If your anything like me, you choice of favourites from Carolan probably changes over time but I'm interested in starting a list going amongst the members to gauge some idea of individual tune popularity amongst us. By default, it could also give us some idea of the relative unpopularity of some of his work. I have a feeling that there are several underplayed gems that we should be dusting down and bringing out more often. From a collection of over 200 tunes I'm guessing that no more than 30 or 40 get a regular "airing".

 

Please feel free to add links to your favourite versions - so we can enjoy them all !!!!

 

So, to kick things off, here is my current top 5 (in order) together with a few notes

 

1/  Planxty Irwin - OK, so its probably "done to death" but its still a fantastic little tune

2/ Planxty Fanny Poer - another frequently played piece - but I would argue that its played a lot because its good!!!

3/ Carolans Quarrel With The Landlady - A real "top draw" tune that deserves more frequent playing IMHO

4/ Blind Mary - I first heard this done on recorder with guitar accompanyment and have loved it ever since.

5/ Si Bheag Si Mhor - I think there is some argument that he actually only wrote the words for this tune, but I'm including it anyway!

 

 

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Replies to This Discussion

As a harpist, my favorite Carolan tune to play is Bridget Cruise (3rd air).  I love Derek Bell's recording of it.  Such a beautiful tune. 

Hi Leslie,

And welcome to the Carolan group! Many thanks for joining and I hope you have lots of fun with it. As for Bridget Cruise(3) and Derek Bell, how could anyone not like that combo! I've recently been trying to establish a whistle version for myself and found it very hard work indeed.
 
Leslie Jabara said:

As a harpist, my favorite Carolan tune to play is Bridget Cruise (3rd air).  I love Derek Bell's recording of it.  Such a beautiful tune. 

It's so heartening to read of such interest in the catalogue of music left behind by Turlough O'Carolan. In 1978 when we began our festival , we had 1 harp entrant to our harp competition (where it was compulsory to play an O'Carolan piece). Harp playing in Ireland was in serious threat.  Thankfully today , the scene is vibrant with excellent  young players breathing new life into so many of these delightful pieces. We play at his final resting place on the first Monday in August each year as part of www.ocarolanharpfestival.ie - we'd love to welcome you to Keadue , Co Roscommon for our Summer School  & Festival  or at any time you're in the area.  

Don't forget Carolan's Farewell to Music, one of the most poignant of them all.

Cheers,

Dick

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRej2JNmXYI

Cheers Dick,

I've added that version into the archive as well !

 

If you've not already stumbled across it, here is one that has now moved to the very top of my list of favourites. Its yet another of those that I never knew existed until I started digging.

 

http://youtu.be/KT_9h11oz_I

 

Cheers,

Mike
 


Dick Glasgow said:

Don't forget Carolan's Farewell to Music, one of the most poignant of them all.

Cheers,

Dick

 

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QRej2JNmXYI

Hi Mike

Planxty George Brabazon does it for me ~ especially the first part

I play a Thomas Buchanan mandola tuned GDAD ~ perfect for Carolan

http://www.folkmandolin.co.uk/instruments/octavemandola.htm

Hi Richie,

Thanks for that, and particularly as its not one of the "usual suspects" when it comes to Carolan tunes that get a regular airing.

There are 2 tunes that Carolan named for George Brabazon and maybe I'm taking it too much for granted but I think you'll be talking about the second one - but here are midi files for both.....

 

http://www.oldmusicproject.com/occ/MIDI/006-PlanxtyGeorgeBrabazon-1...

 

http://www.oldmusicproject.com/occ/MIDI/007-PlanxtyGeorgeBrabazon-2...

 

Cheers,

Mike

 


Second one it is Mike

Another couple I'd mention would be Fine Toast to Hewlitt & Lord Inchiquin

Richie

 

Hiya again Richie,

 

Now those 2 are tunes I cut my teeth on, more years ago than I care to remember. I picked up on Hewlet from the band Planxty and I think Lord Inchiquin came to me from a Chieftains album. The latter of these 2 tunes (IMHO) demands what I keep describing as a "stately bounce" in its approach. Do you have favourite versions of these tunes yourself Richie?

 

Cheers,

Mike

Richie Lloyd said:


Second one it is Mike

Another couple I'd mention would be Fine Toast to Hewlitt & Lord Inchiquin

Richie

 

Hello Everyone

                            Many fine tunes have been mentioned and so I'll add 2 that I'm playing at the moment;

Lord Galway's Lament and Morgan Magan.

Iain 

Hi Iain,

And welcome aboard!

Two great tunes you mention there but I must admit I am more familiar with Morgan Magan out of that pair. It's a perfectly formed primitive Hornpipe - somehow suited (IMHO) to that concertina version in the archive. Its one of his tunes that I've flirted with but never quite married!

Warmest regards,

Mike

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