Well before the Nationalist schools of the nineteenth century, Celtic music in general, and Scots tunes in particular, enjoyed a period of great popularity throughout Great Britain. Composers trained in the Italian art music of the time borrowed traditional Celtic melodies and used them to create musical hybrids which owed as much to the ornamental stylings of Corelli as to the fiddle and lute traditions of Scotland. Strangely, the actual Celtic composers, arrangers and publishers of the period, many of whom synthesized the traditional idioms of their native culture with real flair and affection, are often overlooked in explorations of what was dubbed the “Scots drawing room style” by the eighteenth-century music publisher James Johnson. The goal of this recording is to bring attention to these over-looked composers. The programme includes works by James Oswald, General John Reid, Edward Jones, William McGibbon, Turlough O’Carolan, and excerpts from the Rowallan and Straloch lute books.
“…La Cigale has a hit on its hands with this collection of Baroque instrumental music from Celtic countries. The tight ensemble playing, sensitivity to style and musical moods, and clear production values, showcase a range of performances from the witty to the danceable to thoughtful to florid.”
The Whole Note, 28 February 2017
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