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Ireland is the only country in the world with a musical instrument as its national emblem. The symbol of the harp is everywhere: on our coins, passports, tax demands and even on the pint glass. It is probably one of our most enduring and recognisable images and today there are more professional harpers and students of our national instrument than ever before.
Masters of the Irish Harp (produced in association with Cairde na Cruite) is the latest release from RTÉ lyric fm and it celebrates the virtuosity of sixteen of our leading harpers playing music ranging from solo harp tunes collected at the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792 right up to compositions created in the twenty-first century for harp, trumpet and guitar.
Masters of the Irish Harp includes harpers who have played for American Presidents, as part of Riverdance, at international festivals and events, and who have won Grammy Awards. All of the musicians on the CD have toured throughout the world and are the leading players of their instrument. Masters of the Irish Harp is a musical snapshot of the vitality of Irish harp playing today and is a must for all music lovers. In the words of Giraldus Cambrensis, the twelfth century scholar, describing the musicianship of the harper “...the perfection of their art seems to lie in their concealing it, as if it were the better for being hidden.”
Masters of the Irish Harp joins a growing stable of releases from RTÉ lyric fm, a label that is getting critical acclaim from reviewers at home (The Sunday Business Post/ The Irish Times/ JMI) and abroad (Gramophone/ The American Record Guide/ The Strad/ Classical Music Magazine).