At the age of only nine, Welsh schoolgirl Catrin Finch achieved the highest ever mark in the UK for her Grade VIII harp exam. A promising start for a would-be professional, and so it turned out, with Catrin being installed just over ten years later as the first Royal Harpist since the reign of Queen Victoria.
Record deals have followed, producing several commercially successful albums, one of the most notable being with the composer John Rutter in Blessing
. Now here's the latest, a collection of lullabies for both adults and children.
The album was recorded in Wales and contains a number of Welsh songs, one - Ar Lan y Môr (Beside the Sea) - with Aled Jones, and another - Suo Gân - with Bryn Terfel and the primary school choir of Gwaelod y Garth. The gentle and mellow tones in the language are beautifully supported by the harp, and the influence of these songs can be heard in one of Catrin's own compositions, My Child.
Julian Lloyd-Webber guests on Eric Whitacre's Seal Lullaby, and Kate Royal gives a tender but gracious rendition of Schubert's Cradle Song.
Imaginatively programmed and with some lovely arrangements, this album's soothing appeal will touch many, from the very youngest onward.