It was in October
1981 that Adlais published the first facsimile edition of John
Parry's Four Lessons, produced exactly as they appeared in the
1761 publication, pp.66-82. They have been retained for the new
2008 edition so that harpists, keyboard players, musicologists
and harp historians can refer to the originals as engraved almost
250 years ago. A modern re-set edition of each lesson, to which
phrasing and suggested dynamics have been added, precedes its
eighteenth century counterpart, facilitating comparison with
the original. As presently published, the Four Lessons for Harp
or Harpsichord may be played on keyboard, triple harp or pedal
In transferring the
Lessons to performance on the pedal harp, it should be remembered
that a triple harp is much more lightly strung than today's concert
harp, and less resonant, despite its bright sound. The speed, dexterity
and clarity essential to successful transference to the pedal harp
will be greatly helped by short articulation, and as much damping
as is feasible, particularly in the left hand.
Those familiar with
Welsh music may well be struck by the similarities between the
melodic lines of some movements and those of certain old Welsh
tunes, for example, Lesson I (Dafydd y Garreg Wen / David of the
White Rock), Lesson II (Hela'r 'Sgfarnog / Hunting the Hare) and
the Musette of Lesson III (Merch y Melinydd / The Miller's Daughter).
Ever aware of his Welsh heritage, John Parry ends the sequence
with the Welsh word Diwedd - The End.
The present edition
is dedicated to Dr Osian Ellis, CBE, the first to re-discover John
Parry's Four Lessons and to bring his compatriot's work to the
appreciation of a wider musical public.
The printed score includes extensive notes
about John Parry & The Four Lessons