Butterflies, by Gabriel Verdalle

Here’s another little gem that I had never heard of before, also available free on IMSLP.

Gabriel Verdalle (1847-1918)

Verdalle was harpist with the Paris Opera in his time, and he was actually quite a prolific composer for the harp, even though his works are not so well known. Butterflies has been a particularly delightful discovery for me. It’s a great alternative to either of the La Source pieces that are so commonly given to students to introduce them to the idea of a right-hand thumb melody over a cascade of notes. It is deceptive in its simplicity, though, because it requires a lot of control to bring out the melody and the phrasing. It’s best for intermediate or even upper-intermediate players.

I have a new microphone set-up now, so the recording quality should be much cleaner than last time. (I’m still tweaking the mic placement and line-levels, though, so bear with me.)

There weren’t any pedal markings in the score that I downloaded, so I’m also offering a version with them written in. Since Verdalle was a harpist himself, his writing is very clear for the instrument and the only other markings I felt the need for were reminders about which left-hand fingering I wanted to use. Enjoy!

[PDF – low resolution] Butterflies (markings) – Gabrielle Verdalle

[PDF – high resolution] Butterflies (markings) – Gabrielle Verdalle