|Sounds of Ossian ~ Grand Fantasia (posthumous) Ref: adlais154|
| Sounds of Ossian - Grand Fantasia|
Elias Parish Alvars's published compositions for the harp include over 80 works for solo harp, but Sounds of Ossian Grand Fantasia is a posthumous work, never before published.
The source of the present first-ever published edition of this remarkable work is the manuscript copy made by Queen Victoria's harpist, John Thomas (1826-1913), and first performed by him in June 1888. Writing of the concert, contemporary diarist, Mrs Lucy of Charlecote noted that 'it was indeed a grand concert in every sense of the word. Mr Thomas outdid himself in his exquisite playing of a most difficult and beautiful Fantasia 'Sounds of Ossian'.
John Thomas's is the only documented performance in the nineteenth century. The only documented performances in the twentieth century were given by Ann Griffiths, who has edited the present edition from John Thomas's manuscript. His manuscript is housed in the library of the Royal College of Music in London.
Sounds of Ossian is published in 2008 to commemorate the 200th anniversary of the birth of this extraordinary harpist-musician, Elias Parish Alvars.
[Elias Parish Alvars, b.Teignmouth, Devon, February 1808; d.Vienna, January 1849]
Combining brilliance, virtuosity, passion and poetry, Sounds of Ossian is a major work of Lisztian proportions, and thus of a genre all too rare in the harp repertoire. Lest its length preclude its inclusion in concert programmes, intending performers might like to consider the following possible cuts:
Solution 1 [Introduction, Theme and Finale]: Play 1-92; 234-337
Solution 2: Play 1-92; 111-164; 207-233; 302-337