The Maid of Culmore (choir and harp)

By: Traditional Irish Song
For: Choir + keyboard
page one of The Maid of Culmore (choir and harp)

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Composer
Traditional Irish Song
Arranger
Year of arrangement
2017
Lyricist
Traditional
Difficulty
Moderate (Grades 4-6)
Duration
3 minutes
Genre
Folk music and Classical music
License details
For anything not permitted by the above licence then you should contact the publisher first to obtain permission.

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

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