Concerto Caledonia - Fiddler Tam - Inverness Courier

Impoverished by his father's support for Bonnie Prince Charlie, the Earl of Kellie - whose skill as a violinist earned him the nickname of "Fiddler Tam" - subsidised his activities as a composer and player by selling family land and became a leading figure on the British musical scene of his day. This CD by the Scottish period instrument group is the first recording devoted entirely to his music, written in a style similar to that of Vivaldi or Bach.

Much of his work has been lost but some manuscripts were found at Kilravock Castle and two of the pieces are featured on the disc.

The first, for some unexplained reason, is played by the entire orchestra and the second, by a quartet featuring Fortrose's Sarah Bevan-Baker on violin, is quite the finest thing on the CD whose last two tracks were recorded at Kellie Castle and feature flute as lead instrument.

08 April 2005