When renowned piper Allan MacDonald revealed that Beethoven’s song Enchantress Farewell was a reworking of a Gaelic song, Mhnathan a’ Ghlinne Seo a fellow academic and musician, Michael Klevenhaus turned detective. We follow his quest to discover more works by the maestro based on traditional music of Gaeldom. Michael reveals that the melodies’ origins were deliberately hidden from Beethoven, and the public, by Edinburgh publisher George Thomson, who commissioned the arrangements from the composer. With the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion still within living memory, Thomson wanted to strip the Gaelic songs of their titles, lyrics and the ‘taint’ of Jacobitism. Discovering a wealth of Beethoven’s forgotten Gaelic songs, Michael and Allan MacDonald stage a concert featuring both Beethoven’s and the ancient Gaelic versions.
Presenter - Mìcheal Klevenhaus
Producer - Louise Scott
Executive Producers - Lucinda Broadbent/Les Wilson