A Harper's Holiday in Wales

Spoken Tracks recorded live at the Santa Cruz, California Baroque Festival, February 6, 2010

Liner Notes


A Harper's Holiday in Wales

Join us on a musical journey to the ancient land of Wales with a quartet of exquisite Welsh triple-strung harps live in concert, playing arrangements of traditional Welsh Airs. From the mountains of the North to the marshes of the South and all the lovely valleys and forests between, the magical landscape of Wales inspires music that expresses its spirit in vivid melodies ranging in mood from martial to pastoral; tragic to cheerful. Listeners who love folk and classical music alike will enjoy this delightful collection of traditional tunes set in baroque and classical styles and arranged for harp ensemble with a contemporary flair.

The Red Dragon Harp Ensemble

Cheryl Ann Fulton - Director and Soloist
Margaret Cohen
Bill McJohn
Betty Nelson

Recording Engineer - Barry Philips
Editing and Mastering - Daniel Drasin
Graphics - Jim Ward
All arrangements © 2015 by Cheryl Ann Fulton
Recorded live February 6th, 2010 in concert at the Santa Cruz Baroque Festival,
        Santa Cruz, California

The Instruments: Three Welsh triple harps by Rainer Thurau (Germany); copies of an original made by John Richards (1711-1789), Llanrwst, Wales, now at the Musical Instrument Museum in Berlin, Germany. One Welsh triple harp by Tim Hampson (England); copy of an anonymous 18th C. Welsh triple harp in the collection of St. Fagan’s, Cardiff, Wales with decorations copied from the triple harp by David Evans (fl. 1736) in the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.

The Welsh Triple-Strung Harp or "Triple Harp"


Most harps have a single row of strings and are usually tuned diatonically. The triple harp has three rows of strings: the outer two rows are parallel and tuned in unison to whatever key the harpist chooses, the inner row is offset and tuned to all the corresponding chromatic notes. This arrangement allows for playing chromatic pitches without using mechanical devices like pedals or levers, and affords the special musical option of playing in unison on the two outer rows. Playing the triple harp requires a precise, clean touch and refined technique for both accessing the middle row of strings and for performing the subtle articulations which bring to life the full range of expression of this harp and its music. 


Tracks


Pwy ar y Bys (Butter and Pease)                           3:35

Serch Hudol (Allurement of Love)                          8:29
Rheged (name of a District)
Merch Megan (Margaret’s Daughter)
Gorhoffedd Gwyr Harlech

      (The March of the Men of Harlech)

The Dawning of the Day (Irish Air)                         5:01  
Toriad Y Dydd (The Dawn of Day)
Morfa Rhuddlan (The Marsh of Rhuddlan)

Llwyn On - Variation Siciliano - (The Ash Grove)    4:09
    Mwynen Machno (The Enjoyment of Machno)
Cadair Idris (A Lofty Moutain near Dogellau and
    tune for the song Jenny Jones)

Suo Gan (Sleep My Baby)                                     7:00    

Dafydd y Garreg-wen (David of the White Rock)  6:12
Codiad yr Hedydd (The Rising of the Lark)    


Clychau Aberdyfi (Bells of Aberdovey)                  7:57
Clychau Prestwick (Prestwick Bells)        


Pant corlan yr wyn (The Lambs-fold Vale)              6:04

Reprise Gorhoffedd Gwyr Harlech                         2:07
        (The March of the Men of Harlech)

Total running time:                                                  50:50