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Sony Music/RCA Victor 88691960512

This is a compilation issue designed for those who have not yet come across Carlos Nuñez (although several previously unreleased tracks are included). For these people: Carlos Nuñez is probably Galicia's most important traditional musician, playing (and sometimes making) Galician bagpipes (gaita), recorders, flutes and whistles. As well as performances of Galician material featuring his own group, he has teamed up with a veritable Who's Who of international artists, either appearing on their albums, or vice versa. These range from Jackson Brown, Ry Cooder, Linda Ronstadt, L'Heritage des Celts, Sinéad O'Connor and the Chieftains, by way of early-music genius Jordi Savall and the great Catalan operatic soprano Montserrat Caballé (remember her duet with Freddie Mercury on Barcelona?).

The music ranges from fairly traditional right through to full orchestral compositions. If you've ever wondered whether part of a Bach Cello Suite would work on Galician bagpipes, now's your chance to find out (it does!). The quality of both performances and production is sensational, so, if you really have never come across his music before, do yourself a favour and jump at the chance to get hold of this moderately-priced double CD and discover Carlos Nuñez. You won't regret it.

Paul Burgess

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This album was reviewed in Issue 96 of The Living Tradition magazine.