One of the most spectacular traditional music releases of 2018, The Legacy of Stephen Grier is a landmark recording of carefully selected tunes from one of Ireland’s treasured (but as yet unpublished) nineteenth-century collections.
This is a long-awaited follow-up by Seamus McGuire (fiddle) and John Lee (flute) to The Missing Reel (Gael Linn, 1990).
The collector Stephen Grier (1824-1894) lived for much of his life in south Co. Leitrim where he collected and transcribed over 1,000 tunes, which must surely place him among the most important collectors of Irish music.
The variety of material is stunning, ranging from the sprightly, recently-discovered Planxty No. 12 by Turlough O’Carolan, to rousing dance-tunes from South Leitrim/North Longford, to elegant nineteenth-century airs played on the viola.
The album is accompanied by a meticulously-researched booklet providing background on the material. Guest musicians - harpist Floraine Blancke, fiddler Manus McGuire and guitarist/mandocellist/pianist Garry O’Briain enhance the tunes with their distinctive colour and shade.
“Outstanding stuff, indeed.” Daniel Neely , The Irish Echo, New York, July 9th 2018.
‘This distillation of tunes written for big houses and intimate kitchens is a bounteous gift that keeps on giving.’ Siobhán Long, Irish Times, May 2018