‘I struggled for a time with the notation of ‘Hush the Cat’ before realising it is a more elaborate form of a quite well-known slide. The slide is usually played in two parts and has been recorded by, among others, Matt Cranitch, Séamus Creagh and Kevin Burke. The two-part version has a much more ‘major’ feel to it, whereas the ambiguity of the Donnellan version is very appealing. Again, Donnellan has notated the tune with two sharps due to its ending on ‘D’, but I feel that is open to question. Certainly in the last part, both C natural and C sharp work well, creating as they do different feelings of tension, and they warrant exploration.
The second part of ‘O’Connel’s Gray Coat bears a striking resemblance to the first part of the well-known ‘The Humours of Scarrif’ and feels much more suited to the first part as paired here by Donnellan, rather than its usual rather bumpy second part as is usually played. Since Donnellan has notated no ‘Bs’ in the piece there is no need to debate whether there should be a flat in the key signature. Its simplicity and meditative feel makes it a very enjoyable tune to work with.’
Darren Mag Aoidh, Fiddle player for ORIEL ARTS
Oriel Arts © Ceoltaí Éireann 2018
Printed music manuscript full score here: 21. O’Connel’s Gray Coat – Reel
Printed music manuscript full score here: 105. Hush the Cat