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characteristic piece
John Thomas Pencerdd Gwalia (1826-1913)
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Cover image Work: Single work for solo harp
Catalogue No: Adlais 060
ISMN: 979-0-57032-135-3
Edition: September 2008, A4 stapled
Duration: c. 4' 38" minutes
Suitable for: Grade 7, Pedal Harp
Price:: £6.00  Go to shop
See all Adlais Publications including transcriptions by John Thomas

Tyrolienne - John Thomas (1826-1913)

John Thomas's delightful 'characteristic piece' was composed in 1881, and dedicated to his pupil, Miss Helen Sandeman, then nineteen years old. Helen Sandeman's father was Albert George Sandeman, port and sherry merchant, and a governor of the Bank of England, whilst her mother, Maria Carlota, was the daughter of a Portuguese diplomat. A typical upper-class Victorian family, with six children and a vast train of servants, they lived in fashionable Ennismore Gardens, South Kensington.

Tyrolese music, brought to England and later to the USA by touring groups from the Alpine regions of Switzerland and Austria, had been popular throughout the nineteenth century. One of the best-known examples of a Tyrolienne was the chorus 'A nos chants viens mêler tes pas' from Act 3 of Rossini's Guillaume Tell; other well-known composers of Tyroliennes were Moscheles, Lack and Balakirev.

Although John Thomas's Mazurka L'espérance (Adlais catalogue no.046), another 'characteristic piece', was composed some thirty years earlier, it might be a good suggestion, when programme building, to couple it with Tyrolienne.

Front cover of the score

Sample of the music