Concerto Caledonia - Fiddler Tam - The Scotsman

David McGuinness and his ensemble Concerto Caledonia have built a notable reputation for bringing historically important early music back into circulation, and doing it with as much a sense of danger as of style. The emphasis is on style in this fascinating cross section of works by the 18th-century composer and colourful Scots aristocrat, Thomas Erskine, the 6th Earl of Kellie. His studies in Germany introduced Erskine to the famous Mannheim school, in particular Stamitz, and that influence comes over loud and clear in the dramatic style of overture and quartet contained in this highly enjoyable disc.

Songs (featuring Mhairi Lawson) and trio sonatas offer further variety, as does the catchy Lord Kelly's Reel - a quirky reminder of why Erskine was affectionately known as Fiddler Tam.

11 March 2005