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Gareth Kiddier of EDS

reviews National Youth Folklore Troupe of England by NYFTE

NYFTE is a bunch of young people, aged 10 to 18, with an interest in folk music and dance, who get together at the major festivals and beyond. Driven by a very competent management team, and some very committed parents, NYFTE far exceeds expectations musically and from a performance viewpoint.

This recording of tunes and songs is so far above the average for similar ‘school’ type recordings. The arrangements and general musicality are excellent, with very few issues with tuning or intonation. It makes you wonder how many of these performers will be professional musicians in ten years’ time. Or possibly accountants with a life - long love of folk music. Both are a valid result of the immersion that NYFTE offers. There are some interesting tunes and some good songs, well described in the notes, and well played. Many of the tunes are used by the troupe for their take on ritual dance, performed so well at festivals.

You can hear elements of contemporary players such as Spiers and Boden in much of the playing, which is great. I can’t pick out particular tracks or musicians: that’s not the point of this recording. This is a celebration of nearly twenty-five years of NYFTE – hard work by musicians, dancers, singers, parents and the NYFTE guiding spirits. This CD will support the work of the troupe, which is why you should buy one for your collection. With the chance of saying, in ten years’ time, ‘I heard this musician first on here.’