Greentrax Recordings
Greentrax Recordings

1986-2019: Celebrating Scotland's Music for over 30 Years

cover image for Hector MacAndrew - Legend Of The Scots Fiddle
March 2009
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16 tracks: The Atholl Highlanders’ March to Loch Katrine Set * Eugene Stratton * Niel Gow’s Lament On The Death Of His Second Wife * Loch Tummel Side Set * Lady Ann Hope’s Favourite * Braes o’ Mar Set * Stirlingshire Militia Set * Greig’s Strathspey * Master Francis Sitwell Set * John McFadyen of Melfort Set * Mar Castle Set * Lament for J. Murray of Abercairney Set * 74th’s Farewell to Edinburgh Set * Auld Robin Gray * Harvest Home Set * Reel o’ Tulloch Set.

The late, great Hector MacAndrew was born in 1903 and died in 1980. These recordings, made some 60 years ago in Hector’s home, were never meant for public release so some allowance must be made for the quality of the recordings, although not for the playing, which is brilliant and of an old Scottish style seldom heard nowadays.

Hector’s first recording was a 78rpm for Parlophone, and he later went on to record a number of other albums. He was broadcast frequently on radio and television - in 1974 he hosted Sir Yehudi Menuhin at Blair Castle in a classic television feature on Scottish fiddle music.

Unfortunately most of the music of Hector MacAndrew has been unavailable for many years so this album is long overdue. These recordings had been lying dormant for almost 30 years, and when Paul Anderson was appointed as a Research Fellow at the Elphinstone Institute of Aberdeen University the tapes were passed on to him by Hector’s son Pat.

Paul embarked on a project to have some of the previously unreleased recordings included on an a new album, enlisted the aid of Greentrax Recordings and this album is the result.

Hector MacAndrew was possibly the greatest exponent of the Scots fiddle tradition of his generation and although he died in 1980 he is still the benchmark by which all Scots fiddlers should be measured. It is impossible to meet a notable Scottish fiddler who doesn’t hold Hector in the highest regard and in many cases his interpretation of some of our Scots fiddle classics are regarded as being the final word on the matter.

‘When the question of who was the greatest exponent of traditional fiddle music of our generation crops up amongst the practitioners of this ancient art… In the unanimous verdict of all my contemporary fellow musicians there is always one name above all others that keeps cropping up - Hector MacAndrew .’ (Bobby Harvey, Scottish Memories)

‘When I met this man and heard him play, I knew I was in the presence of Scottish history.’ (Yehudi Menuhin)

‘A man who devoted a lifetime to the art and who, by his magnificent playing, inspired so many others who play the fiddle in the Scottish style.’

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