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BOLDWOOD - Glory Of The West

BOLDWOOD - Glory Of The West
Hobgoblin Records HOBCD1018

Over a decade since their debut full length release Feet, Don’t Fail Me Now (2007) English Country Dance music’s ardent archive and manuscript foragers, eminent musicologists Boldwood, have crafted and released another bespoke sequence of set arrangements of 19 historical tunes.

Starting, temporally, with two pieces from early editions of Playford’s The English Dancing Master (1651/57), their later prospecting has focused on the work of several later and less well known publishers who compiled and issued annual printed collections of popular tunes and dances through into the early 19th century. They include two pieces originally printed (with 16 others and with dance step instructions) in 1789, on an exquisite handheld fan (images of which are reproduced in the insert booklet) now held in the Ashmolean Museum in Oxford.

The consummate musical skills of classically trained Daniel Wolverson, Kate Moran, Becky Price and Matthew Coatsworth (playing fiddle, viola, English concertina, accordion and piano) are combined to produce a joyful music suffused with elegance, grace and refinement. Varied in its pacing to suit different dance tempos, quieter reflective passages also appear amidst the prevailing airy flight, fine fluency and supremely legato quality of their presentation of material that must so keenly have compelled its period listeners to betake their feet to the floor.

Subtly sepia tingeing part of an 1832 monochrome etching of a pastoral landscape by Samuel Palmer to evocative effect for their apposite cover artwork, this very polished offering brightly and brilliantly captures the felicitous coexistence of folk and classical influences in the ambit of this fascinating instrumental music.

Kevin T. Ward

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This album was reviewed in Issue 123 of The Living Tradition magazine.