Hyperion Records

The Lay of the Last Minstrel
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'MacCunn: Land of the mountain and the flood & other orchestral works' (CDA66815)
MacCunn: Land of the mountain and the flood & other orchestral works
'The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2' (HYP20)
The Essential Hyperion, Vol. 2
This album is not yet available for download HYP20  2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted  
Part 1. Final recitative: Breathes there the man
Part 2. Final chorus: O Caledonia! stern and wild
Track 18 on CDA66815 [2'52]
Track 15 on HYP20 CD2 [2'52] 2CDs Super-budget price sampler — Deleted

The Lay of the Last Minstrel
This concluding recitative and chorus (from MacCunn’s dramatic cantata of 1888) is the vocal expression of the same passage from Scott’s poem which inspired Land of the Mountain and the Flood. No composer was more fitted to attempt this theme than MacCunn. Had not his father-in-law famously painted him as Bonnie Prince Charlie? Was he not handsome in the lists of love as the winning suitor in the painting Two Strings to her Bow? Had not Queen Victoria herself seen in him a likeness to his compatriot Byron, only more handsome? Was he not the epitome of a modern bardic revival, not hoary-headed and despairing, but youthful, daring to re-assert what the old bard recalled only as a lost world?

So it is that MacCunn makes no doomed attempt to resurrect a bardic manner. His is a triumphant cry of modern nationhood, cultural and political, and his setting is a thrilling monument to the memory of his genius, spent to extend the road of Scotland’s cultural destiny, fearless and still bearing the brand of youth.

from notes by John Purser © 1995

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