Despite the tradition of passing folk songs from generation to the next, aurally, the Irish folk song had lost its importance somewhat in nineteenth century Ireland, but by the turn of the twentieth-century the revival of Ireland’s native music was coming to a head.
Belfast-born Herbert Hughes set about collecting and distributing Irish airs. From there he began arranging the melodies for voice and piano, but at a lecture in Dublin pointed out the relationship between the original song, as sung by ‘the peasant, giving voice to an ancient tradition’ and the same song as put into print with a piano accompaniment. This original disc brings together both the old and the new, transforming the traditional folk song into an ‘art-song.’ The 25 folk songs tell of stories both happy and sad and make this album as much a literary landscape, as a musical one with words by Thomas Moore & James Joyce. Beautifully performed by Ailish Tynan & Iain Burnside.