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Robert Mackintosh: Airs, Minuets, Gavotts and Reels / Concerto Caledonia

Mackintosh / Cto Caledonia
Release Date: 08/13/2013 
Label:  Delphian   Catalog #: 32128   Spars Code: DDD 
Composer:  Robert MacKintosh
Performer:  David GreenbergGreg Lawson
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Number of Discs: 1 
Recorded in: Stereo 
Length: 1 Hours 6 Mins. 

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Notes and Editorial Reviews



MACKINTOSH Airs, Minuets, Gavotts and Reels Concerto Caledonia DELPHIAN 34128 (66:18)


This is just plain good fun. Robert Mackintosh (1745–1807) was known as Red Rob because of his hair. Like another musician, Vivaldi, whose hair color supplied his nickname, Mackintosh was known as a fine violinist. But he was far less a composer than il Prete Rosso and not an opera impresario at all—more of an arranger, music teacher, and leader of small ensembles in Read more Edinburgh and Aberdeen. His three collections of music focus on what would sell to his middle-class audiences: popular dances and airs, the latter in some instances reduced from popular operas of the period. They occupy a middle ground between the sedate, sanitized folk song arrangements George Thomson commissioned from the likes of Haydn, Beethoven, and others, and the more raucous jigs found in rural céilidhean of all periods. This disc focuses for the most part on genteel, conservatively tuneful reels and minuets, though there are exceptions, such as a set of four reels (most are presented individually) beginning with Lady Helenora Horne’s Reel and ending with a rousing Miss Carre’s Reel . I suspect the increasing energy of the four linked dances is a product of modern arrangement, but it also shows us the more vigorous side of dance entertainment enjoyed by the gentlefolk of Mackintosh’s acquaintance.


Sprinkled throughout the program are exceptions to the rule that supply programmatic variety. One such is a Minuetto (track 2) whose central trio suddenly hops nations to France, and could have been extracted from an opera composed during the Regency. Another is The Duchess of Gordon’s Delight , at slightly over four minutes one of the longest works on this release: a series of figurative variations designed to show off a pianist’s technique. It’s performed here on a square piano built in Edinburgh around 1815. Yet a third are works that curiously move beyond the expected thorough bass into two-part contrapuntal territory, such as Miss Bewment’s Minuet—Air , and yet another Minuetto (track 15) where two violins display primitive but elegant counterpoint. One can imagine Mackintosh teaching a student with such works, the former on the primary part, the latter on the secondary.


A fourth and final exception is a three-movement Solo , a mini-concerto whose first movement, stylistically evocative of Boccherini, is followed by two that look back to Lully and Corelli. The précis accompanying Mackintosh’s 1783 publication lists this as “a Solo intended as a Specimen of a set of Solos for the Violin Which the Author proposes to Publish afterwards,” but the technical level required for its performance goes far beyond the other pieces in the collection—and presumably went beyond that of his original audience, as well. He never followed it up with another.


The performers, Concerto Caledonia, are a quartet of players comprising two violins, cello, and keyboard. They certainly have the technique to perform all of this music. More to the point, they have the spirit, adding appropriate period ornamentation, and moving easily between the dance pieces and the showy concert ones, between those that are more polite and the more energetic. String tone is good, and the engineering balance never sounds either over-reverberant or congested. In short, this is just the thing to put on when you’re tired from work, or maybe from reading The Brothers Karamazov for the third time, and want to relax with something a bit lighter than one of Mouton’s Masses. Recommended.


FANFARE: Barry Brenesal
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Works on This Recording

1.
Capt. Macduff's Delight / Miss Katty Troter's Reel by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 2 Minutes 12 Secs. 
2.
Minuetto (4) by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 3 Minutes 52 Secs. 
3.
Miss Grant of Grant's Reel by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 1 Minutes 6 Secs. 
4.
Miss Grace Stewart's Minuet by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 2 Minutes 19 Secs. 
5.
Gavotta (6) by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 2 Minutes 23 Secs. 
6.
Air (26) by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 2 Minutes 45 Secs. 
7.
Lady Helenora Home's Reel / Miss Jessy Dalrymple's Reel / Miss Stewart's Reel / Miss Carre's Reel by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 3 Minutes 16 Secs. 
8.
The Duchess of Gordon's Delight by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 4 Minutes 6 Secs. 
9.
Lady Charlotte Campbell's Reel by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 1 Minutes 28 Secs. 
10.
The Diamond Reel / Miss Burnet of Monboddo's Reel by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 2 Minutes 5 Secs. 
11.
Minuet (27) / Quick Step by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 3 Minutes 28 Secs. 
12.
Lady Betty Boyle's Reel / Miss Scott's Reel by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 1 Minutes 49 Secs. 
13.
Miss Bewment's Minuet / Air (28) by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 2 Minutes 58 Secs. 
14.
Lady Betty Cochran's Reel by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
15.
Minuetto (7) by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 3 Minutes 3 Secs. 
16.
Lady Emelia Ker's Minuet by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 5 Minutes 43 Secs. 
17.
Gavotta (29) by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 1 Minutes 15 Secs. 
18.
Miss Henderson's Minuet / Lady Wallace's Reel by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 3 Minutes 6 Secs. 
19.
Miss Pringle's Reel by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 1 Minutes 35 Secs. 
20.
Miss Baird's Minuet by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 1 Minutes 53 Secs. 
21.
Gavotta (22) by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 1 Minutes 45 Secs. 
22.
Solo, for violin by Robert MacKintosh
Performer:  David Greenberg (Violin), Greg Lawson (Violin)
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 10 Minutes 8 Secs. 
23.
March by Robert MacKintosh
Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
Period: Classical 
Venue:  Ardkinglas House, Argyll 
Length: 2 Minutes 16 Secs. 

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