‘unfailingly musical’ — Martin Adams, The Irish Times
‘this extraordinary concert artist plays the Irish harp as though she has a third arm with which to obtain dozens of chromaticisms’ — Giorgio Calcara, Keltika Magazine, Italy
‘O’Farrell’s transformation of the harp from an instrument of gentility to one steeped in an earthy sensuality is remarkable’ — Siobhán Long
‘Bright, effortless and cheerful playing from beginning to end’ — Fintan Vallely
‘This virtuoso harpist magically brought a richly decorated soundworld into being’ — Ostschweizer Tagesblatt
Double Strung by Anne-Marie O’Farrell & Cormac De Barra
Contemporary duos performing erudite repertoires on the Irish harp are a rarity. Loitering in their company for an entire album is akin to navigating a path back in time, but with one foot still firmly planted in the present. Cormac De Barra and Anne-Marie O’Farrell have let enough grass grow beneath their feet to ensure they’re keenly attuned to one another’s stylistic idiosyncrasies. They’ve chosen to stretch what could have been a cosy Carolan repertoire to embrace the European classical tradition, all the while mining the nethermost regions of their instruments, so that their reading of Carlos Salzedo’s Chanson dans la Nuit is a revelatory melding of creative energy and lateral thinking. A collection that promises to lure classical, traditional and contemporary music lovers harpwards.
Siobhán Long, The Irish Times 29-7-2005
The Jig’s Up by Anne-Marie O’Farrell
Here is affirmation of Irishness, thus O’Carolan features strongly, in refreshing variety, briskly paced. Such tempi match O’Farrell’s other selections — Paddy Fahy’s Jig and the Gander in the Pratie Hole jig sets. Bright, effortless and cheerful playing from beginning to end; interesting syncopations and odd notes about. Ellen Cranitch’s flute joins in a terrific, biting Fanny Power with jazz extrapolation, Conor Guilfoyle and Brian Fleming give just a hint of percussion, Cormac De Barra enteres on harp for Miss McDermot and Lady Gethin.
Fintan Vallely, The Irish Times, 6-3-1998