Altenglische Volkslieder und Balladen


Folk classics gone classical. This 1970 collection features 19 songs taken from folk Melodies but arranged in a classical way and sung by a classically schooled voice. There is a huge difference, and one that makes me wonder what they were thinking.

I once read a book (Bij de dromers van dromen by Anne Wesseling) about a professional violinist that went on a voyage of discovery in Ireland to find out about fiddling: the art of playing the fiddle. For a classically schooled mind the biggest challenge to overcome here is the improvisation. To let go of your conception and keep an open mind is complicated, but there are a lot of modern day composers that go all the way in the sense of artistic trailblazing. It is the improv that seems to be the greatest hurdle though.

Deller and his compatriots totally miss the point of these folk tunes here, and the result is a sad overly academic collection that only vaguely shows what it might have been.

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