A Concerto for Our Time
a case for humanness
The HARP CONCERTO by David Finko (1976]
On the Concerto
"Composer of remarkable power, astonishing resourcefulness and genuine gift..."
Grand Rapid Press, Grand Rapid, Michigan
Written in one movement, the Concerto displays the harp's ability to deliver a message of substance (like the piano or violin) while unveiling a striking palette of new sounds and effects for the ear and the eye. In her 2007 Harp Column review, Elzbieta Szmyt described it as "musically intriguing" and felt that "the composer demonstrated a sure and deep knowledge of the instrument". "The harp concerto takes the listener through a journey with many emotions, with ups and downs of register and volume. It is, ip some ways, a musical reflection of the composer's life"... with its "conflicts and contradictions, regrets and determination, but most importantly, hope." It pits the individual, voiced by the harp, against the totalitarian or arbitrary forces of the outside world, represented by the orchestra. Yet the orchestra never drowns out the harp, even when our hero collapses at the end: the vivid spirit of the artist's inner life has the last word.
Celebrated Russian harpist Tatiana Tauer gave the world premiere in April 1979 with the Leningrad Philharmonic, led by Valentine Nesterov. The American premiere was given in January 1982 by the Grand Rapids Symphony Orchestra, with conductor Semyon Bychkov and soloist Maria Royce. In 1984, the Houston Ballet performed the Concerto as a one-act ballet, with choreographer Ken Kempe, conductor Glenn Langdon and harpist Joan Eidman-Baum.
Since these auspicious beginnings, others have also played the concerto. Elizabeth Cifani (then principal harp with Lyric Opera of Chicago) performed the Concerto in 1995 in Evanston, Illinois, with the conductor Victor Yampolsky. In 2002, Natalia Shameyeva (then principal harpist of the Bolshoi Theater in Moscow) performed the Concerto with the Knox-Galesburg SO under the baton of Bruce Polay in Galesburg, Illinois. The same year Natalia Shameyeva played the Concerto several times in Illinois and Iowa with the composer at the piano. Elizabeth Hainen (the principal harpist of the Philadelphia Orchestra) also performed the Concerto in 2003 at the famous Kimmel Center in Philadelphia with the "Orchestra 2001", under the baton of James Freeman.
The solo harp part and the piano reduction are now offered in this new edition to contribute to the worldwide dissemination of the concerto and establish it as a classic in the pantheon of modern 20th century works.
Solo Harp Strings
Flute & Piccolo English Horn in F
Clarinet in B flat and Bass Clarinet in B flat 2 French Horns in F
Triangle, Claves, Glockenspiel, Temple Block Bongos, Tom-toms, Slapstick (whip), Chimes
Duration: Approximately 19 minutes
The orchestral players parts are available from:
The Fleischer Collection of Orchestral Music
The Free Library of Philadelphia
1901 Vine Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
|Title:||Concerto for Harp and Orchestra|
|Composer:||David Finko (b 1936)|
Orchestral Players: Flute & Piccolo English Horn in F Clarinet in B flat and Bass Clarinet in B flat 2 French Horns in F Triangle, Claves, Glockenspiel, Temple Block Bongos, Tom-toms, Slapstick (whip), Chimes
|Format:||Full Score stapled|
|Size:||11" x 8.5" (US Letter)|
|Publisher:||Dako Publishers / Editions Harpiana Publications|
|Series:||Gems Unearthed - Harp Originals|