14th day of Christmas

Last week on Instrumental Saturday, we featured one of Jeff’s favourite instruments- the pipe organ.  Today, we feature another of his favourites, the harp. If you haven’t already seen the harps (and organs) Jeff has built, I featured them a while back in this post. While Jeff has built one concert style harp, he prefers Celtic and medieval instruments.

One of Jeff’s favourite Christmas traditions is to go to Winter Harp’s annual Christmas Concert. Winter Harp is a West Coast ensemble of musicians who play harps, medieval instruments, flute and percussion. In candlelight, they perform a mix of medieval, Celtic and modern carols, all whilst dressed in period dress. The concert is very peaceful and hauntingly beautiful. This video of  O Come, O Come Emmanuel with psaltery and organistrum will give you an idea of Winter Harp’s style of music.

The group’s director is Lori Pappajohn, a very talented Celtic Harpist. Her solo Christmas album takes a more contemporary Celtic approach. In addition to the two videos posted, you might want to check out Bring a Torch, Jeanette Isabella, the Huron CarolO Come, O Come Emmanuel (different version than above) and Good King Wenceslas.

Since today is all about harps, I had to include this breathtaking arrangement of one of my favourite carols, In the Bleak Midwinter, played by Swedish musicians Tine Thing Helseth on trumpet, Birgitte Volan Håvik on harp and Elise Båtnes on violin.

One thought on “14th day of Christmas

  1. Hey!
    Love Love Love the trumpet/harp/violin arrangement!! Of course we are biased in this family to the trumpet though, so very much miss hearing my dad play it!! I will try to track down some CD's of this gal, good stocking stuffers.
    Have you and Jeff listened to Sting's winter/Christmas album called “If on a Winter's Night”? It's a cool collection of old carols and lullabies AND a metal string Scottish harp!
    Enjoying checking in each day to see what you guys will come up with music! Thanks for that.


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