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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
Kevin L Rietmann virtuosity and traditional music (103* d) RE: virtuosity and traditional music 20 Mar 07

Mmmm, big kettle of fish here.
In re: Judy Collins, Cohen's manager's point was that the singers at the Met wouldn't even give her a passing grade, no matter how much we might enjoy her singing. To paraphrase a bumper sticker, if it ain't coloratura it's crap!
There were regional piping styles in the 19th century, when no one could get around. The pipers who recorded in NYC on 78s in the 10s/20s/30s considered themselves proponents of a Connaught style, according to one of their students. O'Neill also mentioned a Connaught "tight" style of piping in his writings. What the other styles sounded like we can only guess, since only a handful of crude recordings still exist of them. Seamus Ennis's father cobbled his style together from what he liked in various old pipers who came to the Dublin Oireachtasas (Oireachti?) around a hundred years ago, and O'Flynn has popularized much of Seamus's style, and also Willie Clancy's (who learned about Garrett Barry's piping from his father's descriptions of it - no recordings of him were made). What parts of it were particular to a province or county will never be known now, none of the regional styles really carried on like the fiddling or fluting have.

Waterford piper Liam Walsh made a lot of records, his music was very swinging, as was the Kerry fiddler Mike Hanafin's. So maybe the older Munster/South Leinster music was very bouncy? That's about as close as we'll ever know now, I think, unless there's an unknown school of fluting or piping down there no one's documented, or if some more recordings come to light.

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