Sonatina for Harp by Andrew Schultz

 

Five minutes of simple nature and music.

A few years ago Andrew wrote a short piece for beginner harpists at the request of Alice Giles, AM – the eminent harp player and teacher who lives in Canberra. That piece, Heard on the Wind, is now a set work for Grade 2 harpists – that is, beginners.

Andrew has since added to it with two other short movements and the whole thing is a Sonatina for Harp. It’s simple and gentle music. The three movements are as follows.

  1. Ripples on water – Meditative and calm
  2. Drifting sands – Moderately fast
  3. Heard on the wind – Flowing

For those with a technical mind – the music is entirely diatonic, or modal, which means there are no pedal changes. So it captures the spirit of the Aeolian harp – the instrument that is played by the wind.

Alice Giles did a lovely recording recently and a video has been added – so if you want five minutes of simple nature and music please watch it at this link on YouTube.

 

Sonatina for harp, opus 108, is a short work in three movements written recently in response to a request from Alice Giles to write some short pieces suitable for early stage harp performers. The three movements are modal and diatonic in style and have titles evoking the spirit of the aeolian harp – carried on the wind and meditative in mood.

These diatonic pieces can be played on lever or pedal harp and there are no chromatic alterations to pitch within each piece.

 


As wave drives wave (for choir) by Andrew Schultz

 

‘And each, pursued,

Pursues the next.

For what was before is left behind;

And what was not, now is;

And each moment is new.’

These are some of the memorable lines from Ovid’s Metamorphoses which he in turn drew from Pythagoras’ The Eternal Flux and which are adapted by the composer Andrew Schultz in his recent work for a capella choir, As wave drives wave. The motion of the waves and their restless renewal is used as a metaphor for the certainty of perpetual change in the universe. The imagery in Ovid’s text is very beautiful and possibly even a little melancholy – or maybe granitic and philosophical and hence, sadness is irrelevant.

As wave drives wave can be heard in the following recording on YouTube from a performance at Christ Church, North Adelaide on 6 October, 2023 by the Brisbane Chamber Choir (Graeme Morton, conductor) as a part of the Adelaide Chamber Choir Festival.

 

This six minute piece is based on slow-moving harmony with sequences of overlapping and interlocking chords – as if unresolved suspensions were waves pushing waves. The work is an eight-part SATB choir setting but a lot of the work is really in four parts with pairs of voices starting in unison and then splitting apart.

Read more about the piece and the full text of As wave drives wave, here.

 


The image at the top of this post is J.M.W.Turner’s painting – Thompson’s Aeolian Harp (1809)