For all his importance to the development of a native musical identity in the early decades of the Irish state, John F Larchet has been languishing in neglect in recent years. Undeservedly so on the strength of this quietly spellbinding compendiumof his complete songs and six lilting Irish airs, by turns lachrymose and playful, for violin and piano.

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In the middle of the last century there was hardly an area of Irish musical life that Larchet didn’t contribute to. An influential and innovative teacher, a pioneer who brought traditional songs and melodies into the concert hall, a champion of opera in Ireland and the arranger of the official version of the Irish national anthem, Larchet’s star in the decades...

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