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Spirit Of The Glen

2 Ratings: 4.0
Classical, Miscellaneous, and World Music album by Royal Scots Dragoon Guards

The Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is Scotland's senior regiment and her only regular cavalry. The band members, as well as being trained musicians, are all Army soldiers who crew tanks and have served two tours of duty in Iraq. The album, both Scots and … see full wiki

1 review about Spirit Of The Glen

Bagpipes are wonderful!

  • Feb 11, 2008
  • by
Somewhere out there, there is a bagpipe ensemble that is just itching to record a collection of disco favorites. Fortunately, the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is not it! With Spirit of the Glen they manage to stay true to the pipes' highland roots, even while touching other genres like Pachelbel and Stewart (as in Rod).

Spirit of the Glen is a masterful collection of traditional and modern that will have you researching your family tartan and wondering how you might look in a kilt. But even more so, it's wonderful music, beautifully played with excellent lyricism.

Actually, it's not that big a stretch for a bagpipe ensemble to borrow from Rod Stewart, given his Scottish roots and fondness for his home country. But the Dragoon Guards give Stewart's Sailing a plaintive soulfulness that rivals even Rod's recording. On the more traditional side, if Amazing Grace wasn't written solely for the pipes, it should have been. And the version offered here is one of the richest I've ever heard.

For the traditionalist, there's a Scottish Medley and Highland Cathedral. But the most memorable tune might well be Mull of Kintyre (written by some guy named Paul McCartney...) with vocal work by a wonderful tenor. For better or worse, that's been an aural tick in my head for a couple of weeks now.

That said, Pachelbel's Canon is just as boring when performed by bagpipes as violins (I know... for many people it's their favorite classical piece. I just happen to think it's boring).

One final aspect that I appreciate about the Royal Scots Dragoon Guards is that these musicians are soldiers first and musicians second. They've served two tours in Iraq and have endured the same training as any other military unit. That's not always the case with top rank military ensembles. For example, members of the "President's Own" United States Marine Band are auditioned from the musical community at large, and then receive an abbreviated military training.

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2 Ratings: +4.0
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Spirit Of The Glen
Label: Fontana International
Genre: Classical, World Music, Miscellaneous
Release Date: February 12, 2008
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