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MAIRE NI CHATHASAIGH "The New Strung Harp" - Temple Records COMD2019

Every strand in traditional music appears to have its landmark recordings, and although I am neither a harper (harpist?), an expert in Irish music, nor, regrettably, a Gaelic speaker, it is easy to see that this is one of them. The clarity of Maire's playing and singing must be an inspiration to those learning the instrument, and the sparseness of her arrangements merely emphasises the beauty of the original material, particularly on the tracks where she plays the "old" harp music.

If pushed for a favourite track, I think I was most impressed by "An Speic Seoigheach", and the song from Uist, "O Ho Nighean, E Ho Nighean".

I would recommend this CD unreservedly to anyone who did not catch it as an LP first time around, and also to those whose "gramophones" are now in their attics. There is a slight problem with the CD insert, whose track listing does not match the CD or its back cover (which appears correct), but this is a minor irritation.

Julia Say

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This album was reviewed in Issue 22 of The Living Tradition magazine.