Produced by head Chieftain Paddy Maloney, The Celtic Harp is essentially a showcase for the very talented harpist Derek Bell. Bell handled all of the arrangements, as well as contributed harpsichord and tiompan to the proceedings. Fine solos from flute god Matt Malloy (“Parting of Friends/Kerry Fling”), vocalist Kevin Conneff (“Green Fields of America”), and pipe player Maloney (“T’Aimse ‘Im Chodladh”) give the album a definite Chieftain feel, but The Celtic Harp belongs to Bell, who infuses each note with the subtlety and grace of a true master. (by James Christopher Monger)
Like so many Americans I can trace some of my lineage to Ireland. Perhaps that’s why the Chieftains’ music resonates with me. I first heard of them in the late 1950’s when I became aware of American folk music and it’s strong Scots-Irish heritage. Today I’m a fan of many so-called American Roots acts / bands who are more than little influenced by Celtic music. The Chieftains are a way to understand the basis of much American music, great exponents of traditional Celtic music, and just plain fun to listen to. This album is almost entirely instrumental with one song that is as compact a lesson in Irish-American history as I’ve ever heard. I also strongly recommend the Chieftains 50th Anniversary album. (Stephen Rustad)
And here some informations about Edward Bunting:
Edward Bunting (1773–1843) was an Irish musician and folk music collector.
Bunting was born in County Armagh, Ireland. At the age of seven he was sent to study music at Drogheda and at eleven he was apprenticed to William Ware, organist at St. Anne’s church in Belfast and lived with the family of Henry Joy McCracken. At nineteen he was engaged to transcribe music from oral-tradition harpists at the Belfast Harp Festival in 1792. As Bunting was a classically trained musician, he did not understand the unique characteristics of Irish music, such as modes, and when transcribing tunes he ‘corrected’ them according to Classical music rules.
One proof of this is that some tunes published by him were in keys that could not have been played by the harpists. His notes on the harpists, how they played and the terminology they used is however invaluable, and also many tunes would have been lost if he had not collected them.
Bunting organised a second festival in 1813 and wrote to the Belfast Charitable Society, based at Clifton House, for support. This was granted and the proceeds of the festival were donated to the Charitable Society to help the poor of Belfast.
Bunting went on a number of collecting tours between 1792 and 1807, and was the first to transcribe music ‘in the field’ as played by the musicians. He realised the importance of the Irish words to the songs and Patrick Lynch was employed to collect these. Bunting, who lived in Belfast with the McCrackens until his marriage in 1819, moved to Dublin where he held the post of organist at St. George’s Church. He died in Dublin on 21 December 1843 and is buried at the Cemetery of Mount Jerome, Dublin.
Bunting’s papers were lost for many years, but were rediscovered in 1907 and currently reside in the Special Collections department of Queen’s University of Belfast. Donal O’Sullivan has restored the original words to the airs that Bunting published without the words. The Chieftains’ 1993 album “The Celtic Harp” is a tribute to Edward Bunting.
The first commercial recording of Bunting’s collection was Edward Bunting’s The Ancient Music of Ireland — the 1840 Edition (2010, 8-CD set, Trigon, 151 tracks) (by wikipedia)
So let´s celebrate the great Edward Bunting and o course this wonderful group from Ireland … The Chieftains !
Derek Bell (harp, dulcimer,harpsichord)
Kevin Conneff (bodhrán, vocals)
Martin Fay (fiddle)
Seán Keane (fiddle)
Matt Molloy (flute)
Paddy Moloney (uilleann bagpipes, tin whistle)
The Belfast Harp Orchestra condcucted by Janet Harbison (on 01., 04., 08. + 11.(tracks: 1, 4, 8, 11)
01. MacAllistrum’s March – Máirseail Alasdroim (Traditional) 3.02
02. Tribute To Bunting (Traditional) 8.01
03. The Parting Of Friends / Kerry Fling (Traditional) 4.42
04. Planxty Bunting (Moloney) 4.47
05. Madame Cole (Carolan/Traditional) 2.45
06. The Blackbird (Traditional) 4.27
07. Táimse ‘im Chodladh (Traditional) 3.46
08. Sonny Brogan’s Mazurkas (Traditional) 2.55
09. The Wild Geese (Traditional) 6.32
10. The Green Fields Of America (Traditional) 5.40
11. Carolan’s Concerto (Traditional) 3.05
12. The Lament For Limerick (Traditional) 5.02
More from The Chieftains: