Until Alan Lomax and Hamish Henderson began championing its true exponents, back in the 1950s, pretty much the only way Gaelic song was widely heard - outwith its Highland and Hebridean heartlands – was in the kind of douce, drawing-room versions, tamed and contorted into conformity with classical scales, which subsequently became anathema to devotees of the tradition. It’s taken a while – during which other countries’ vocal treasures, from Portuguese fado to Hindustani singing, have been successfully orchestrated – but the authentic, buoyantly revitalised sound and spirit of Scotland’s Gàidhealtachd today can now confidently and fruitfully re-engage with classical forms, on a footing of mutual respect.
Hence tonight’s unprecedented collaboration, which sees a crème-de-la-crème array of contemporary Gaelic singers - Julie Fowlis, Karen Matheson, Kathleen MacInnes, Arthur Cormack, Robert Robertson, Isobel Ann Martin, Kim Carnie and Mischa Macpherson – performing amid brand-new orchestral arrangements of their chosen material, premièred by the full massed ranks of the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra.
While we take every opportunity to ensure the details for Òrain nan Gàidheal: Songs of the Gael featuring the BBC SSO & Special Guests are accurate, we always advise that you contact the event organiser before setting out for the event to avoid disapointment.
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