The Celtic Ensemble-Aire: Farewell to Glasgow
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The Celtic Ensemble - Aire: Farewell to Glasgow

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The Celtic Ensemble Aire: Farewell to Glasgow


Opis i teksty
Edgar Barratt (1877-1928) was a once-famous composer of Scottish-themed music (although born in Lincoln, England, he died in Glasgow). He was apparently piano accompanist to the celebrated soprano Dame Emma Albani (1847-1930) at the end of her career in the early years of the last century. You can hear Albani sing in a 1907 recording on http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=smvEYKrZLfw - but I cannot tell if Barratt is her accompanist. For a picture of Barratt himself, see https://www.schubertiademusic.com/details/multiple_catalogs:yes/desc:Barratt,+Edgar.+%281877+-+1928%29. He had a great hit in 1917 with another Highland-themed piece: Coronach and this late piece is maybe a sequel. It was dedicated to the composer's mother, and is headed by a quotation from the Gaelic poet Kenneth Macleod (1871-1955) -not sure which poem it comes from:

"Dearest Albyn, Land o'er yonder,
Thou dear land of wood and wave,
Sore my heart that I must leave thee..."

I was prompted to revisit this piece when I read an article in the September 2014 BBC Music Magazine on neglected piano music, in which staffers were tasked with visiting charity and second-hand bookshops to find forgotten pieces which were then played through and assessed by David Owen Norris. He was asked to choose his favourite, and this piece won. You can hear excerpts from the pieces here: http://bit.ly/1nDtRXr - but on my channel you can hear a complete performance of Deirdre, and also of another piece mentioned in the article: Leonard Butler's 'Monastique'.
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