O’Carolan’s Dream

By Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu & Garlic Bread

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”A speciality from France. The Lyonese Le Concert de l’Hostel Dieu, directed by Franck-Emmanuel Comte, is devoted to 17th and 18th century music. This Baroque ensemble teamed up with Garlic Bread, a young folk group from the Rhone-Alpes region playing traditional Irish music. This collaboration is dedicated to the music of the blind itinerant harper and composer Turlough O’Carolan (1670-1738 -> FW#20). Carolan came from a Gaelic background, but also discovered the music of then contemporary Italian composers, so his music is a mix of traditional Irish and Italian Baroque music, a blend of traditional and art music. Tunes featured are the popular "Sheebeg and Sheemore", less played Carolan’s Variations on the Scottish Air "When She Cam Ben She Bobbit". Four of fourteen tracks are not Carolan made. Comte’s "Gaelic tarentelle" is based on "Sheebeg and Sheemore". There is Corelli’s "Folia," and some traditional reels (I’m not quite sure at which time the reel arrived in Ireland). There are nine musicians in all, playing Celtic harp, fiddle, bouzouki and flute on one hand, and double bass, clavecin, organ and viole de gambe on the other. The music goes from straight trad to Baroque and to jazz. I am surprised about the pace of the music, much faster as Carolan tunes are usually played. Did they reaseach how music in Carolan’s time was really played? Or is it just a jazz thing? Some tunes have words with it, sung by Sandrine Burtin. Some of them are original Carolan, others of later origin. For example, "Miss MacDermott" ("Princess Royal") today is linked with lyrics celebrating the English frigate Arethusa, written half a century after Carolan’s death. The booklet includes lyrics of the songs, the Gaelic is translated into both English and French.

Review By Folkworld http://www.folkworld.de/37/e/cds2.html