Music for the Harp: Elizabeth McNulty at St Luke’s – 31 October 2014 (Post updated 9 August 2020)

    Miss McNulty said that a set of professional-grade strings can cost around £200, but they last up to two years. © Andrew Burdett 2014
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    Elizabeth McNulty's harp, following the musician's lunchtime concert at St Luke's. © Andrew Burdett 2014

Celebrated harpist Elizabeth McNulty gave a 45-minute recital at St Luke’s this lunchtime, the latest in a series of Friday afternoon concerts.

With music by Handel and Fauré, as well as lesser-known composers Dussek and Spohr, the programme gave the audience a flavour of harp music from the last four centuries.

The concert began at 1:00pm, after a simple sandwich lunch, available to buy and enjoy at the back of church from noon. With the plates and teacups put away, attendees migrated to the front of the building where McNulty, who is Principal Harpist with The Kantanti Ensemble, then played her beautiful instrument, opening with the three movements of GFH’s Concerto for Harp.

After the concert, Elizabeth invited the audience to move forward to see her harp in closer detail. An informal questions-and-answers session let attendees find out how the pedals affect the sound produced by the strings; how Elizabeth’s fingers became blistered  when she returned to the instrument, having not played for a short period of time; and how Elizabeth transports the large instrument to concerts, at home and abroad.

Andrew Burdett

Andrew Burdett is a twenty-something from Maidenhead in Berkshire, working for ITV News.