The Nightingale (And Other Lesser Spotted Tunes …)

By Josephine Keegan

  1. The Nightingale
    The Bee’s Wing
  2. The Honourable Thomas Burke
  3. The Musical Bridge At Bellacorrick
  4. Where Did You Find Her?
    The Lass Of Ballintra
  5. Mrs Trench
  6. Carolan’s Concerto
  7. Deirdre’s Lament
    Uirchill A’Chreagan
    An Draighnean Donn
  8. Carolan’s Draught
  9. The Early Morn
    The Lincoln
  10. Carolan’s Cup
  11. Lament For Michael Delargy

One comment

Rescued from the vaults …

Joe Burke says in the liner notes …

"As a follow-up to a recording released in the early Seventies, Sean McGuire, Josephine Keegan and myself were commissioned to record another album for a Canadian-based recpord company. With extra studio time available, Josephine recorded several solo piano tracks.

The record deal fell through and the master tapes were lost. It was a delightful discovery thirty years later when I found the tape with Josephine’s piano playing. It was in a very "quare" place. I am very happy to see it released."

When I read that comment, I’m often led to wnonder just where the very "quare" place was that Joe found the tapes!

Anyway these tapes to which he refers form the basis of this album which features Jospehine Keegan’s solo piano. Josephine’s contribution to Irish music can not be underestimated. Not only has she set a standard for piano accompaniment, she has composed a host of tunes which will live as part of the "canon" as long as people continue to play Irish music. (Which, presumably, will be for a very long time. I can’t see it disappearing altogether in my lifetime! 🙂 )

This album is worth the price purely for the last track alone. Josephine recorded this original compsition some years ago in her compilation "The Keegan’s Tunes". However it was played by on that occasion by a large fiddle group and although I immediately recognised the tune as an outstandingly beautiful and touching slow air, I felt that I’d like to hear it played solo by the maestra herself. Her solo rendition on piano here is an example of the paradox we often encounter with slow airs. It’s at once heartbreaking and uplifting. A fitting tribute to the highly-respected fiddle-maker, Delargy.

Independently released earlier this year under Keegan’s own steam, and with no catalogue number, etc. to help you track it down. Hopefully it will get picked up by a major-league distributor.