Robert Burns

Biography

Born: January 25, 1759; Alloway   Died: July 21, 1796; Dumfries, Scotland  
Without a doubt, Robert Burns is Scotland's best-known poet and was a prolific composer, writing about 400 songs during his short life, though the extent of his authorship is still unknown. Contemporary records are unreliable, as even he rarely noted which of his songs were set to existing folk melodies and which were his own compositions, making it almost impossible to tell whether he transcribed and added a text or actually wrote the music for Read more such classics as "Coming Through the Rye." While his works are generally sentimental, some of them include mocking social commentary, such as the then shockingly egalitarian "For a' That and a' That." Despite the mythology that has depicted him as an unlettered "ploughman poet," he was given an extensive though informal education despite his family's relative poverty. He avidly read contemporary poetry, as well as classics of English literature. He produced his first poem at 15, writing a text in Scottish dialect, O once I lov'd a soncie lass, to the tune of his sweetheart's favorite reel. He continued to write, while unsuccessfully taking on various agricultural positions, but did not publish until 1786, when he produced Poems, Chiefly in the Scottish Dialect, to finance marriage and migration to Jamaica. The work was a best seller and at the death of his fiancée, he changed his plans and traveled throughout Scotland, settling in Edinburgh. There he found work with a publisher, James Johnson, who gave him the task of editing a multi-volume compendium of folk songs, The Scots Musical Museum. Burns included more than 150 of his own works in this collection, as well as over 100 to another collection, George Thomson's A Select Collection of Scottish Airs, begun in 1793. Burns participated in these projects solely for money; he was an early proponent of the idea that folk songs are art forms of their own right and that polite, semi-classical arrangements dilute their spirit. However, many of his own settings were grudgingly written to appeal to middle- and upper-class audiences, like Haydn's and Beethoven's arrangements of several of his songs. Upon his marriage to Jean Armour, already mother of four of his children, he left Edinburgh to attempt farming again and met with no more success than before. In 1789, he abandoned agriculture altogether and began work as an excise officer. He contracted rheumatic fever and died five years later. Read less
Browse 1-25 of 30 Available Recordings
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  • 1.
    Label: Abc Classics   Catalog: 4764879 Release Date: 04/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Steven Baker,  Walter Kent,  Vangelis,  Frederick E. Weatherly  ... 
    Performer:  Steven Baker,  Laura Wright,  Fridrik "Frizzy" Karlsson,  Lincoln Jean-Marie  ... 
    Conductor:  Richard Hein
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  • 2.
    Sae Fresh & Fair: Scottish Romantic Choral Songs
    Label: Rel   Catalog: 550 Release Date: 01/10/2012   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Hamish MacCunn,  Anonymous,  Robert Burns  ... 
    Performer:  Strathclyde University Chamber Choir
    Conductor:  Alan Tavener
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  • 3.
    Peter Maxwell Davies: Piano Quartet; Dimitri Smirnov: Quintet
    Label: Meridian Records   Catalog: 84586 Release Date: 09/14/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Burns,  John Casken,  Joe Cutler,  Sally Beamish  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Primrose Quartet
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  • 4.
    Label: Dutton Laboratories/Vocalion   Catalog: 4411 Release Date: 03/09/2010   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Evelyn Danzig,  Ariel Ramirez,  Bob Baron  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth McKellar
    Conductor:  Peter Knight
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  • 5.
    The Holly And The Ivy
    Label: Taylor Park Music   Catalog: 501 Release Date: 11/10/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Robert Burns,  Franz Xaver Gruber,  Gustav Holst
    Performer:  The Kansas City Chamber Orchestra,  Connie Dover,  Douglas Goodhart,  Turlach Boylan  ... 
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  • 6.
    Cool Yule / Hot Club of San Francisco
    Label: Azica   Catalog: 72242 Release Date: 10/27/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  John Frederic Coots,  Mel Torme,  Victor Herbert,  John Jacob Niles  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Hot Club of San Francisco,  Le Jazz Hot Trio,  Ivory Club Boys
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  • 7.
    John McDermott - The Danny Boy Collection
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 56766 Release Date: 08/07/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Michael Peter Smith,  Eric Bogle,  J. H. McNaughton  ... 
    Performer:  John McDermott
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Instrumental Ensemble
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  • 8.
    Songs Of Scotland / Mclaughlin, Martineau, Frayling-cork
    Label: Helios   Catalog: 55336 Release Date: 07/14/2009   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Robert Burns,  Marjorie Kennedy-Fraser
    Performer:  Marie McLaughlin,  Malcolm Martineau,  Isobel Frayling-Cork
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  • 9.
    She's Sweetest When She's Naked - James Oswald, Etc /  Melville, Finch, Jarvis, Nediger, Elliott, Grossman
    Label: Early-music.com   Catalog: 7761 Release Date: 09/30/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  James Oswald,  Robert Burns,  Nathaniel Gow  ... 
    Performer:  Kirk Elliot,  Mary-Katherine Finch,  Ben Grossman,  Michael Jarvis  ... 
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  • 10.
    World Of Scotland
    Label: Decca   Catalog: 466353 Release Date: 08/26/2008   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Lauder,  Lemon,  Watt  ... 
