Bonnie Rideout | Scottish Reflections

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World: Celtic Folk: Scottish Traditional Moods: Type: Compilations
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Scottish Reflections

by Bonnie Rideout

A 3-time US national Scottish fiddle champion; one of the finest fiddler's of our time who brings her passion and joyous energy to every track in this collection of music, from over 10 years of musical collaboration
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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1. MacDonald of the Isles March to Harlaw / Source of the Spey/ the Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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3:27 $0.99
2. Seal Songs Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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4:28 $0.99
3. The Thistle Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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4:37 $0.99
4. Dunblane Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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5:02 $0.99
5. Unst Bridal March Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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3:35 $0.99
6. Lamentation for the Fallen Heroes of Waterloo Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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3:28 $0.99
7. Itchy Fingers Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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2:41 $0.99
8. Cro Kintaile Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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4:02 $0.99
9. The Highland Laddie Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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2:48 $0.99
10. The Highland Laddie: Variations Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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1:35 $0.99
11. Lament for Limerick/ Lochaber No More/ Irish Lamentation Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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7:45 $0.99
12. Gloomy Winter Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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2:24 $0.99
13. St. Kilda Air/Jenny Nettles/St. Kilda Reel Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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4:53 $0.99
14. Minstrel of MacDonald's Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music Artists
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6:25 $0.99
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ABOUT THIS ALBUM


Album Notes
Scottish Reflections (MM225) by BONNIE RIDEOUT, Scottish fiddle & viola is all Scottish instrumental music featuring Bonnie Rideout & Maggie's Music artists. One of the finest Scottish fiddlers of our time, Bonnie Rideout brings her passion and joyous energy to every track, from over 10 years of musical collaboration with other top artists on the Maggie's Music record label. Bonnie's unique style of fiddling has charmed audiences with a vast array of dance tunes, bagpipe marches and ancient Gaelic melodies on stages from Scotland's Edinburgh International Festival to America's Kennedy Center.This CD represents musicians sharing their talents within a close Celtic community that is as small as your living room and as large as the world. Bonnie Rideout's other CDs on the Maggie's Music label are: Soft May Morn, Celtic Circles, Kindred Spirits, Gi'Me Elbow Room, Scottish Fire, Scottish Rant, and A Scottish Christmas.Bonnie also can be seen and heard on the live concert DVD and video; A Scottish Christmas featuring Bonnie Rideout(BMG)."Rideout's tone is pristine," THE NEW YORK TIMES. Total Time: 57:18 minutes.

MUSICIANS are: Bonnie Rideout, fiddle & viola with Sue Richards, Celtic harp;Hesperus: Scott Reiss, pennywhistle; Tina Chancey, viola da gamba & Grant Herreid, lute;
Karen Ashbrook, wooden flute & Paul Oorts, musette accordeon;Maggie Sansone, hammered dulcimer;Paula Glendinning, Highland bagpipe;William Taylor, Wire harp (Clarech) & Gothic "bray" harp;Carolyn Surrick, viola da gamba.

NOTES ON THE MUSIC:

[Track 1] features Bonnie Rideout and the early music ensemble, Hesperus, presenting music from some of the earliest sources of Scottish, English, and Irish traditional folk music. For centuries the fiddle and the pipes have shared repertoire, complementing each other with similar ornamentation and the use of drone notes, as in these three tunes. MacDonald of the Isles is a pipe march, followed by a strathspey, which is the dance form most identified with Scottish traditional music. The Source of the Spey and The Periwig are reels first published in the Captain Simon Fraser Collection (1815). [Track 2] Bonnie joins four-time National Scottish Harp Champion, Sue Richards, on Seal Songs. These haunting melodies are from the Patrick MacDonald Collection (1784). In the Scottish hierarchy of nature, seals are almost equal in rank to humans. The Silkie myths tell of seals taking human form for short visits on land. [Track 3] The Thistle is a brilliant example of 18th century Scottish parlor music written by James Oswald, who was considered a fine composer of traditional Scottish fiddle tunes and also an example of what, in the 21st century, is referred to as "chamber folk music." [Track 4] Charlie Glendinning wrote Dunblane after 16 children and their teacher were slain by a gunman on March 13, 1996, in Dunblane, Scotland. Reflecting on his composition, Mr. Glendinning said, "The tragedy was like an icy blast of winter returning to kill every flowering bud of spring...." In Bonnie's arrangement, the fiddle and viola are joined by the piper, Paula Glendinning, with their instruments giving voice to those who were lost and the many who were left behind to remember forever. [Track 6] Lamentation of the Fallen Heroes of Waterloo, from the Nick Gow & Sons Collection, exquisitely renders a haunting retrospective of that famous battle of 1815. [Track 11] Sue Richards presents Lament for Limerick, Lochaber No More, and Irish Lamentation, a set of tunes from Ireland, Scotland and England, respectively. The Lament and Lochaber commemorate the mournful losses of war, while Irish Lamentation transforms these tunes into a lovely waltz, elegantly displaying the harmonic interplay of the Celtic harp, fiddle, and viola da gamba. [Track 12] Gloomy Winter evokes a reflective mood. Bonnie learned this tune from her teacher in a one-room schoolhouse she attended as a child in Maine. She was attracted to this beautiful melancholy Scottish air that speaks to matters of the heart and the coming of spring. Bonnie's lush arrangement for strings features viola and fiddle. [Track 14] Minstrel of MacDonald's is played in two versions; the first is Bonnie's from the Patrick MacDonald Collection (1784), and the second is William Taylor's from the Angus Fraser Collection (ca. 1874). Although not technically a piobaireachd (PEE-brahk) Bonnie plays this air in a similar style by building variations on the melody to create a moment of timelessness. Through subtle ornamentation, manipulation of different vibratos, and varied bowing techniques, Bonnie maintains continuity with the final tracks on all of her other recordings. The careful crafting of a simple melody truly represents Bonnie's fiddling style and is a perfect tune to conclude this recording.

