Fire and Grace: Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas Celebrating the Rhythmic Soul of Scottish Music
Alasdair Fraser (fiddle) Natalie Haas (cello)
"A future classic of a Scots album". ~ Chris Nickson, All Music Guide
Dazzling teamwork and driving, dancing rhythms mark the debut release by the duo of master Scottish fiddler and this brilliant young cellist.
Master fiddler Alasdair Fraser, long regarded as one of Scotland’s premier musical ambassadors, presents the rich Scottish fiddle tradition with unsurpassed eloquence, passion and energy. In his latest collaboration, with vibrant young cellist Natalie Haas, Alasdair continues his journey, exploring the dynamic and rhythmic soul of Scottish dance music together with lyrical, sensitive airs.
The duo’s debut CD, Fire & Grace displays the duo’s dazzling teamwork, virtuosic yet playful musicianship, and love for the driving, dancing rhythms of Scottish fiddle music.
“The cello was traditionally the back-up instrument to the fiddle in Scottish dance ensembles, into the 20th century,” says Fraser, “and it has long been one of my goals to put the cello right back there, at the rhythmic heart of Scottish music. I feel incredibly fortunate to have found such a sympathetic sparring partner in Natalie Haas—we can ‘duck and dive’ around each other, swap melody and harmony lines, or play off each other’s rhythmic riffs. We’re releasing the cello from its orchestral shackles, and unleashing its rhythmic power; it’s very exciting.”
Fraser and Haas have played to great acclaim in anumerous concert halls and festivals across the U.S., including the “Scotland at the Smithsonian” Festival in Washington, DC, and in Europe, at Glasgow’s Celtic Connections, the Festival Interceltique in Lorient.
Fraser and Haas met when, at age 11, Natalie first attended Alasdair’s Valley of the Moon Scottish Fiddling School in California, and she began performing in concert with Fraser just four years later. Natalie has since joined the staff at Alasdair’s several music courses, including the Valley of the Moon School, at Celtic Connections and at Sabhal Mor Ostaig on the Isle of Skye. Currently a student at the Juilliard School in New York, Natalie regularly performs throughout the US and Europe with Fraser, and is a member of American fiddler Mark O’Connor’s Appalachian Waltz Trio. She is a guest artist on several recordings, including Culburnie Records’ “Legacy of the Scottish Fiddle, Volume One” by Alasdair Fraser and Paul Machlis.Track listing
1 Calliope Meets Frank 5:52 2 Stirling Castle Set 6:35 3 Josefin's Waltz 4:08 4 St Kilda Wedding • Brose & Butter 4:34 5 The Scandinavian 4:55 6 Archibald MacDonald of Keppoch 4:39 7 The Sailor's Wife • The Lads of Duns 3:10 8 Shetland Set 4:02 9 Prince Charles’ Last View of Scotland 4:22 10 The Duchess 6:10 11 Rob Roy Crosses the Minch 5:26 12 Da Slockit Light 3:49 13 The High Reel Set 6:37