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Scotch minstrelsy

author of text

Scotch minstrelsy (1982) was commissioned by Glasgow University’s McEwan Bequest for the tenor Neil Mackie, whose simple and unaffected performances of Scottish folk songs I greatly admired. Intending to write a companion piece for this pleasant repertoire, I made a selection of much abbreviated Border Ballads; but on closer examination, the grisly happenings of these familiar poems came as a shock, and the resulting songs are histrionic and nervous, though framed by ‘beautiful’ piano accompaniments, just as Scotland’s violent past is obscured by its abundant scenery.

from notes by Judith Weir © 2006


Weir: On buying a horse & other songs
SIGCD087Download only


No 1: Bessie Bell and Mary Gray
Track 7 on SIGCD087 [3'57] Download only
No 2: Bonnie James Campbell  It's up in the highlands, along the sweet Tay
Track 8 on SIGCD087 [2'26] Download only
No 3: Lady Isobel and the elf-knight  Fair Lady Isobel sits in her bower sewing
Track 9 on SIGCD087 [2'03] Download only
No 4: The gypsy laddie  The gypsies came to our good lord's castle gates
Track 10 on SIGCD087 [3'04] Download only
No 5: The braes of Yarrow  I dreamed a dreary dream last night
Track 11 on SIGCD087 [1'55] Download only

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