Kevin Burke | Cal Scott
'SUITE' - The new CD
Irish tunes arranged for string quartet by world-renowned fiddler KEVIN BURKE and composer CAL SCOTT
"A groundbreaking and original album." IRISH MUSIC MAGAZINE
"Kevin Burke is one of the great living Celtic fiddlers...impressively virtuosic."
THE NEW YORK TIMES
One of the world's leading fiddlers Kevin Burke has just released a powerful new work combining classical and Irish traditional music for string quartet, on his latest recording SUITE.
Led by Burke's timeless playing, the new work "The Irish Session Suite" highlights the rugged beauty of Irish music – including an 18th-century air, a 19th-century jig, and a rousing contemporary reel – beautifully performed by a string quartet. The innovative arrangements of the 20-minute suite are by Cal Scott.
Based in Portland, Oregon, Burke is accompanied on "The Irish Session Suite" by three of the Northwest's most accomplished classical musicians: Portland Chamber Orchestra concertmaster and violinist Andrew Ehrlich, Oregon Symphony assistant principal violist Charles Noble, and Portland Cello Project co-founder and cellist Justin Kagan.
Early praise for the new album Suite is glowing. "Ground-breaking and original," says Irish Music Magazine. "To hear how naturally the two forms mix is a miracle."
"'Suite' is pure listening pleasure," raves the Irish Echo. "With his trademark silky-smooth touch on the bow, Burke is at the center of the centerpiece."
The new CD also features a number of high-spirited Irish and original tunes played by Burke and Scott with guest artists Beoga, one of Ireland's hottest young
A recipient of the National Endowment for the Arts Heritage Fellowship, Burke is a giant in the world of Irish and traditional music. The London-born Irishman is internationally admired for his exciting performances and seemingly effortless playing, his famously silky bowing and his deep reservoir of traditional tunes. The Washington Post calls him "one of the greatest Irish fiddlers of the past
For Burke, the new project is the realization of a long-held dream. For more than 30 years his recordings and performances have reflected both his life-long love affair with the music of Ireland, and his refusal to be restricted by what are often seen as insurmountable musical boundaries. "The Irish Session Suite" continues this musical journey by putting traditional tunes into
a classical setting in a way that complements both styles and asks neither to compromise.
"With Cal's arranging and composing skills, I found someone who could help realize this project," says Burke. "We ended up fusing the ideas around what now seems a natural decision, to combine traditional music with a chamber quartet."
"Haydn developed the string quartet in the 1750s, which was also a time when there was a great deal of music coming forth in the Irish forms of the day, so this is not as far a stretch as it might seem," adds Scott, a talented musician who has composed and arranged more than 40 film scores
"The Irish Session Suite" may well be hailed as one of the most exciting and intriguing collaborations of the decade. Burke and Scott are planning national performances of the new work.