Delve into the solid booklet to find your language of preference (obscure ones welcome), and read how these specimens of traditional music have been passed down through the generations, often unwritten. Read also how composers O’Carolan, Simon Fraser, Niel Gow, James Macpherson, and William Marshall wrote tunes that became folklore. There is enough reading material to keep you at it right
the way through your simultaneous listening.
Dividing the works into eight sections, based on the use of various instruments and tunings, serves an academic purpose, but more involving is the story shared by Savall and Lawrence-King that is your ticket to distant places and times. Their close examination and near fanatical attention to detail throws up a whole world of music with a naïve sophistication that is as good as a historical diorama presented in musical form.
Be present as a condemned prisoner offers his air at the foot of the gallows; follow episodes from
the life of Bonnie Prince Charlie; sway to reels taken to the New World by the first emigrants; and so much more. The longer you listen, the more you will find yourself rapt in this haunting enactment of bygone tradition played with such devotion.