All one’s instincts tell you that Scottish Rhapsody - Prince Charlie will not be a success. For one thing, Bonnie Prince Charles, Charles Stewart, ended his days ingloriously in Rome. However, his pretension to the throne generated an entire industry in Scotland - especially in the poetry and song departments. McEwen uses a number of tunes to evoke the memory of this 'hero'. It is a fantasy based on a strange funeral version of 'Charlie is my Darling', although it reappears in more traditional guise later. Other tunes are less well known but equally poignant - especially the extremely reflective 'Wae's me for Prince Charlie' & 'The Gypsie Laddie'. As a Scot myself I declare that it would bring a tear to a glass eye. This is actually a well constructed piece - defying all negative expectations of 'Tartanry'. Why is it not a popular encore?
John Blackwood McEwen: Scottish Rhapsody - Prince Charlie can be heard on CHANDOS CHAN 9880 although I believe that it is only available as MP3 or in the second-hand shops.
With thanks to MusicWeb International where this first appeared.