Week #445 ~ The Fairy Queen

  1. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
    This week was a close one... the winner by one is The Fairy Queen, by O'Carolan. I'm running out the door, so I hope someone can link to the notation. It not, I'll link to it later this evening.

    Here's David Hansen's beautiful version

  2. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Here are the abc's for the original 5 part version from the Sullivan Collection:

    T:The Fairy Queen
    C:Turlough O'Carolan (1670-1738)
    B:Complete Works Of Turlough O'Carolan (PB - no pub - no date - fleamarket find)
    Z:to Noteworthy and MIDI by Chris Gilb; Translation to ABC and GIF copy by Vince Brennan
    G2G2ED|G4ED|G2G2ED|G2{B}A2B2|G2G2DE|B,4GF|E4GF|G3c B/2c/2B/2A/2|
    G3B A/2B/2A/2G/2|F3B A/2B/2A/2G/2|E3F ED|B,3c BA|{F}E3G FE|D2E2GF|G6|G,4||
    GA| TB3A/2B/2 B2|BABcBc|{B}A4A2|A2B2d2|G4d2|F4dF|E3F E/2F/2E/2D/2|B,3D EF|
    G3C B,/2C/2B,/2A,/2|G,3G FG|A3G F/2G/2F/2E/2|D3c BG|E3G F/2G/2F/2E/2|D2E2GF|G6|G,4||
    ef|g2g2d2|g3f e/2f/2e/2d/2|B3c BA|G4ef|gfgagf|edefge|a3g f/2g/2f/2e/2|d4ga|
    b2b2e2|babc'be|{fg}a3g f/2g/2f/2e/2|d4b2|efefga|d2e2gf|{f}g6|G4||
    "_volti"gf| Te4ed|B2B2B/2c/2B/2A/2|G4GA| TF4GF|E2B,2^D2|E4EF|GABcBA|B4Bd|
    efef e/2f/2g/2e/2|g2G2fg|{fg}a3g f/2g/2f/2e/2|d3b ab|e3a gf|d2e2gf|{f}g6|G4||
    Bd|edef e/2f/2e/2d/2|BABc B/2c/2B/2A/2|GAGA G/2B/2A/2G/2|FEFG F/2G/2A/2F/2|EDEFE/2F/2E/2D/2|EDEB,EF|G2A2BA|BABdBd|
    efefef|gfgGfg|abag f/2g/2f/2e/2|d3b ab|efefga|d2e2gf|{f}g6|G6|]

    My version is a simplified 3 part arangement you can download a pdf here:

  3. Barbara Shultz
    Barbara Shultz
  4. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Turlough O'Carolan: "The Fairy Queen"
    From O'Neill's "Music Of Ireland" (1903), #637

    This is one of the Carolan tunes that appears with the same title in Sullivan's collection as well as O'Neill's earlier collection, but in very different variants.

    David has kindly posted the (rather complex) Sullivan version, and the streamlined edition thereof that he has recorded, with his usual elegance.

    My recording is based on the O'Neill version, with chords that I found at:


    Played as a duet of mandolin and octave mandolin.

    Mid-Missouri M-0W mandolin
    Mid-Missouri M-111 octave mandolin

  5. Bob Michel
    Bob Michel
    Excellent versions from David and Martin, and the contrast between the two settings is just wonderful.

    This tune was familiar to meómainly, I think, from Chris Normanís recordingóbut itís one of the (many) Carolan pieces Iíd never gotten round to learning, so Iím glad to have this nudge. Hereís an attempt at the five-part version, including the rogue D# in the fourth part, which evidently stirs debate among harpists (or so says a commentator at thesesion.org); how would Carolan have played it? Maybe itís a later interpolation, but it sounds just fine on mandolin.

    Bob Michel
    Near Philly

  6. JL277z
    David, good as usual! And thanks for the PDF standard notation.

    Martin, nice sounding combo of mandolin and octave mandolin. Since the sheet music you linked to is melody only, I figured you probably composed the octave-mandolin backing part yourself, well done!

    Bob, nice sweet version! At first I wondered what backing instrument you were playing, it sounds sweet like a harp, then I read your YouTube page where you say the backing is ukulele and bass, awesome! So I had part of it right, I recognized the sound of nylon strings, I just didn't know what they were attached to! Sounds great. And of course I like the bass too - I always like bass, I'm a bass addict, and your bass playing here is tasteful and goes well with the tune. Very nice!
  7. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Thanks, JL. Yes, the OM part is my own, but not much composing involved. I'm simply playing the chord progression, switching ad lib between ringing chords on the first beat of the bar and quarter-note arpeggios.

    Bob: that sounds very nice and good to have all five parts collected by Sullivan included. I'm still trying to figure out how the Sullivan and the O'Neill tunes are related. They have the same key and similar feel, but I'm struggling to identify any actual phrases that match.

  8. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Bob that was really well done, you made sense out parts 4 & 5 and you added the great uke backup that I love so much, it makes want to buy a uke.
  9. dustyamps
    Thanks to everyone for their contributions. David's has been one of my favorites of his and Bob's version is great. It is interesting how the O'Neill version that Martin plays has strayed so far from the version in The Complete Works of O'Carolan.
  10. Bob Michel
    Bob Michel
    Thanks for all the encouraging comments. I confess I broke a personal rule on this one: generally I donít like to perform or record something until Iíve internalized it well enough that I donít need music (or lyrics) in front of me. But Iím not there yet with the long version of ďThe Fairy QueenĒ; I more or less had to read it off the page. Maybe in a few weeks, if I keep at it, Iíll be able to produce something a bit more fluid and spontaneous-sounding. But before that happens Iím determined to work out a version of ďMinor SwingĒ!

    Bob Michel
    Near Philly
  11. Manfred Hacker
    Manfred Hacker
    Thanks all for the inspiring recordings and to David for the music.
    Here is what I have got

  12. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    Nicely done Manfred, I see you haven't lost your fine tremolo touch.
  13. Martin Jonas
    Martin Jonas
    Having previously recorded the O'Neill version of this tune, I had to also try the Sullivan version which I have to admit is the nicer tune, especially in David's streamlined three-part version which I have shamelessly stolen (or "adapted") for mine.

    For more contrast with my earlier recording and also with David's, I have chosen a somewhat different approach, playing the tune on mandocello with mandolin accompaniment at the beginning, swapping parts halfway through. A more sparse effect, but one that suits the tune (and brings out the nice tone of the mandocello)

    Suzuki MC-815 mandocello
    1921 Gibson Ajr mandolin

  14. Frithjof
    Great submissions as was expected. And good to see Manfred among them.

    I'm still working on that. But now I have to split my practice time to reactivate the carols for Christmas season. OTOH it may be not a bad idea to mix in an O’Carolan tune in the schedule …
  15. David Hansen
    David Hansen
    I really like the switch up with the mandocello playing the melody, Martin, it sounds really nice. For the record I didn't invent the 3 part version, I stole it from someone else. The only thing I changed was playing the third part an octave lower. There is a 3 part version at The Session in the key of D which is quite similar to my adaptation.
  16. Mark Gunter
    Mark Gunter
    All very nice submissions each with its own merits - and such a beautiful piece! I downloaded David's arrangement just the other day and hope to learn it some day. Thank you for that.
  17. JL277z
    Manfred, very nice! Neat hammer at 0:28 too.

    Martin, love that low octave sound, works good!
  18. Brian560
    Its nice to hear all of these different variations, they all sound great! Here is my submission. This time I tried using a Zoom H2n instead of my phone. There are some sections that I am still struggling through, and one section in particular.
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