Classical Music Home

Welcome to Naxos Records

Keyword Search
 Classical Music Home > Naxos Album Reviews

Album Reviews

See latest reviews of other albums...

Johan van Veen
musica Dei donum, July 2019

McFarlane is an outstanding lute player, who delivers engaging performances of the pieces he has selected. His disc will attract both lovers of the lute and those who have a special interest in traditional music. © 2019 musica Dei donum Read complete review

KDFC Radio, October 2018

American master lutenist, Ronn McFarlane celebrates his Scottish heritage with a new album of Celtic music for lute. The album makes for a lovely journey through Ireland and Scotland thanks to the “vivacity and delicacy” of the lute. © 2018 KDFC Radio

Rick Anderson
Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, September 2018

Back when the Sono Luminus label was called Dorian, lutenist Ronn McFarlane was regularly featured among its releases, whether as a solo artist or as a member of the Baltimore Consort. Some of his finest recordings have explored the intersection of early European art music and traditional Celtic fiddle tunes. Here he takes up that effort again, playing a wonderful array of Scottish and Irish tunes, some from lute books of the 17th century and others performed in his own arrangements. As always, he makes it sound easy (it isn’t), and the tunes are a pleasing blend of the familiar (“Banish Misfortune,” “The Flowers of Edinburgh,” “The Butterfly”) and the obscure. © 2018 Baker & Taylor CD Hotlist, August 2018

All [pieces] are played masterfully in McFarlane’s own arrangements, which give the disparate works a greater feeling of cohesion than they would otherwise have. McFarlane’s complete mastery of his instrument is everywhere apparent in his fingerings, his expressiveness, his ability to contrast bright and dancelike material with inward-focused pieces, and his overall sensitivity to the nuances of compositions that, especially in the case of the folk tunes, are generally straightforward and harmonically and rhythmically simple. © 2018 Read complete review

Lisa Flynn
WFMT (Chicago), July 2018

For ‘The Celtic Lute,’ Ronn McFarlane turns to one of his earliest musical influences, and the music of his ancestors: folk music of Scotland and Ireland. He says, “I’ve had a great love of Celtic music since the 1970s, hearing groups like the Chieftains and The Bothy Band. I was delighted to find Scottish tunes in lute manuscripts from the 17th century. Alas, there is no comparable repertory of Irish lute music. But there is an obvious sympathy between the music of Ireland and Scotland, so I undertook to make arrangements of some of my favorite Irish and Scottish tunes that never quite made it into the historical lute repertory.” © 2018 WFMT (Chicago)

99.5 WCRB, July 2018

The album is laid out with incredible care. You’ll hear the touching sadness in “The Lone Vale” (track 14), a traditional Scottish tune that McFarlane plays with such a soft insistence, you could fall into a melancholy trance. Then comes “Flee Over the Water,” another Scottish traditional tune, but with such a spirit of happiness and a sense of recovery, it seems to offer the courage to look up and out at the horizon. © 2018 99.5 WCRB Read complete review

Christie Grimstad, July 2018

“Emphasized expression makes exercised impression.” Ronn McFarlane has the strength of heart, knows the beat of the Celtic soul, both past and present. This spotless Sono Luminus recording is a coruscating delight. © 2018 Read complete review

Naxos Records, a member of the Naxos Music Group