The Poker Club Band


James Graham, Voice
Sabine Stoffer, Violin
Pierre-Augustin Lay, Cello
Edin Karamazov, Romantic Guitar
Masako Art, Single-Action Pedal Harp

The Poker Club Band is an ensemble of early music specialists and a traditional singer, focusing on the repertoire from the time of the Enlightenment to the romanticism.
Our album "Tullochgorum - Haydn Scottish Songs" (released in 2020, BIS-2471) has received many enthusiastic reviews and been played in many radio programmes.

There have been numerous recordings and performances of Haydn's Scottish songs arrangements with the standard piano trio and classical singers. However, many publications of Scottish traditional repertoire around 1800 indeed suggest to be accompanied by harp or fortepiano, often harp mentioned before piano. Our ambition is to achieve the historical crossover that was likely to be happening at the time the songs were published, through the Gaelic singer James Graham, with his distinctively 'natural' Scottish timbre and intonation that embodies the sentiment of the songs; and through the instrumentalists trained in historical performance practice and playing on period instruments. It is not only breathtakingly beautiful music and interesting experiment in historical performance practice, but also very entertaining.

The harp used in the project deserves a mention: it is a single-action pedal harp built in February 1809 at Erard's workshop in London; it was by chance shipped to Wood & Co., Edinburgh (the music shop Muir, Wood & Co. on Leith Street), almost certainly used in Edinburgh salon music scene at the time.

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