Below is the list of musical selections, musicians and CDs featured in this collection:

1.MacDonald of the Isles March to Harlaw / Source of the Spey (Strathspey)/ The Periwig (Reel) (3:25).
Fiddle, pennywhistle (Scott Reiss), bass viol (Tina Chancey), Gothic "bray: harp (William Taylor).
From the CD: Celtic Roots, Hesperus. Producers: Scot Reiss & Tina Chancey.

2.Seal Songs (4:25). Fiddle, Celtic harp (Sue Richards).
From the CD: Grey Eyed Morn, Sue Richards. Producer: Maggie Sansone.

3.The Thistle (4:34). Fiddle, Lute (Grant Herreid), bass viol (Tina Chancey).
From the CD: Celtic Roots, Hesperus. Producers: Scot Reiss & Tina Chancey.

4.Dunblane, ©Charlie Glendinning (5:00). Fiddle & viola, Highland bagpipe (Paula Glendinning).
From the CD: Scottish Rant, City of Washington Pipe Band & Bonnie Rideout. Producer: Bonnie Rideout.

5.Unst Bridal March (3:32). Fiddle, Celtic harp (Sue Richards), viola da gamba (Carolyn Anderson Surrick).
From the CD: Grey Eyed Morn, Sue Richards. Producer: Maggie Sansone.

6.Lamentation for the Fallen Heroes of Waterloo (3:24) (arr. Paul Oorts). Fiddle, accordeon (Paul Oorts), flute. (Karen Ashbrook)
From the CD: Celtic Café, Karen Ashbrook & Paul Oorts. Producer: Bob Read.

7.Itchy Fingers (2:39). Fiddle, Celtic harp (Sue Richards).
From the CD: Morning Aire, Sue Richards. Producer: Charlie Pilzer.

8.Cro Kintaile (4:00). Fiddle, Celtic harp (Sue Richards), viola da gamba (Carolyn Anderson Surrick).
From the CD: Morning Aire, Sue Richards. Producer: Charlie Pilzer.

9.The Highland Laddie (2:46) Fiddle, Gothic "bray" harp (William Taylor), bass viol (Tina Chancey), pennywhistle (Scott Reiss).
From the CD: Celtic Roots, Hesperus. Producers: Scot Reiss & Tina Chancey.

10.The Highland Laddie: variations (1:32). Fiddle, theorbo-lute (Grant Herreid).
From the CD: Celtic Roots, Hesperus. Producers: Scot Reiss & Tina Chancey.

11.Lament For Limerick/ Lochaber No More/ Irish Lamentation (7:43). Fiddle, Celtic harp (Sue Richards),
viola da gamba (Carolyn Anderson Surrick), guitar (Connie McKenna).
From the CD:, Morning Aire,. Sue Richards.Producer: Charlie Pilzer.

12.Gloomy Winter (2:22). Viola & fiddle.
From the CD: Scottish Christmas, Bonnie Rideout, Maggie Sansone, Al Petteway. Producer: Charlie Pilzer.

13.St. Kilda Air/Jenny Nettles/St. Kilda Reel (4:51).
Fiddle, Hammered dulcimer (Maggie Sansone), Celtic harp (Sue Richards), mandolin (Robin Bullock),
clarinet (Bob Read).
From the CD: Dance Upon the Shore, Maggie Sansone. Producer: Charlie Pilzer.

