Lorna Anderson / Jamie MacDougall / Haydn Trio Eisenstadt

Haydn: Folksong Arrangements, Vol. 6 - Scottish Songs for William Napier II

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AllMusic Review by

The Brilliant label, from the Netherlands, applies its budget-box-set modus operandi usefully to Haydn's Scottish songs, which do not have an abundance of competent recordings. They've issued them all in six volumes, of which this is the last even though the songs included here (and in the fifth volume) represent Haydn's first encounter with the successful business of setting Scottish folk songs. A vogue for such settings accompanied the flowering of Scottish literature in the late eighteenth century, and Robert Burns had a hand in issuing an ongoing anthology of Scottish music under the title The Scots Musical Museum. The melodies of the pieces here were drawn from that collection by publisher William Napier II and given to Haydn. For the later Haydn collections of folk song settings we know that he was given only the music, not the texts (which fit the music metrically), but it's not clear what the situation was with this one, and the little setting of Burns' The Slave's Lament (CD 1, track 3), with the music fitting the unusual accenture of the word "Virginia," seems to come close to a meeting of two great minds. In general, these settings are more than moneymakers turned out without thought but less than the "small masterpieces" claimed by annotator Andreas Friesenhagen. They have textural variations and little codas that tie the melodic material together with Haydn's characteristic economy. Soprano Lorna Anderson and tenor Jamie MacDougall are obviously enamored of the music, without overstating pieces that were meant for amateurs, and the Haydn Trio Eisenstadt, working in Haydn's own Esterháza castle, is ideal. This set of songs specifies the ambiguous violin and bass for an accompaniment, but pizzicato and arco directions indicate that a cello-and-piano combination was probably envisioned for the bass part, making these settings of a piece with the others that indicate a piano trio. Enjoyable and of course of great interest to Scottish folk music enthusiasts.

Track Listing - Disc 1

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
2:25
2
2:20
3
3:13
4
0:35
5
2:59
6
1:09
7
1:20
8
1:53
9
1:32
10
1:15
11
4:13
12
1:05
13
3:44
14
2:59
15
2:02
16
1:57
17
2:55
18
1:56
19
1:23
20
3:12
21
1:41
22
2:04
23
1:36
24
1:31
25
4:17

Track Listing - Disc 2

Sample Title/Composer Performer Time
1
1:19
2
1:45
3
2:54
4
3:02
5
2:16
6
2:31
7
1:53
8
1:41
9
4:07
10
2:15
11
1:27
12
2:14
13
3:11
14
0:58
15
3:40
16
2:56
17
3:03
18
2:22
19
3:30
20
1:37
21
1:49
22
1:33
23
4:00
24
1:32
25
3:09
blue highlight denotes track pick