• New Music from Simon Mayor - Carolan, Fantasias on Themes by Turlough O'Carolan

    Carolan, Fantasias on Themes by Turlough O'Carolan by Simon Mayor

    The long anticipated Simon Mayor recording Carolan, Fantasias on Themes by Turlough O'Carolan is being officially released today.

    About the music on the album, Mayor wrote in his liner notes "I remember well the first time I heard the music of the Irish harper and composer Turlough O'Carolan (1670 – 1738). It would have been 1973 and the Irish group Planxty were playing at Reading University Folk Club. As a student haunt, it was one I vastly preferred to the lecture hall or seminar; Russian social thought of the 18th century was never as exciting as this! But let’s not digress. Planxty had been booked by Hilary James, who - no coincidence here - features on this recording. The band played a couple of Carolan pieces and I was immediately captivated by the strength and grandness of the melodies. I subsequently became intimately acquainted with their first album and lost count of the times I heard their versions of Sí Bheag Sí Mhór and Planxty Irwin."

    In celebration of the release, a series of workshops on the music of Turlough O'Carolan led by Mayor were scheduled. The first, held this weekend, sold out quickly, and a second a month later at the same venue nearing the same. A third workshop was recently announced for July 3-7.


    From the recording, the track "Carolan's Concerto."

    The Musicians

    • Simon Mayor: mandolin, mandola, mandocello, violin, viola, guitars
    • Hilary James: vocals, double bass, mandobass, bass guitar
    • Florence Petit: violoncello

    Track Listing

    • Hewlett
    • Princess Royal
    • Mrs Sterling
    • The Snowy-Breasted Pearl
    • Carolan's Frolic
    • Carolan's Devotion
    • Si Bheagh Si Mhor
    • Carolan's Dream (guitar)
    • Lord Inchiquin
    • Dolly MacDonough
    • Carolan's Concerto
    • George Brabazon
    • Katherine O'More
    • Carolan's Dream (string quartet)

    Additional Information