Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

1986-2021: Celebrating Scotland's Music for 35 Years

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14 tracks: Set Of Reels (from a BBC Pipeline session) * Solo Set (from The Vale Of Atholl Pipe Band Motherwell concert) * Set (from The Scottish Pipers’ Knockout Competition Final) * Solo Set (from a broadcast by The Vale Of Atholl Pipe Band) * Scottish Selection (MSR at The MacCallan Piping Competition, Lorient) * Pibroch (from a cassette-only release) * Two Marches (from a cassette-only release) * Set of Jigs (from a BBC Pipeline session) * Set (from The Scottish Pipers’ Knockout Competition) * Mr & Mrs Duncan’s Golden Wedding Set (from a BBC Pipeline session) * Four Jigs (from a cassette-only release) * Breton Selection (The MacCallan Piping Competition, Lorient) * Thunderstruck Set (from a BBC Pipeline session) * bonus track: Charlotte (from a cassette-only release).

Gordon at his very best - a must-have recording for piping fans. Possibly the most skilful and innovative piper ever, Gordon’s influence is still felt after his untimely death.

Gordon recorded three solo albums for Greentrax Recordings - Just For Seumas, The Circular Breath and Thunderstruck - between 1994 and 2005. A search of various archives, subsequent to his death, revealed some vintage Gordon Duncan solo piping in BBC Pipeline sessions, competitions and other sources from which the tracks on this album have been gleaned: BBC Scotland (for various recitals), Dunkeld Records (tracks from a cassette-only release of 1990), The Scottish Pipers’ Association (from the Knockout Competition of 1993), Festival Interceltique (Lorient, Brittany - from Gordon’s MacCallan trophy win of 1997), and Gordon’s stunning solo set of over 11 minutes at the Vale Of Atholl Pipe Band concert in Motherwell in 1996 (not previously released).

Gordon was always at his best in front of an audience, when his brilliant fingering and variations on the theme were admired by the audiences. All tracks on this CD show Gordon at his very best but some emphasise the sheer genius of the man. A bonus track, the air Charlotte, highlights Gordon’s talents on the low whistle.

Gordon was also a prolific and remarkable composer of tunes and many of these are included on Just For Gordon, including the often-recorded Andy Renwick’s Ferret. Somewhere in the region of one hundred artists, folk groups or pipe bands have recorded this popular tune, including the band Leahy who had a hit in Canada which included it.

Other Gordon compositions which are now standard in the traditional music scene include The High Drive, The Panda, Mr & Mrs Duncan’s Golden Wedding (written for his parents) and Ian Green Of Greentrax.

A book of Gordon’s tunes has also been published. Profits from the book and album will go to the Gordon Duncan Memorial Trust.

‘Gordon Duncan, from Pitlochry, Perthshire, was widely regarded as one of the most skilled and innovative traditional performers and composers of modern times. While steeped in the art of traditional highland piping, his approach to his music was always imaginative, fresh and at times radical, to the extent that his influence can be heard within an entire generation of younger musicians across Scotland and well beyond’. (Gary West)

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