Scotsman 5 Star Review 'a love letter to her instrument'

The Scotsman 5th Nov 2020

Album Reviews


Catriona McKay: Love in Secret (Glimster Records) *****

Catriona McKay is a widely acclaimed harpist, notably in her longstanding duo with fiddler Chris Stout.

Here, however, she plays solo in a love letter to her instrument in which she luxuriates in its magically glittering character, not least in the way she dwells on the opening title track of her eight-movement suite, Love In Secret, in which she explores and elaborates on some classic old Irish harp tunes, allowing their melodic substance to come and go.

There’s a very personalised major-minor nudging, for instance, of Si Bheag Si Mhor, which never loses sight of a well-loved tune, while another old favourite, Carolan’s Concerto, receives cheekily scintillating treatment.

Glitter Path is sparklingly Irish but with a faint Latin American echo to its staccato cascading.

Dedicated to two harpists who both died tragically young, the album enshrines their memory with forward-looking brilliance.

Jim Gilchrist, The Scotsman 5/11/2020

Catriona McKay 2020