Dance of the Harps
This hauntingly beautiful 3-part piece was commissioned by the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra Harp Ensemble for the opening of a new 2000-seat concert facility, Strathmore Music Hall, in Bethesda, Maryland.
Dance of the Harps is presented with an underlying 3/4 accompaniment of swaying rhythm. The melody is shared between the first and second parts, while the third part provides underlying rhythm. The melody develops and expands and is followed by a sharply contrasting middle section, which is much faster and jig-like. In this section, the harps let loose in their dance, which has become spirited and playful.
Following this faster middle section, the ensemble returns to the original melody, but with greater intensity and rhythmic vitality. As the piece comes to its dramatic conclusion, layer upon layer of rich harmonies unfold and become increasingly intense, culminating in a bell-like explosion of syncopated celebratory sound.
The piece can be played by an ensemble of beginning to intermediate lever or pedal harpists, as each of the three parts is written with a different degree of technical difficulty. UPPER BEGINNER TO INTERMEDIATE LEVER OR PEDAL HARP