OT: 23 May 1908 – Angus Campbell “The Royal Collection of Piobaireachd” [Review]

The Oban Times, 23 May 1908


A correspondent writes: it has been almost an axiom among pipers of recent years, that the composition of piobaireachd should be treated as a lost art, and that no modern musician should presume to challenge comparison with the great masters of the past.

One reason for this idea may be the difficulty of avoiding plagiarism, conscious or unconscious, owing to the limited scale of the bagpipe, and the somewhat rigid rules of construction almost invariably followed by masters of piobaireachd. Mr. Grant is to be congratulated on the courage with which he has broken the conspiracy of silence, and upon having successfully overcome the difficulty above alluded to.

The six tunes he gives us are all original and characteristic. Perhaps his happiest effort is the first variation of “The Lament for Queen Victoria,” a delightful piece of melody, and quite unlike anything in any tune known to the present writer. This tune and the “Salute to the Duke of Connaught” are, in his opinion, the pick of the basket; but they are all melodious and skillfully constructed, and opinions are to their respective merit may vary widely

It is gratifying to see, from a long list of subscribers, that the book is already assured of a considerable circulation, which is certain to be largely increased as its merits become known to those interested in Highland music.

[Ed. writes “Angus Campbell”]