The harp is numbered among the oldest of musical instruments. In its many variants, it has appeared in the music of many cultures for more than five thousand years. However, its picturesque sound is rarely heard on concert platforms in solo and ensemble repertoire. The Warsaw Philharmonic audience will have a special opportunity to listen to exceptional chamber works featuring this noble instrument. They were written during the first half of the twentieth century by French composers. It was in France that the innovatively-sounding trio of flute, viola and harp first appeared. That line-up was popularised largely thanks to the experimentation of the French impressionists. A rich palette of hues is displayed by Maurice Ravel’s enchanting Introduction et allegro. Here, the harp, which plays a leading role (as in a solo concerto), is accompanied by flute, clarinet and string quartet. This work was commissioned by the Paris-based firm of Érard, known not only for making pianos. Two hundred years ago, it created the double-action pedal harp, which bore a significant influence over the instrument’s current form.