• Helen Grime
  • Harp of the North (2004)

  • Chester Music Ltd (World)

Commissioned by Warren Mailley-Smith

  • pf
  • 5 min

Programme Note

Harp of the North, farewell!
On purple peaks a deeper shade descending;
In twilight copse the glow-worm lights her spark’
The deer, half-seen are to the covert wending.
Resume thy wizard elm! The fountain lending,
And the wild breeze, thy wider minstrelsy;
Thy numbers sweet with the nature’s vespers blending,
With distant echo from the fold and lea,
And herd-boy’s evening pipe, and hum of housing bee.

(Sir Walter Scott, The lady of the lake, Canto sixth xxix)

Harp of the north was commissioned by Warren Mailley-Smith in November 2004. A lyrical melody is central to the texture in the opening section, often interrupted or partially shaded by surrounding filigree material. Two passionate and more agitated interjections punctuate the course of the piece, with the lowest of the bass notes, which are sparingly used, occurring at the main climax. A tender and melancholy reminder of the opening material leads the work to a gentle close.


Sample Pages