Robert Burns – Love Songs for Solo Piano
“I have always loved the songs of Robert Burns. He was born in 1759 and died at the age of 40, worn out by a hard life as a farmer. Despite his humble origins, he achieved great success as a poet in Scotland where his own light shone during the Scottish age of enlightenment. He dedicated the last seven years of his life mainly to writing the lyrics for over two hundred traditional Scottish melodies. He was a great humanitarian and critic of the class divide and his songs’ appeal meant his fame eventually spread to all of the world touching the hearts of millions of people, many of whom today have no idea that Auld Lang Syne was penned by this great Scottish genius.
My earliest memories were listening to my father, my mother and my grandmother sing his songs at regular family house parties. Each had beautiful natural voices. My grandmother sang ‘The Lea Rig’ which is my favourite Burns song. I am fortunate to have a recording of her singing this song as she sang and spoke in auld Scots. Her interpretation was handed down from the time of Burns in the 18th century, as he would have heard it then, via the Scottish vocal folk tradition. The vocal line in this recording, with its embellishments and grace notes, are a direct transcript of what was sung by my grandmother. I wanted to create an album with piano arrangements of the songs inspired by my memories of accompanying my family.” – Patrick Doyle