Previously unrecorded folksongs Hess 192 and Hess 201 come to CD, courtesy of the Celtic music group Makaris!
Things are really heating up as we approach the 250th anniversary of Beethoven’s birth, and we will have more news regarding forthcoming recordings and big boxes, but we did not want this new recording to get lost in the shuffle.
The new CD Wisps in the Dell collects new recordings of 23 Classical era arrangements of traditional Celtic folksongs (mostly commissioned by George Thomson), including an assortment arranged by Beethoven, Haydn, Weber, Pleyel, Heukomm, Kuhlau, Kozeluch and Hummel.
The real stars for our purposes though are the premiere recordings of Hess 192, the second variant version of On the Massacre of Glencoe, and Hess 201, featuring the original and much more active violin part to Bonnie Laddie, Highland Laddie. Although the entire CD is excellent and a great deal of fun to listen to, these two in particular are treasures for the serious Beethoven collector.
Best of all, since Makaris is a group familiar with the Celtic folk idiom, they produce a highly convincing performance of these pieces, with a verve and enjoyable approach that is winning from beginning to end. Lead vocalist Fiona Gillespie has a wonderful lilt that makes these songs feel all the more authentic. That’s quite a relief after many of these songs being available only from German-speaking vocalists who struggle through the Celtic-flavored English texts.