Oberthür, Le Sylphe, Morceau gracieux
Charles Oberthür (1819-1895) was one of the best-known of nineteenth-century harpists and a prolific composer for his instrument. Born in Munich, he held appointments at Zurich and Wiesbaden before settling in London in 1844– At the forefront of English harp playing and teaching for the next fifty years he also maintained strong European connections, teaching at the Paris and Brussels conservatories, touring extensively and visiting numerous courts and festivals. His private pupils included Princess Stephanie (wife of Crown Prince Rudolph of Austria) and the Duchess of Wellington. In 1884 he toured the USA.
Oberthür published extensively for the harp. This composition is the quintessential 19th century "fairy piece", elfin, spirited, fun to play and magical: in effect, a masterpiece of the genre.
For the advanced pedal harpist, although an intermediate-advanced student would also find this piece an excellent study in Romantic harp music.