The traditional music of Scotland offers a wealth of magnificent melodies, of which Mist-covered Mountains
is one of the best known. This tune, with its numerous versions each with their own subtle differences, has also been known as Hoping to see Ballachulish
(Duil ri Baile Chaolais fhaicinn
) and Johnny stays long at the fair
. It has words written by John Cameron of Ballachulish (Glen Coe) in 1856, and was included in Archibald Sinclair’s The Gaelic Songster
), published in Glasgow in 1879. Cameron’s gaelic words are those of the traveller looking forward to his return to the mist-covered mountains of his homeland, to see again the sunset over the woodlands, the glens and the people he knows. My arrangement was partly inspired by the magnificent clarsach playing of Catriona McKay, who joins me here – the distinctive sound of the Scottish folk-harp has a haunting quality heard at the very beginning in the musical creation of swirling mists. After a wild, stormy central section (such weather conditions are not uncommon in that part of the world!) the music subsides into a gentle stillness – yet another reflection of the captivating beauty of the Scottish highlands.
from notes by Laurence Perkins © 2004