Editions Harpiana Publications: Classics Revisited

Editions Harpiana Publications:
Classics Revisited

Cover Image La Charité
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)

Transcribed for harp by Aptommas
Edited by Dominique Piana

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Other music by Gioachino Rossini


La charité (Charity) was originally the third of a group of sacred choir pieces written by Rossini in 1844 for female chorus and piano. The first piece was titled La foi (Faith) and the second L'espérance (Hope). It is set to words by Louise Colet, a French poet and novelist who was on intimate terms with leading men of letters such as Musset, Vigny and Flaubert.

At the time of its composition, Rossini had long since retired as an opera composer, was seriously ill and traveling back and forth between Italy and Paris in search of relief.

La charité stands out at first hearing as one of those melodies that leave an indelible impression upon the listener. The mystical pull, aided by true operatic fervor, transports you irresistibly into the spheres of pure sentiment. The emotional power of this melody, balanced by its simplicity of means, can be likened to the famous Prayer from his opera Moses, another choir piece revealing his genuine religious devotion.

Franz Liszt wrote a piano transcription in 1847, which was published as a pair with the Aria from the Stabat mater that Rossini had revised in 1841.

The transcription by Aptommas (1829?-1913) must date from his early career. The younger brother of the well-known Welsh harpist John Thomas (1826-1913), Aptommas, in reality Thomas Thomas, was the departing minstrel bid farewell in The Minstrel's Adieu to his Native Land. He toured throughout Europe and moved to the United States for several years. He self-published a famous History of the Harp while in New York in 1859, in the "effort to elevate the instrument of his specialité in the public estimation." Replete with poetic citations, it dwells at length on the harps of yore, with one last chapter finally dedicated to the modern harp. He finishes with a poem celebrating the great Parish Alvars:

"They sat entranced as if in some blest dream,
They heard the witching melody of heaven..."

...A vision that also fits La charité to perfection. We cannot but revisit the legacy of Aptommas' highest aspirations without partaking of our own little slice of heaven.

The editor has preserved the original fingerings of Aptommas, but added pedal changes and corrected inconsistencies. The music was processed by Françoise Bourret.


Dominique Piana

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Library Information

Title: La Charité
Gioachino Rossini (1792-1868)
Arranger: Transcribed for harp by Aptommas
Edited by Dominique Piana
Instrumentation: Harp
Level: Intermediate to Advanced
Format: Harp Part stapled
Size: 11" x 8.5" (US Letter)
ISMN: Not issued
Our Ref: DP004
Publisher: Editions Harpiana Publications
Series: Classics Revisited
Edition/Year: 2004
Origin: USA