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Love is the Cause CD -- Scottish music with Baroque guitar

Love is the Cause
Jonathan Dunford & Rob MacKillop
Alpha 530 - 1 CD

This is a lovely CD!

I enjoyed the lyrical, singing quality that both MacKillop (on Baroque guitar) and Dunford (on viola da gamba) brought to these wonderful pieces. (And who doesn't love good Scottish tunes?)

The program is drawn from a wide range of sources, including a print by Thomson, and the Wemyss, Straloch, Panmure, de Gallot, Princess Anne, Schiller, and Leyden manuscripts. The mood ranges from the boisterous to tender.

There are 11 pieces played as duets, 12 viol solos, and 12 guitar solos. The duets are nicely arranged and the performers often exchange roles of soloist and accompanist.

I liked the lusty tunes with Rob’s spirited and zesty strumming (and percussion)! I can imagine both of the performers breaking into a good laugh after several of the pieces -- they certainly brought a smile to me!

Rob’s arrangements of five lute pieces sound very good on the guitar. The original guitar pieces have not been recorded before, as far as I know. I commend him for making those shifts in the original guitar pieces sound so effortless -- all I hear is music.

The recorded sound is terrific, too. It seems intimate and "real", capturing even the delicate string of slurred notes in "Virginitie".

Rob has a lovely touch and tone on the instrument, as does Dunford. I appreciate the gambist’s sensitivity to Rob’s playing.

Very nice liner notes. They are informative and give a good overview of the context and sources.

A complete track list can be found here:

My sincere congratulations!

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Just bought it and listened to it for the first time.  It's amazing how nicely these two instruments sound together. My favorite, after listening to the CD just once, is the title track.
Many thanks!
I gotta have that cd. I'm as You might remember Rob, a big fan of the old folkmusic from Scotland and England.
England? They have music in England too?!



Yep they do...but it's history only goes back as far as those Liverpudlian, Fab Four guys...or so I've been told.

I can't listen to it, my wife take it into her car... grrrrr !!!!!


It was originally music to play while driving in your horse and cart. Strange how things come around again...

Oops - I've been listening to it in the workshop while working on a couple of mandours... Oh well. Refreshing and relaxing at the same time -- I like it!


"England? They have music in England too?!"

Yes, but it's mostly Duran Duran and the like ; )

This is a great new album, Rob! Anything with BG and viol can't be bad, but the repertoire chosen here really makes this a great recording. I just downloaded it from itunes after reading Rocky's post on the Dartmouth vihuela list. It does sound like it was a lot of fun to record, too. 

Yes, it was a lot of fun to record, and easy too. The recording company went home two days early as we had done all that needed to be done in record time. It all just felt right. The surprising thing is that Jonathan and I met for the first time on the day before the first recording session. It was something we both felt good about, and we knew each others' playing from recordings. The big gamble was - would we hit it off? No problem. It felt like we had known each other for years. We aimed for a feel of two friends playing to, with and for each other, with a glass or two of vintage whisky, around a log fire. Consequently there is an improvisatory feel to some of the performances, which is the way this music should be played, in my opinion. It was a beautiful couple of days. I'm pleased the record company, Alpha, captured it and packaged it well.


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