.85) and the present Mandoline (op.84) are included
in the collection of works by Parish Alvars which was made by the
harpist John Thomas when he was a student at the Royal Academy
of Music (1840-46). It was some twenty years later that his revised
edition of Mandoline, originally entitled Gran/ STUDIO/ ad imitazione
del Mandolino/ per/ L'ARPA / e dedicato alla sua allieva/LA CONTESSA
ESTERHAZY/nata Contessa Bathyany was published in London by the
firm of Lamborn Cock.
Newly engraved in 2010, the present reissue
of Mandoline (pages 1-20) is an exact replica of the edition John
Thomas made for Lamborn Cock, except that the pedal indications
inserted in the 1974 edition have been retained.
Parish Alvars had attempted to reproduce the
typical 'tremolo' effect of the mandoline by his clever use of
the enharmonic synonyms available on Sebastian Erard's double-action
harps. The brilliant effect which to the listener appears to be
a rapid reiteration of the same note on the same string is in fact
achieved by playing its enharmonic equivalent on two adjacent strings.
This is done by pre-setting the harp's pedals, so that E, for example,
is doubled by playing Fb E natural in quick succession; C is doubled
by setting B#.
Interpretation of the notational 'shorthand'
convention which John Thomas adopted in order to indicate the use
of enharmonic synonyms is not instantly obvious and has caused
difficulty, frustration and confusion to generations of harpists
wishing to play this delightful piece. A performing edition with
an instant solution would have been warmly welcomed by generations
of teachers and students alike, but no such edition has ever been
produced before. Hopefully, the solution proposed by Adlais in
this volume will fulfil that need.
Pages 1-20 retain the original 1974 edition,
whilst pages 23-42 are new, and contain a literal note-for-note
enharmonic transcription of the whole work, bar for bar, page for
page. Comparisons between the 'original' and the 'solution' are
thus facilitated, and both 'old' and 'new' are contained in the
Whilst we offer our harmonic solution in all
humility, we hope it will encourage many more harpists to play
Parish Alvars's brilliantly evocative musical souvenir of mid-nineteenth-century
Naples, his Grand Study in Imitation of the Mandoline.
Adlais, May 2010