28 Songs, 1 Hour 13 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Catalan viola da gamba player Jordi Savall, a key figure in the world of early music performance, has an abiding interest in folk as well as art music, and in 2009 he released The Celtic Viol, which interprets the rich Scottish and Irish fiddle tradition. The album features Savall on treble viol; at times he’s accompanied by Andrew Lawrence-King on Irish harp or psaltery. II picks up where the first album left off and nicely expands upon it. Here Savall plays the lower-toned lyra viol as well as treble viol, Lawrence-King returns on Irish harp and psaltery, and Frank McGuire plays the bodhran, an Irish frame drum. The songs, which date from the 17th to the 20th century, are grouped into sets that are determined by their key. Even though this is folk music “refined” for concert-hall consumption, Savall brings rhythmic brio and great feeling to his performances. “The Lancaster Pipes,” from the mid-17th century, is one of several tracks that use tuning influenced by bagpipes; interestingly, the song brings to mind the music of Nick Drake, the great ‘70s British singer/songwriter — just one example of how the album illuminates connections between different musical genres.

EDITORS’ NOTES

Catalan viola da gamba player Jordi Savall, a key figure in the world of early music performance, has an abiding interest in folk as well as art music, and in 2009 he released The Celtic Viol, which interprets the rich Scottish and Irish fiddle tradition. The album features Savall on treble viol; at times he’s accompanied by Andrew Lawrence-King on Irish harp or psaltery. II picks up where the first album left off and nicely expands upon it. Here Savall plays the lower-toned lyra viol as well as treble viol, Lawrence-King returns on Irish harp and psaltery, and Frank McGuire plays the bodhran, an Irish frame drum. The songs, which date from the 17th to the 20th century, are grouped into sets that are determined by their key. Even though this is folk music “refined” for concert-hall consumption, Savall brings rhythmic brio and great feeling to his performances. “The Lancaster Pipes,” from the mid-17th century, is one of several tracks that use tuning influenced by bagpipes; interestingly, the song brings to mind the music of Nick Drake, the great ‘70s British singer/songwriter — just one example of how the album illuminates connections between different musical genres.

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