With Henry VIII’s declaration as King of Ireland, an interest in Irish music eventually brought the melting strains of the early Irish harp to the court of England as well as to those elsewhere in Europe. Late in Elizabeth’s reign and into that of James I, the wire-strung Cláirseach, pinnacle of Gaelic musical culture, was assimilated into a European context and heard alongside other Renaissance consort instruments. Come experience a taste of the Tudor & Jacobean sound worlds: James Ruff – tenor and early Gaelic harp, Susan Rotholz – flute, Andrew Rutherford – lute, and Patricia Neeley – viola da gamba perform music by Henry VIII himself, Irish songs referenced by Shakespeare next to those by Dowland and Byrd, and a collection of ancient harp laments contrasted with more modern pavanes attributed to Cormack MacDermott, Irish Royal harper to James I.

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