14.Minstrel of MacDonald's (6:25). Fiddle, Wire harp (clarsach) (William Taylor).
From the CD: Celtic Roots, Hesperus. Producers: Scot Reiss & Tina Chancey.


Reviews


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Green Man


Bonnie Rideout is a fiddle player with a hugely impressive pedigree. She initially trained in Michigan as a classical orchestral player of both violin and viola, before embarking on a musical and cultural exploration of her Scots ancestry. She has lived and worked in Scotland, where she studied and absorbed a variety of traditional fiddling styles. Since her return to the U.S. (she currently resides in Virginia), Rideout has been named "U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion" three times, and is a familiar face at Celtic music festivals as both a performer and adjudicator.
This CD is a brilliantly conceived compilation that draws together fourteen tracks selected from Rideout's collaborations with other artists on the Maggie's Music label. Consequently, Rideout fans who've already bought all of her solo albums won't find themselves paying out for material which they already own, but will probably be tempted to investigate her label-mates albums too! Maggie's Music is the "labour-of-love" brainchild of (hammered dulcimer player) Maggie Sansone, who runs the operation from Maryland. The label has been acclaimed as a pioneer of "chamber folk music," and it's an appropriate description for much of this collection.

Rideout's particular forte is the performance of the slow laments and song airs which comprise the majority of the music on Scottish Reflections. Her exquisite tone and wonderfully controlled bowing (legacies of her classical training?), combined with her emotional empathy for these tunes has resulted in some wonderful recordings. Titles such as "Lamentation for the Fallen Heroes of Waterloo" and "Gloomy Winter" don't immediately suggest a "reel around the kitchen" type of album, but there's an almost overwhelming beauty to be found in the melancholia of this music. Having said that, this isn't an entirely "downbeat" album, as Rideout can "swing-out" on a strathspey or march with the very best of 'em. Plenty of thought has gone into the sequencing of this album, so that, for instance, it throws up a sprightly delight in "The Highland Laddie" followed by "The Highland Laddie: variations," which finds Rideout exploring the same melody as a slow air in the company of an early music ensemble.

Being previously unfamiliar with Rideout's work, I'll confess that the presence of the word "Reflections" in the CD title aroused the suspicion that I might be dealing with one of those dreaded "New-Age Celto-Waffle" CD's which the proprietors of "Mystical" book stores seem so keen to fob the punters off with. Thankfully, I was way off the mark, as Rideout (and, indeed, all the other artists on show here), innovatively approach this music with the utmost integrity. (Note: It transpires that Maggie's Music do actually produce CD's for the enhancement of Yoga, meditation etc. Given the quality of the music here, your faithful scribe is undergoing a period of growth, and reassessment of his musical prejudices!)

I've mentioned "the other musicians" several times but not named them, so it's time to put that right. After all, while this album is credited to Bonnie Rideout, it's from others' albums that these tracks are sourced. Sue Richards is one of the few names that I'd previously encountered, and her Celtic harp is a delight on six tracks. The aforementioned "early music ensemble" are Hesperus, who bring instruments such as viola de gamba, Gothic harp and theorbo-lute to the mix, along with a real flair for engagingly intricate arrangement. Maggie Sansone's hammered dulcimer makes a few welcome appearances, and there are notable performances from Paul Oorts (accordion), Karen Ashbrook (flute), William Taylor (harp) and Paula Glendenning (Highland bagpipes).

My initial (and enduring) impression of this CD is that it's the work of dedicated and passionate people whose primary motivation is the creation of beauty, rather than profit. That impression is reinforced by the following extract from Mairead Sullivan's Celtic Women in Music, where Rideout states: "I have a famous quote by Ralph Waldo Emerson pasted to the inside of my fiddle case which I read every day: 'To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and affection of children; to earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty, to find the best in others; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition, to know even one life has breathed easier because I have lived. This is to have succeeded.'"

Speaking as someone who endeavours to be an "honest critic," I'll recommend this album unhesitatingly, and play it often (it's gone straight into my mental "Sunday morning listening list" ). I'll also encourage you to support the continuing success of Maggie's Music by taking the time to visit their well designed Web site. In addition to the usual artist biographies, tour dates, and CD sales, they have a "Celtic Marketplace" where you can buy music books, tin whistles and cook books! They also produce "Maggie's Music" T-shirts designed by Celtic artist Ben Crenshaw. (I'm a M/L person, I like green and purple, and my birthday's in March, if anyone who knows me is reading this.....)

[Stephen Hunt