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THE CELTIC FIDDLE FESTIVAL - Live In Brittany: 20th Anniversary Concert

THE CELTIC FIDDLE FESTIVAL - Live In Brittany: 20th Anniversary Concert
Loftus Music LM006

This sixth release by the present manifestation of the enduring project venture created in 1992 celebrates two decades of its melding of the musical talent of master exponents of Celtic fiddle traditions.

Founder fiddle members Kevin Burke (Ireland) and Christian Lemaître (Brittany) are joined by Canadian player André Brunet. In the ‘cherished role of fiddler’s labourer’, the guitar accompanist slot, the great Breton player Nicolas Quémener follows the likes of Ged Foley and Soïg Siberil.

The concert, organised by the Parents Association of the school in the charming town of Guémené-sur-Scorff in central Morbihan, was recorded in January 2013. The music is perfectly captured with just a little applause in between and, less satisfactorily, some rather muffled sounding speech.

The 12 tune sets comprise 35 pieces. Five involve the full quartet; the rest feature each of the players individually and include two petits morceaux of solo guitar. What an epic array! There are Eastern European gavottes, haunting ronds and up tempo Laridé gavottes from Brittany, Irish pieces from Beoga’s Sean Og Graham, hornpipes from Dublin’s Tommy Potts, percussive jigs and reels arranged for Québecois square dancing and two charming song airs - the exquisitely haunting Deus Ganin Me Plac’h Yaouank and delicately winsome When Angels Breathe.

For anyone interested in fiddle music, this is a veritable masterclass and a delightful means of comparing some of the essential characteristics that define the music and dance of countries within the Celtic prism.

Kevin T. Ward

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This album was reviewed in Issue 97 of The Living Tradition magazine.