The arranger has provided a brief and interesting bio of the composer, John Thomas (1826-1913). It is well worth the read and helps with learning and performing. Darhon Rees-Rohrbacher is of Welsh descent, so this project has been done with great care.
The manuscript for the Minstrel’s Adieu dates from July 30, 1852. This work features a theme with four variations, showcasing different harp techniques – some of which are quite challenging! The work was conceived for the pedal harp in the key of C-flat but could also be played on a triple harp in the key of C-natural. In order to adapt it to the lever harp, some adjustments needed to be made such as elimination of some left-hand notes to facilitate lever changes and a few note alterations. I also made a few changes in note values and beaming in order to make the work easier to read on the page. However, I left most of Thomas’ work intact.
In order to adapt this work to a 34-string lever harp, some of the arpeggios had to be “shortened” near the end of variation 4 by eliminating 8va indications. If performers own a large lever harp that is able to play the full range, they should feel free to adjust the arpeggios.
Lever changes are indicated by both diamond-shaped note heads and the octave number of the strings. I endeavored to place the lever changes at the most “logical” place in each movement. However, as lever change preferences are highly personal, feel free to move the lever changes to a different spot in the music.
Dynamic markings, fingerings, metronome markings, 8va indications, and instructions are provided for ease of performance. However, the musician should use whichever expressive markings suit them, no matter what this book indicates!
Note: The minimum harp range required to play this arrangement exactly as written is 34 strings: from low C to high A. For lever harps tuned in Eb, Bb, F, or C major
Currently this publication is only available as a PDF download.