> Mungrel Stuff - Scottish music [PS]: Classical Reviews- May2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Scottish Italian Music by Francesco BARSANTI and others.

BARSANTI: Corn Riggs Are Bonny; Gilderoy; The Highland Laddie; Clout the Caldron; Johnnie Faa; Lord Aboyne’s Welcome.
GEMINIANI: She Raise and Loot Me In; Bessy Bell and Mary Gray; Leader Haughs and Yarrow; The Lass of Peaty’s Mill.
William McGIBBON: Sonata in Imitation of Corelli.
James OSWALD: Tweed Side; Pinky House; Hamilton House.
VERACINI: Violin Sonata in A, Opus 2/9;
Lorenzo BOCCHI: A Scots Cantata.
Domenico CORRI: Duncan Gray.
Alexander REINAGLE: Steer Her Up and Had Her Gawn.
Concert Caledonia
Rec 2001
LINN RECORDS CKD 140 [65.00?]

The "mongrel" is a cross between Scottish and Italian music in the 18th Century when both genres were popular, particularly in the British Isles.

This issue affords many examples of the connection between the two. There are Italian-born composers who set Scots tunes, real or invented. Some worked in Scotland, like Barsanti (1690-1772), Bocchi, whose Scots Cantata of 1720 sets its words extrovertly, or Corri, whose keyboard variations on Duncan Gray are sparklingly performed by David McGuinness. Others like Geminiani or Veracini, whose Sonata is finely done by Adrian Chandler, merely pandered to the general desire for 'Scotchery'.

We also have Scottish composers who imported Italian elements into their music like the Edinburgh musician McGibbon, whose Sonata in Imitation of Corelli finds a good advocate in Lucy Russell. James Oswald, eventually made his living in London.

This is an enjoyable and illuminating issue which students of the period cannot afford to ignore. Performances are lively and stylish (I must mention the beguiling singing of Mhairi Lawson and Jamie McDougall). Mr McGuiness’s notes stress the importance of Allan Ramsay and William Thomson in popularising Scotland’s contribution to the music of the period. They are full of fascinating information.
Philip Scowcroft

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