Carolan’s Air


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Instrumentation: Flute, Descant Recorder / Flute 2, Bb Clarinet, Violin, Accordion / Piano / Guitar, Bass

This is a beautiful, gentle melody, one of many by the Irish composer, Turlough O’Carolan.

It should be played gracefully and lightly. The arrangement is deliberately simple, seeking to ensure that the melody is always clearly audible, though attempting to augment the texture with some mostly parallel movement in one or more others parts. The exception to this is some of the figuration within the violin line, nevertheless always designed to enhance rather than subsume O’Carolan’s melody.

Other slow airs arranged for this ensemble include “Air”, “Dark Island”, “The Spinning Wheel” and “Flow gently, sweet Afton.”