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Grand Duet
John Thomas Pencerdd Gwalia (1826-1913)
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Cover image Work: Single work for two harps
Catalogue No: Adlais 211
ISMN: 979-0-57032-231-2
Edition: February 2016 , A4 stapled, Set of Parts
Duration: c. 21' 36 " minutes
Suitable for: Advanced, Pedal Harp
Price:: £14.00  Go to shop
See all Adlais Publications including transcriptions by John Thomas

Grand Duet - John Thomas

Both the Grand Duet (1865) and the Souvenir du Nord of 1854 (Adlais 164) are dedicated to a Welsh-born patroness. “Mrs. Lucy of Charlecote Park” was born Mary Elizabeth Williams at Bodelwyddan Castle, St. Asaph, and both she and her sister “Miggy” (later to become Lady Willoughby de Broke) were talented harpists.

In her book Mistress of Charlecote: The Memoirs of Mary Elizabeth Lucy, Alice Lady Fairfax-Lucy quotes a very amusing account of the Abergavenny Eisteddfod of 1853 which led to Mrs Lucy's first meeting with John Thomas at Llanover, and to her subsequent lessons with him at her home. “Mr. Thomas kept me to scales and exercises for the first year, and I did learn his way, and before I was very much older, I was able to play many a difficult duet with him. I would get up an hour earlier to have a good practice before breakfast, and I would go to sleep trying to hold my thumb up.” As her harp teacher, “Mr. Thomas” became a frequent guest and partner in duets on their Erard harps. As an enthusiastic patroness, Mrs Lucy attended his concerts over a period of some 35 years.

John Thomas composed duos, both for two harps and for harp and piano, throughout his life. For the most part, these compositions were operatic fantasias and duos based on familiar Welsh folk melodies. The Grand Duet is an exception, as whereas the others are concert arrangements, this one duet is an original composition.

Ann Griffiths, 2016

Recordings of this music
Click CD cover to go to Creighton's Collection for further information & audio clips
Click for further informationSerenâd by Elinor Bennett & Meinir Heulyn
Click for further informationJohn Thomas (1826-1913) Harp Music by Lipman Harp Duo

Front cover of the score

Sample of the music

Sample Music