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Early Gaelic Harp Emporium

CDs by William Matheson

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Scottish Tradition Vol 16: Gaelic Bards and Minstrels

William Matheson
Scottish Tradition Vol 16: Gaelic Bards and Minstrels
Greentrax CDTRAX9016, 1993
A Double CD with booklet. Willie Matheson (1910 - 1995) was a Gaelic scholar, Lecturer and Reader in the Department of Celtic Studies at Edinburgh University, as well as a unique singer. He learned many songs from older singers, but also produced editions of poems from manuscripts and early printed books, often discovering their original airs in collections such as Patrick MacDonald and Simon Fraser. To my knowledge this is the only record he released. It contains 35 songs of the 17th and 18th century, all sung entirely solo, in his unique style - very fast, natural speech rythyms. Includes songs by the blind harper Ruaidhri Dall Mac Mhuirich (Roderick Morrison c.1656 - c.1714), and by Màiri nighean Alasdair Ruaidh (Mary Macleod c.1615 - 1707). (Click here for William's edition of Rory Dall's songs). The Gaelic harp died out in Scotland during the course of the 18th century, but the older material here is the poetry that was sung with harp accompaniment in 17th century Scotland; it is the Scottish equivalent of the much better known Irish Sean nós. Essential listening for all Gaelic harp students.
£13 +