It started with a hobby. As a folk music lover, the Scot George Thomson (1757-1851) composed a collection of Irish, Scottish and Welsh melodies. For example, he asked Haydn and, when he was too old, Beethoven, for arrangements. Thomson had lyrics written by poets such as Robert Burns and Lord Byron.
Some of Beethoven’s settings of those Irish songs were recorded by the Belgian baroque ensemble Ricercar Consort and the Swedish soprano Maria Keohane. The original piano trio as accompaniment is now a silvery baroque ensemble with a whispering harp, on which Beethoven’s refined harmonizations – he took arranging very seriously – sound like angels’ song. Keohane, pure and melancholy, is the chief angel, especially in the sad The Massacre of Glencoe (one clan crushed the other).
Nostalgia and drunken merriment are close together. In Scottish The Miller o’ Drone shrieks the violin and stamps the foot. Lush graces swirl into your ears.
Ricercar Consort & Maria Keohane
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Nostalgia and drunken merriment stand side by side on Irish Song
Source link Nostalgia and drunken merriment stand side by side on Irish Song