Marquis of Huntly
I am currently working on one the major Strathspeys called the Marquis of Huntly. Its composed by William Marshall and is a difficult tune. The bowing is difficult - snaps, arrow bowing, loops and stops. The key is quite difficult (G minor). The runs are difficult - particularly one that has a turn at the end of it. I have listened to recordings of the tune and it sounds like people have changed the bowing to slurs and missed out the turn altogether. I don;t think I have found one yet that is played completely as notated. I suppose that might be an option. But at the moment I am bowing it close to the versions in Henderson's Flowers of Scottish Melodies and The Caledonian Companion. Still about five weeks to go until the recital.
I have also been working on reel to go with it, John Cheap the Chapman by Nathaniel Gow - also taken from Henderson's. It is full of leaps across two strings; string crossing requiring the fingering to straddle (difficult if you have small hands); and third position and back down at speed. Its a good tune. They are both a challenge.
I have been practicing slowly. I have also been working on the two Shetland tunes I am going to play. I would like to play one slowly - possibly solo. The tune is so irregular that I am trying to decide if its easier for the listener to understand that way. Also planning to play it on my hardanger using scodatura.
Your comment will be posted after it is approved.
Leave a Reply.