CD A0343: Clàrsach na Bànrighe

Clàrsach na Bànrighe (The Queen's Harp)
Simon Chadwick

CD Cover: Clàrsach na BànrigheFrom medieval plainchant in honour of St Andrew, to a Gaelic song of 1715 complaining of defeat in battle. This CD presents two complementary programmes, of medieval and 18th century repertory, played on a newly commissioned replica of the famous medieval Scottish Queen Mary harp.

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Other CDs & books by Simon Chadwick

Track Listing & Audio Samples

Part 1: Medieval church music
1 Vir Perfecte 2:24
2 Vir Iste 1:58
3 Kyrie Virginitatus Amator 1:30
4 Salve Splendor 2:47
5 Pater Columba 1:25
6 Ex Te Lux Oritur, O Dulcis Scotia 3:23
7 Nobilis Humilis 2:53
Part 2: Medieval instrumental music
8 Burns March 2:52
9 Battle of Hara Law 5:48
Interlude: 17th and 18th century clàrsach music
10 Rory Dall's Port 5:58
11 Da Mihi Manum 4:18
12 Cumh Easpuic Earra-ghaoidheal 6:44
Part 3: The Queen Mary harp at Lude House
13 Air by Fingal 1:17
14 Air by Fingal 1:33
15 Air by Fingal 1:54
16 McLoud's Salute 1:14
17 Lude's Supper 2:10
18 Port Lennox 2:57
19 Port Gordon 1:29
20 Oran air Cath Sliabh an t Siorraimh (with guest singer Mairead Murnion) 4:13
21 Port Athol 2:07
Postlude: The flowers of the forest
22 The Flowres of the Forrest 2:20

Notes & Credits

About this CD

Clàrsach na Bànrighe (which means 'The Queen's Harp') is the 2008 debut CD from Simon Chadwick.

The disc presents two complementary programmes, of medieval and 18th century Scottish early harp repertory. The cover illustration shows a detail from the instrument on which the music is played: a newly commissioned replica of the famous medieval Scottish 'Queen Mary' harp.

The medieval section of the CD includes 13th century church repertory from St Andrews Cathedral (where the CD was recorded), as well as from Inchcolm island in the Firth of Forth. The second half of the CD presents, for the first time, the complete repertory of John Robertson of Lude, Perthshire, who owned and played the 'Queen Mary' harp in the early 18th century. As well as airs, ports and a family salute, it includes a Gaelic song on the battle of Sherrifmuir, which has been newly matched to its original tune and is sung by guest, Mairead Murnion, from Co. Down, Ireland.

The 'Queen Mary' harp is one of Scotland's national treasures, on display in a glass case in the National Museum of Scotland, Edinburgh. This replica was built by sculptor, Davy Patton, from Co. Roscommon in Ireland. It is by far the most accurate ever made, copying not only the shape and form of the original, but also its fantastically intricate decoration. It is carved from only three pieces of timber: willow, apple, and sycamore. Following historical Irish and Scottish practice, the harp has strings of metal wire: medieval 'latten' brass, sterling silver and 18 carat gold.

Simon Chadwick is a specialist in the history, traditions and performance of historical Irish and Scottish harp music. He has been based in St Andrews since early 2006. He is Hon. Secretary of the Historical Harp Society of Ireland, and Assistant Director of its annual summer school, which is held in Kilkenny, Ireland every August and is the main international event for the study of the historical Gaelic harp traditions. Since 2006, he has been researching, performing and teaching at the Wighton Heritage Centre in Dundee, which holds an extensive collection of 17th, 18th and 19th century Scottish music books.


Recorded by Oliver Atack, 21st-24th January 2008, in a medieval vaulted chamber in the ruins of St Andrews Cathedral.
Produced with a grant from the Arts Trust of Scotland
Published February 2008 by Early Gaelic Harp Info

©2008 Early Gaelic Harp Info

Album Information

Title:     Clàrsach na Bànrighe (The Queen's Harp)
Artists: Simon Chadwick  with Mairead Murnion (gaelic Song)
Instruments:     Harp / Voice and Harp
Genre: Early Music
Format: CD
Our Ref: A0343
Label: Early Gaelic Harp
Year: 2008
Origin: UK