While on my lunch hour this day, I heard some beautiful music on our local public radio. I had to know what it was, with viola di gamba, guitar and flute. Reminiscent of the Irish countryside, or maybe slightly Colonial, I surmised. When it was over, I heard its name and the composer! The O'Carolan's Draft by Turlough O'Carolan! Just charming, and I was happy to note that my musical ear was correct.
Turlough lived from 1670 - 1738, born in County Meath, in Ireland. Part of a farming family. Early on he was noticed for his intelligence, and began writing poetry. He was tragically blinded by small pox, and could not work the farm any more. He began the long tradition of the wandering poet minstrel, eventually composing hundreds of pieces for harp (214 survive). He lived until the age of 68.
There is a placque in St. Patrick's Cathedral in Dublin that proclaims O'Carolan as the "last of the Irish bards."
Give a listen to a version of the Draft...a delight for a Friday afternoon!