    Performer:  Kenneth McKellar,  Arthur Spink,  Moira Anderson,  Jack Sinclair  ... 
    Conductor:  Bob Sharples,  Arthur Spink,  Bert Shorthouse,  Peter Knight  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Royal Highland Fusiliers,  Edinburgh City Police Pipe Band,  Jack Sinclair Television Showband  ... 
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  • 11.
    Pieces For Christmas Peace
    Label: Zig Zag   Catalog: 61104 Release Date: 12/31/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Raphaël Imbert,  Henry Walford Davies,  John Frederic Coots,  Felix Bernard  ... 
    Performer:  Raphaël Imbert,  Jean-Luc Di Fraya,  Marion Rampal
    Conductor:  Raphaël Imbert
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Sixtine Group
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  • 12.
    Label: Saydisc   Catalog: 341 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  W. J. G. Bates,  Anonymous,  George Frideric Handel,  Traditional  ... 
    Performer:  Raymond Aldington,  Adrian Gebruers,  Ronald Leith
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  • 13.
    Danny Boy / Kiri Te Kanawa
    Label: Emi Classics   Catalog: 47080 Release Date: 04/24/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Easthope Martin,  Traditional,  Thomas Moore,  Robert Burns  ... 
    Performer:  Dame Kiri Te Kanawa
    Conductor:  Douglas Gamley
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  National Philharmonic Orchestra London members,  Medici String Quartet
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  • 14.
    My First Love
    Label: Universal   Catalog: 4765717 Release Date: 02/20/2007   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Thomas Dunhill,  Edouard Lalo,  James Horner,  George Frideric Handel  ... 
    Performer:  Nicky Spence,  Neil Martin,  Lesley Garrett,  Annabel Thwaite
    Conductor:  Ian McMillan
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  • 15.
    Auld Scottish Sangs / Scottish Early Music Consort
    Label: Chandos   Catalog: 0581 Release Date: 04/04/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Franz Joseph Haydn,  Carl Maria von Weber,  Leopold Anton Kozeluch,  Johann Nepomuk Hummel  ... 
    Performer:  John Kitchen,  Marjorie Rycroft,  Christopher Field,  Lorna Anderson  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Early Music Consort
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  • 16.
    Robert Burns - My Heart's In The Highlands
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 269 Release Date: 01/01/2006   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Burns
    Performer:  Aimee Leonard,  James Malcolm,  Tich Frier,  Kirsten Easdale  ... 
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  • 17.
    The Red Red Rose / Concerto Caledonia
    Label: Delphian   Catalog: 34014 Release Date: 11/08/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Burns,  Traditional,  Pietro (Peter) Urbani,  Burk Thumoth  ... 
    Performer:  Katherine McGillivray,  Lucy Russell,  Jamie MacDougall,  Alison McGillivray  ... 
    Conductor:  David McGuinness
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Concerto Caledonia
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  • 18.
    The Symposium Opera Collection / Adelina Patti
    Label: Symposium   Catalog: 1324 Release Date: 03/29/2005   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart,  Antonio Lotti,  Stephen Foster,  Charles Gounod  ... 
    Performer:  Adelina Patti,  Landon Ronald,  Alfredo Barili,  Marianne Eisler
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  • 19.
    My Love Is Like A Red, Red Rose - Chansons De Robert Burns
    Label: Atma Classique   Catalog: 22336 Release Date: 10/12/2004   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Robert Burns,  Turlough O'Carolan,  John Playford
    Performer:  Robin Grenon,  Patrick Graham,  Betsy MacMillan,  Elise Guay  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  La Nef
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  • 20.
    Marian Anderson - A Portrait In Music
    Label: Video Artists International   Catalog: 4278 Release Date: 05/25/2004  
    Composer:  Traditional,  Franz Schubert,  Robert Burns
    Performer:  Marian Anderson,  Franz Rupp
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  • 21.
    Robert Burns: Complete Songs Vol 10
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 199 Release Date: 01/01/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Burns
    Performer:  Jim Reid,  John Nichol,  Lionel McClelland,  Leslie Hale  ... 
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  • 22.
    Robert Burns: Complete Songs Vol 12
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 201 Release Date: 01/01/2002   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Burns
    Performer:  Tich Frier,  Rod Patterson,  Jim Reid,  Wendy Weatherby  ... 
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  • 23.
    Robert Burns: Complete Songs Vol 9
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 156 Release Date: 10/30/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Robert Burns
    Performer:  Mairi Campbell,  Kirsten Easdale,  Karine Polwart,  Niall Kenny  ... 
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  • 24.
    Robert Burns: Complete Songs Vol 8 / Mcmanus, Duff, Et Al
    Label: Linn Records   Catalog: 143 Release Date: 02/27/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Traditional,  Robert Burns
    Performer:  Phamie Gow,  Billy Jackson,  Mairi Campbell,  Marc Duff  ... 
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  • 25.
    The Best Of Scotland - A Musical Celebration
    Label: Bandleader   Catalog: 4 Release Date: 01/09/2001   Number of Discs: 1
    Composer:  Clare E. Grundman,  Traditional,  Robert Burns,  Michael Korb  ... 
    Orchestra/Ensemble:  Scottish Division Lowland Band,  Regimental Band of the Black Watch,  Queen's Division Band  ... 
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