The Harp Consort – Purcell Fairest isle & Rondo

The Harp Consort, with Andrew Lawrence King on harp, performing in York in 2011.  And yes, he is indeed using the pinkie of his left hand when he plays!  First time I’ve seen that technique in action.  For more on the Harp Consort and early harps, you can visit their website:

Harps in Historical Paintings: Domenico Zampieri

King David playing a triple harp, Domenico ZampieriThe well-known picture of King David playing a triple harp, by Italian painter, architect and harp-builder Domenico Zampieri (1581-1641). You can click on the image to get a bigger picture. The colour in the larger image isn’t quite as good, but it does show more detail, including a bit more of the top of the painting, and you can see the strings on the harp more clearly.

A number of harp-makers have made replicas based on this painting. Since Zampieri was himself a harp-builder, one might assume that the harp is accurately represented. However, having King David play a triple harp of this sort is, according to Roslyn Blyn-Ladrew, “an anachronistic error by Zampieri of over 2000 years”. You can see Ms. Blyn-Ladrew’s full article here.