Chris NORMAN - David GREENBERG: DUO
Two of the most imaginative and dynamic performers in traditional and early music join forces to present a program that runs the gamut from renaissance, baroque, traditional and original music incorporating flutes, violins, vielles, pipes, keyboards, and voice. David Greenberg has gained the reputation in Cape Breton music circles as being one of the few people from outside the Nova Scotia island to have achieved a fluent command of the Cape Breton idiom. He has been lauded as "one of the most impassioned folk-fiddlers you'll ever hear" (James Manishen, Winnipeg Free Press). These two extraordinary performers have played together as sparring partners for more than a decade on the concert stage and recording studio.
. . . taught himself folk fiddle tunes by ear as a young child growing up in Maryland. He learned conventional classical violin through his teens, and in the mid 80s he studied baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie at Indiana University's Early Music Institute. DG spent the 1990s performing and recording with Tafelmusik while developing a specialty in Scottish baroque-folk music, recording three groundbreaking CDs in this genre with his group Puirt A Baroque. Immersing himself in Cape Breton traditional music, he also co-authored at this time the DunGreen Collection, a treatise on Cape Breton fiddle music, with his wife Kate Dunlay. He lives with his family in Halifax, Nova Scotia, dividing his time among various regular collaborators and an irregular one now and then just for fun. He directs the Tempest baroque ensemble in Halifax. www.dungreen.com
LET ME IN THIS AE NIGHT
Chris Norman & David Greenberg- duo
Scottish and baroque music are the main root elements. Eighteenth-century Scottish music in particular cries out for an unusually large and unconventional palette of stylistic interpretations because its very nature defies classification as either folk or art music. Chris Norman & David Greenberg's duo sound has been honed over decades of collaboration & represents the ultimate in musical transparency and creative urgency: Let Me In This Ae Night!
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1) Lord Elcho - air (Traditional Scottish/Cape Breton)
Bonnocks of Beer Meal - song & variations (Traditional Scottish)
A New Strathspey Reel – strathspey (James Oswald)
Munlochy Bridge - strathspey (Traditional Scottish/Cape Breton)
Johnny Lad - reel (Traditional Scottish)
The Perrie Werrie - reel (Traditional Scottish/Cape Breton)
2) Andante from Solo VI (Book II) (Gen. John Reid)
The Garb of the Old Gaul - slow march (Reid)
Hacky Honey (William Dixon MS)
3) In Dulci Jubilo - air & variations (Chris Norman)
4) Oh Banquet Not (Thomas Moore)
5) Presto from Violin Sonata No. 1 (J. S. Bach)
6) Nymrod Hornpipe (G.L. Tracy)
The Empress Clog (Cole’s 1000 Fiddle Tunes)
7) Niel Gow’s Lamentation for the Death of James Moray of Abercairny – air (Niel Gow)
The Last Rose of Summer (Thomas Moore)
Duncan’s Trip to the Coal Mines – strathspey (Traditional Cape Breton)
The Thunderbolt – reel (Traditional Cape Breton)
The Bridge of Bamore – reel (Traditional Scottish/Cape Breton)
8) Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog – song (Oliver Goldsmith)
9) The British Press - marching air (Alexander Walker)
Miss Hog of Newliston's Reel (Robert Mackintosh)
Lady Chatherine Pelhams Reel (Mackintosh)
We'll Aye Gang Back to yon Town – reel (Walker)
Let Me In This Ae Night – reel (Traditional Scottish)
Miss Grace Speirs of Elderslie's Reel (Mackintosh)
Chris Norman – flutes, pipes, voice, pump-organ
David Greenberg – violin, octave violin, pump-organ
PROGRAM NOTES by David Greenberg and Chris Norman
The music of Cape Breton, Nova Scotia features prominently in our program and in our repertoire. Lord Elcho, also known as Bundle and Go, comes from the old Scottish collection The Beauties of Niel Gow, but the Cape Breton setting we play makes it sound more like a Gaelic song. The last three tunes are also of Scottish origin but played in Cape Breton. William McGibbon was considered the leading Scottish composer of the late Baroque period, and he was the principal violinist of the Edinburgh Musical Society orchestra. Though a prolific composer, McGibbon apparently did not write any tunes in the folk music genre, aside from variation sets of already existing tunes such as Bonnocks of Beer Meal. James Oswald, on the other hand, was musically bilingual. His 12-volume Caledonian Pocket Companion (CPC), from the 1740’s is considered by Scottish music historian John Purser to be one of the most important collections of Scotland’s traditional music ever assembled. In addition to the vast number of old and new traditional-style compositions such as A New Strathspey Reel, CPC contains some art-style music composed for the theatre, including works by Henry Purcell. Oswald was appointed chamber composer to George III in 1761 and was a member of The Temple of Apollo, a secret musical society in London.
