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VARIOUS ARTISTS The Battle of Prestonpans -1745

The Battle of Prestonpans -1745

Greentrax  CDTRAX356

This compilation album is a musical companion to the Prestonpans Tapestry, and the music on it will be played when the tapestry is exhibited. The sub-title of the CD is Music and Song of the Campaign which gives a clear idea of what to expect when viewing the tapestry or listening to the CD.

I have not seen the tapestry but the two panels depicted in the booklet do, in a small way, give an idea of the many, many hours of dedicated work that must have gone into its production, and the beauty of the results. I have of course heard the CD, many times, and there is no doubt that it contains some of the finest Scottish music and song. The shared theme of the material lends an extra poignancy to what is an impeccable programme of performances from a stellar cast that includes Karen Matheson, the late Joan Mackenzie, The McCalmans, The Whistlebinkies and many more. The bonus track, The Sound Of The Pibroch, by the Panel Beaters is interesting in as much as the Panel Beaters are in fact a group of stitchers who were singing as they worked when Ian Green of Greentrax Records dropped into Andrew Crummy’s studio where the tapestry was being completed. They were quickly recorded and the track added to the CD, very nice!

There is a little duplication of material with the CD, The King Has Landed – Songs of the Jacobite Risings – CDTRAX234.  Even so you will not find a better compilation of Scottish music than this almost perfect CD.

Danny Saunders

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This album was reviewed in Issue 87 of The Living Tradition magazine.