Both parties in this partnership respect one another’s roles—Lúnasa the folk band representing the value of of small piercing personalities, the RTÉ (Raidió Teilifís Éireann, Irish Radio and Television) Concert Orchestra representing the value of smooth mass group sound. The individual fiddle and pipe go skipping near the end of “Morning Nightcap” and the cushion of strings rolls massively after them like a willing St Bernard. Nobody fights, nobody challenges, there is not even all that much playing off one another, as there sometimes is when a small musical body gets together with a large one. There’s more of that in Samaagam, for example, the partnership between Amjad Ali Khan and the Scottish Chamber Orchestra, released by World Village back in 2011. Every track except one on LwtRTECO is a tight little set of about three tunes, not too long not too short, with the Breton branch of the Celts acknowledged once or twice along with the Irish. Album is not so interested in the adroit brio or sentimentality of Irish music at its most eccentric. It’s talented rather than brilliant.
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// Notes from the Road
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