General John Reid was also a member of The Temple of Apollo, and our next set pays homage to this Scotsman whose extraordinary career as a British officer during the French and Indian War put him at the center of the history of pre-revolutionary North America. General Reid was a dedicated and avid musician. In addition to his military career, he was renowned as an accomplished and sensitive flute player, and a noted composer who later bequeathed his sizable estate to the University of Edinburgh to establish the Reid School of Music. We play an andante from Reid’s sixth flute solo. The Garb of the Old Gaul is probably Reid’s best-known composition. The melody still serves as the slow march of all Scottish battalions in the British army. Hacky Honey comes from the 1734 William Dixon Manuscript, which is a hand written book notating the music of the pipers that played around the borders in early 18th century Scotland & Northern England. This area has long been home to the border gypsies since the great Hadrian employed them to build his wall in Roman times. The tunes are a wonderful mix of styles that blend the Scots, English and gypsy traditions.
We present two songs from the Dublin born Thomas Moore, a poet, satirist, composer and musician of note. His ten-volume work Irish Melodies (1807-34) consisted of 130 poems set to music composed and adapted by Moore himself and Sir John Stevenson. Much of the music was based on older Irish airs primarily from Bunting's General Collection of Ancient Irish Music (1796). Thomas Moore’s beautiful and moving text for Oh Banquet Not is paired with Chris' improvisations on In Dulci Jubilo and a solo movement for violin by J.S. Bach. There is a mystical association with In Dulci Jubilo as the words are said have been sung by angels to the 14th century mystic Henry Suso as they entreated him to dance with them. The Last Rose of Summer is one of Moore’s most famous works from this collection. The melody for Oh Banquet Not is known more commonly as Planxty Irwin, composed by the blind harper Turlough O’Carolan, two generations earlier. The tunes before and after the Last Rose of Summer are often played in “high bass” tuning, wherein the violin is re-tuned so that all four strings are pitched to either an A or an E. Nymrod and The Empress Clog are two great old tunes from the 19th century English vaudeville stage.
Elegy on the Death of a Mad Dog is a broadside ballad attributed to the Irish poet, playwright and novelist Oliver Goldsmith. The tunes following Mad Dog are from two beloved Scottish tunesmiths, Robert Mackintosh and Alexander Walker. In Music and Society in Lowland Scotland in the Eighteenth Century (1972), Scottish music historian David Johnson described Robert Mackintosh as "a red-headed, bad-tempered violinist and composer from Perthshire, who habitually gave offence to people he came in contact with." His Opus 1 , Johnson writes, "shows him to have had old-fashioned taste and been proud of the fact. Thus like James Oswald, Mackintosh was another historical Scottish musician who was musically bilingual, composing in both art music and folk music idioms. Mackintosh penned many traditional-style tunes which continue to be popular in Cape Breton. The three tunes by ‘Red Rob’ that we chose for this set show Mackintosh’s tendency to blend into his folk tunes bits of art-music style melody and harmony. Born in Forfar north of Dundee in 1837, Alexander Walker was an excellent violinist and composer who spent many years in America. In Cape Breton his 1866 collection is considered to be a treasure trove of beautiful compositions.