Colin's Kisses: The Music of James Oswald

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Linn's Colin's Kisses is a delightful collection of songs and instrumental pieces by eighteenth century Scottish composer James Oswald as performed by Concerto Caledonia with singers Catherine Bott and Iain Paton giving voice to Oswald's sometimes howlingly funny choices of text. Oswald was one of the earliest "crossover" composers, a gifted chamber musician and skilled composer nonetheless strongly conversant with folk forms from Scotland and England. Some of the old Scots tunes that we routinely identify as "traditional" are actually the work of Oswald, though even he, in his prolific publication history, sometimes identified them as "traditional" as to do so was ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Uncle Dave Lewis
Linn's Colin's Kisses is a delightful collection of songs and instrumental pieces by eighteenth century Scottish composer James Oswald as performed by Concerto Caledonia with singers Catherine Bott and Iain Paton giving voice to Oswald's sometimes howlingly funny choices of text. Oswald was one of the earliest "crossover" composers, a gifted chamber musician and skilled composer nonetheless strongly conversant with folk forms from Scotland and England. Some of the old Scots tunes that we routinely identify as "traditional" are actually the work of Oswald, though even he, in his prolific publication history, sometimes identified them as "traditional" as to do so was more commercial. Ten songs from the cycle Colin's Kisses form the centerpiece of this collection; it's text illustrates different kinds of kisses in a manner similar to those extolled in antique chapbooks that provide hints to gentlemen in the art of love. The set avoids being quaint by dint of Oswald's very seriously conceived and luxuriant melodic ideas; this also heightens the sense of satire in these pieces. Much the same can be said for "The Dust Cart Cantata," a ruthless parody of the Italian solo cantata of that day -- which hews so close to its model musically that it deepens the sting and makes its venom more potent. Catherine Bott and Iain Paton perform the piece wonderfully, and even though they employ a light Scottish brogue in their singing, most Anglophiles should easily understand all of the texts represented here. Even if one is not able to make out the words for some reason, all texts are included in the book, along with excellent notes by John Purser. The non-vocal items performed by Concerto Caledonia here may well serve as the main event for some listeners, and excellently well done they are. Oswald's music is rather unusual for its time in that it possesses the textural gravity of Baroque chamber music with little to none of its fanciness -- Oswald's melodic material is direct and folksy sounding and he often finds inspiration in traditional dance tunes. In such music Concerto Caledonia is flight of feet and observes the subtle step and tread underpinning what would appear to many as just plain old chamber music that's plainer than most. The instrumental performances provide bridges between the various vocal ones, which is an intelligent choice given that running all of the vocal pieces together would have unwittingly dulled the impact of certain numbers. Concerto Caledonia's Colin's Kisses is such a joy that it's hard to imagine any English speaker not enjoying what's here, but realistically, one must take account of the fact that this ain't Eminem -- it belongs to its time, and some understanding of eighteenth century British mores and conventions doesn't hurt. Nevertheless, folk music buffs and fans of Baroque chamber music will not need to be led to the water in order to take a healthy swallow of Linn's carefully contrived concoction here.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 2/8/2000
  • Label: Linn Records
  • EAN: 5020305601011
  • Catalog Number: 101
  • Sales rank: 242,756

Tracks

Disc 1
  1. 1 Ballance a Straw - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Catherine Bott (2:46)
  2. 2 Airs for the Seasons, for ensemble, Summer, Set 2, The Thistle - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Paula Chateauneuf (5:37)
  3. 3 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 1, "The Tutor" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Iain Paton (3:14)
  4. 4 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 2, "The Secret Kiss" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Catherine Bott (2:35)
  5. 5 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 3, "The Borrow'd Kiss" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Catherine Bott (1:57)
  6. 6 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 4, "The Rapture" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Paula Chateauneuf (2:33)
  7. 7 Airs for the Seasons, for ensemble, Winter, Set 2, The Almond - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Paula Chateauneuf (3:41)
  8. 8 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 5, "The Stolen Kiss" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Catherine Bott (1:59)
  9. 9 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 6, "The Kiss Repaid" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Catherine Bott (1:15)
  10. 10 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 7, "The Parting Kiss" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Catherine Bott (2:59)
  11. 11 Sonata on Scot's Tunes - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - Paula Chateauneuf & James Oswald (10:01)
  12. 12 The Dancing Master, for voice & ensemble - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Paula Chateauneuf (2:38)
  13. 13 Divertimento for guitar No. 4 - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Paula Chateauneuf (5:20)
  14. 14 The Dust Cart Cantata, for 2 voices & ensemble - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Catherine Bott (3:42)
  15. 15 Serenata for ensemble No. 4 - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Lucy Russell (7:23)
  16. 16 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 9, "The Feast" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Paula Chateauneuf (1:39)
  17. 17 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 10, "The Meeting Kiss" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Paula Chateauneuf (2:42)
  18. 18 Airs for the Seasons, for ensemble, Spring, Set 1, The Narcissus - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Paula Chateauneuf (2:38)
  19. 19 Collin's Kisses, for voice & ensemble, No. 8, "The Imaginary Kiss" - arranged by McGuinness, Davidarranged by Concerto - James Oswald & Paula Chateauneuf (1:53)
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