The Celtic Lute

By Ronn McFarlane

Added by Moxhe .

Two comments

Re: The Celtic Lute

It is not a bad idea to make a recording of pieces by Turlough O’Carolan, Irish and Scottish tunes and a piece by James Oswald (c.1711-1769), played on a lute. It is known that at that time, many works were "transposed" from one instrument to another. From a harp to a lute, the idea is therefore far from stupid. In my eyes (and ears), this recording is interesting from this point of view.
As for the rest, it must be said that a lutenist well trained with excellent professors and experienced is not necessarily a good interpreter of this type of repertoire, at least not of traditional pieces. Banish Misfortune, The Kid on the Mountain, The Butterfly and The Monaghan Jig, for example, do not "sound" as they should: the accent, the rhythmic drive typical of these pieces are not there (at least not enough, to be kind)… Even the O’Carolan pieces are not really convincing, except for Sheebeg, Sheemore. This may be due (in part) to the fact that Mr McFarlane reads (literally) the lute tablature he made… My impression is that he reads a jig; he doesn’t play it for us to dance to. There have been many discussions on this site about how a great violinist doesn’t usually make a good fiddler. The proof is here that a very good lute player may well fail to play what he calls "Celtic music" "correctly". At least for connoisseurs of Irish and Scottish music. For the rest, Mr McFarlane proves that he is an excellent lutenist.

Posted by .

Re: The Celtic Lute

Maybe worth noting that Ronn McFarlane was also lutenist for Ayreheart and The Baltimore Consort, and many other solo works and collaborations.
See a discography at
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ronn_McFarlane
Quite a lot of this is available on youtube

Posted by .