Mudcat Café message #3782844 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #159372   Message #3782844
Posted By: keberoxu
02-Apr-16 - 03:06 PM
Thread Name: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
Subject: RE: 'All the dear Spinning Eileens' (Irish harpists)
One of the March 7 posts to this thread, was a quote from the memoirs of Mary O'Hara, who studied with Máirín Ní Shé, and first came to attention in the Thomas Moore pageant at the Sion Hill Dominican College in 1951. Note how hard they had to look around to scrounge up three harps for the pageant! MacFall had just one harp left for sale. We know that the Ní Shé sisters themselves had harps; it is recorded that Máirín's sister Róisín possessed a Tara harp made by MacFall.

Ten years later, look at the difference. The following are quotes from the Monday, 8 May, 1961 issue, page 5, of Dublin's Irish Press (English language).

The harp concert promoted by Cairde na Cruite in the Royal Hibernian Hotel was a most pleasant experience and showed clearly that our Irish harp is no longer in danger of extinction through neglect. Considering the limitations of the instrument, the range of items on the programme was immensely gratifying. The concert opened with a highly effective arrangement of Brian Boru's March -- for five harps -- by Mercedes Bolger, Gráinne Ní hEigeartaigh, Eileen Kane, Elizabeth Leigh, and Joan Burke.
Noted in the first half: Gráinne Ní hEigeartaigh, performing Irish songs with harp; without citing titles, the journalist remarks approvingly that certain of these songs have associations with Shakespeare which the presentation emphasized.

In the second half, we had the Children of Lir performed by mime and singer, accompanied by Máirín Ní Shé, harp. Róisín Ní Shé brought us harp music and songs from Wales and Brittany, tastefully arranged and performed. She also combined delightfully with her sister Máirín in three songs from the Hebrides: "Mairead Og" especially was moving and poignant.