Turlough O'Carolan was born in Nobber in Co Meath in
1670 and is regarded as one of the finest composers and
harpists that Ireland has ever produced. Dr. Douglas
Hyde in his literary history of Ireland stated:
"Although many distinguished harpers flourished during
the first quarter of the 18th century, yet Turlough
O'Carolan stands pre-eminently as the representative
Irish musician of that period."
Seán O'Riada was primarily responsible for reviving the
music of O'Carolan, as his solo recordings and
recordings with Ceoltóirí Chualann testify.
'O'Carolan's Concerto' was recorded on the disc 'Ceol
na Nuasal' (The Music of the Nobility).
The story behind 'O'Carolan's Concerto' is an
interesting one. It is said that it was a response to a
compositional challenge by Francesco Geminiani, the
Italian violinist and composer, during his visit to
Many of O'Carolan's compositions are still performed by
Irish musicians, such as Planxty, The Chieftains and
The Dubliners. Derek Bell, who was a musician with The
Chieftains and the first to record two albums of
O'Carolan's music, commented on this piece:
"'Carolan's Concerto' could be described as a two-part
bouree. It isn't a concerto. You could call it his
symphony or concerto if several musicians are sounding
together in it."
Although this work was originally written for Celtic
Harp, I created this arrangement at the request of a
user for Violins (3) and Cello.