Hector MacAndrew Recordings

Hector MacAndrew Recordings

Although a Scottish fiddler, I’ve been intrigued to hear what he sounds like, especially after reading claims that he was the greatest Scottish fiddler of the 20th century (what about Alisdair Fraser?). Does anyone know of any available recordings? There was a reference on this site to a CD entitled "Scottish Violin Music-Volume 1" but I’ve been having trouble locating it. Thanks.

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Re: Hector MacAndrew Recordings

I have heard some of his recordings at a lecture. He has a very strict, stilted North East style. In some quarters, it is believed that this is the "correct" traditional style and that other styles of fiddle playing are somewhat inferior and merely "folk". Of course, I don’t subscribe to this idea at all and I actually started a discussion elsewhere regarding this.
http://www.footstompin.com/forum?threadid=22459

I’ve listened to old recordings of people like Scott Skinner too and, while I appreciate many of his compositions, his style of playing doesn’t do anything for me at all.

To my ear, the more modern fiddlers including Alasdair Fraser are much more appealing and have a "free-er" approach to the music. I do appreciate some North East fiddlers too but enjoy all Scottish styles particularly West Highland and Shetland.

Re: Hector MacAndrew Recordings

There is a disc called "the Fiddler and His Art"

Scottish Fiddling CD put out by Greentrax and if I remember (I’m not at home and do not have the disc in front of me) is in a series published by University of Edinbourgh (or something like that)

Anyway, there are several tracks with Hector MacAndrews playing…his style is traditional, but if you want to hear how a Strathspey is supposed to sound, this is where to go…his Airs are very interpretive and lyrical, not strict at all…he does not, though, water down his playing or his style.

Listening to him play would be like listening to Michael Coleman in ITM…

Go to the Well for water…

it is available at Amazon by following the link below


http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B00000241I/qid=1102090468/sr=8-3/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i3_xgl15/103-0914611-6105449?v=glance&s=music&n=507846

Re: Hector MacAndrew Recordings

I actually have a copy of the vinyl album and I’ll listen to it again with more interest. There are a few different styles featured and interesting sleeve notes.
I didn’t mean to sound so harsh and my main problem isn’t so much with McAndrew or any other player as such. It’s more with a certain "school of thought" that wishes to dictate what the "correct way" should be.

Re: Hector MacAndrew Recordings

The recordings on the disc/album are not very studio polished..they are recorded in a very sparse setting, thus perhaps sounding "raw".

school of thought, point of view, personal taste…there is some "school of thought" that implies that if you want to sound traditional, play out of tune…hahahaha..I certainly don’t agree with that…

Re: Hector MacAndrew Recordings

A couple of anecdotes about Hector McAndrew. In the 70s, I think it was, the BBC brought Sir Yehudi Menuhin to Scotland to meet Hector McAndrew and they made a programme about it. Hector tried to show him "The Scottish Snap" bowing technique, and he just couldn’t get it. At one point, Hector stopped the violinist and said "Naa, that’s nae richt" . Not many fiddlers have told Sir Yehudi Menuhin that he was playing wrong.
I also heard that when the Shetland fiddler Willie Hunter died, the presenter Robbie Shepherd made the comment on air that Willie Hunter had been Scotland’s finest player of slow airs since Hector McAndrew died. The switchboard was immediately jammed by irate Shetlanders who were of the opinion that Willie Hunter had been the greatest player of slow airs when Hector McAndrew was still alive!
Hector McAndrew appears briefly on a video tape entitled "Celtic Spirits"[arrgh!!!]. It’s a 50 minute video of Canadian singer/guitarist John Allan Cameron and fiddler "Scotty" Fitzgerald who visited both Ireland and Scotland, I would think in the 1970s sometime. You may be able to get it from a supplier in Cape Breton, but in all honesty, I couldn’t recommend it.

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Re: Hector MacAndrew Recordings

Sir Menuhin agreed with Lois Armstrongs statement "there are 2 types of music that ‘swing’, Jazz and Scottish…this was Menuhins fascination with the idiom, much like Bartoks was with Hungarian type influences..