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Ideally, the work should be performed by eight singers (SSAATTBB) with harp. If a larger choir is employed, it will be necessary to replace the harp with a piano for acoustic balance. The piano part has been modified from the harp where necessary to enhance playability. The pianist, however, should strive to imitate a harp throughout. If a synthesizer is used to play the harp part, the piano changes should be used.
I first heard The Maid of Culmore in a marvellous performance by Celtic Thunder. The piece speaks of lost love, lost opportunity, and of what might have been. It cried out for a setting that created a soundscape to capture the gentle swell of the sea, the Irish fogs, and the pain and depression of the poet; consequently, this arrangement calls on the singers to express that pain through missing words, colliding chords, suspensions, and vocalizations.
I first arranged The Maid of Culmore for orchestra in the suite Partings in 2015. During revisions the next year for the official premiere during Canada’s 150th celebrations in 2017, I kept hearing the work as a piece for harp and a small vocal ensemble. Very quickly, this version was completed. See Partings, Three Irish Songs of Separation for the orchestral version.
Note that the recording is computer generated; consequently, the lyrics are missing.
Score: 8 pages Harp/Piano 7 pages
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.
Reviews of The Maid of Culmore (choir and harp)
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