Paris harp shop 2 ~ harpyness

Friday, 1 April 2011

Paris harp shop 2

Back this morning from a tour with the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra playing Tchaikovsky Manfred Symphony - 7 concerts in 7 different European cities in 8 days..... including travelling days to and from the UK!

We had a few spare hours in Paris so managed to fit in a visit to the wonderful harp shop near the Arc de Triomphe, Le Magasin de la Harpe.

Yet again, Alexandre Budin very generously gave up his time to show us the amazing historic harps he has in his workshop, a few doors down from his shop. Erards in the front of the photo below, and Pleyel chromatic harp at the back/middle.

And what a great collection of harp music he has to browse through!

He also showed us a couple of Sylvain Blassel's harps which are kept downstairs. His small Erat harp is absolutely stunning to look at and has the most amazing tone.

Here is a video of Sylvain playing Recuerdos de la Alhambra by Tarrega on the Erat.

Check out his fingering of the repeated notes throughout, also his use of the little finger in the left hand. Very interesting!!!

I'm going to see if I can work out using this fingering and whether I can actually use my left hand pinky on my Salvis. I fear the tension on the Salvi will be too much for my little fingers alas!

It's very easy to just repeat what we have been taught and say that we don't play using our little fingers, but as Alexandre said, "why not?"

why not indeed.

Japanese style Erard harp - only around 7 ever built!


  1. Wow! What playing! and what a shop! looks like you had some fun :-)

  2. Is the subject connected with your professional field or maybe is it more about your leisure and kinds of spending your free time?