Our Great Solace in Our Great Need

Composer : O'CAROLAN Turlough
Arranger : BOURNET, Pascal
DZ 2183
ISBN : 978-2-89737-100-5 
2 guitars
28 p.

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“Born in 1670 in County Meath, Ireland, Turlough O’Carolan was a harpist, composer and singer whose music has been passed down over the generations and has made him a national musical figure. Blind (from smallpox) from the age of 18, this did not stop him traversing the length and breadth of Ireland and composing well over 200 compositions. This new publication contains just twelve of O’Carolan’s harp pieces; Pascal Bournet has chosen well here and has not gone for the usual suspects presenting instead some perhaps lesserknown compositions. Titles are: Carolan’s Welcome; Carolan’s Ramble to Castiel; Heuilett; O’Flunn; James Betagh; Betagh’s Jig; Lady Saint John; Lord Inchiquin; Mrs, Crojton; Henry MacDermott Roe; Bumper Squire Jones; Hugh O’Donnell. Musically, the programme veers more towards the up-tempo side of things and is, in general, full of highly melodic material. Over the years I’ve had the misfortune of having to play through and listen to, many poor adaptations of the great man’s music; fortunately, this present book is not in that category and there are several from this collection which could easily fit together to form an interesting and entertaining small suite. Good as these arrangements are, it has to be said that O’Carolan’s music always sounds much better on the instrument for it was written, but for the duo of around the Intermediate standard, there is plenty of fun to be had within these pages. The title of this book is apparently taken from the epitaph on O’Carolan’s tombstone.”

 Steve Marsh (Classical Guitar Magazine)