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This review is from: The Celtic Viol - An Hommage to Irish and Scottish Musical Traditions - Jordi Savall (Audio CD)
This record does have some limitations. In his accompanying comments, Savall notes the survival and vitality of oral transmission in Irish and Scottish music. Yet he has chosen many of his selections for this album from published collections which themselves filtered, altered, sanitized and 'improved' the oral tradition for a bourgeois audience increasingly interested in the music of 'the people'. Perhaps if Savall had more time to listen and learn tunes in 'live' settings, at pubs and dances, he might have assimilated more of the traditional styles, particularly their regional diversity. However, this record is a homage, and Savall doesn't claim authenticity (wherever you may find that), describing the record as a 'fervent tribute'. I think I detect some purist snobbery in Tam na ceol's comments. But where - for example - would Irish traditional music be without Michael Coleman's many American recordings, despite the frequently abysmal piano accompaniments? Savall acknowledges that he was not born into these traditions, and has much to learn. These recordings are certainly not dire and plodding. Savall's touch is light and affectionate. While his performances are far removed from what many would consider traditional, they are beautiful, and with these limitations can be accepted as the homage they are.