Paladin Podcast

In this podcast, I attempt to formulate an image of Paladin, based on what little we know of his life. Given this lack of biographical information, my engagement with his works has turned into a venture to grasp a sense of the ritualistic and meditative aesthetic of his fantasias. Hence, I have taken the podcast one step further and considered it a performance of its own: creating it in a slow meditative style which, I think, has more in common with both Paladin’s fantasias and also the choice of cover image for this album. All this is more fully explained in the podcast.

Fantasia Incantata

One of the musicians I most enjoy working with is the baroque violinist Sabine Stoffer; we play together in a group called Libro Primo. Our first album Fantasia Incantata has just been released for Digital Pre-Order over at the micro record label Veterum Musica that I run along with audio-wizard, Joseph Chesshyre.

Sabine and I have taken great pleasure in putting together this album (we oversaw almost every aspect ourselves) and we hope that the effect of our pernickety nuturing of the recorded sound and our style of performing passes easily into our listeners’ ears.



After a busy few months I am delighted to announce the release of a new album of works for the theorbo by Kapsberger!

The album in now available for pre-order and will be released in digital formats on 24th December, with the CD becoming available in early January.

You can listen to the album online here.

If you need any further persuading then here are some reviews for my previous albums…

Reviews for Elizabeth’s Lutes:
‘Many of these pieces have considerable difficulties which McCartney does not shirk. His playing is precise, thoughtful and always in control. One particular strength is the care with which he articulates fast divisions, which can sound a little scrappy in other hands….[McCartney’s] complex flourishes and divisions are sensitively and cleanly played.’
John Reeve, The Lute (UK Lute Society)

‘This is a highly enjoyable disc, warmly recorded and expertly performed throughout.’
Nick Boston, Classical Notes

‘A meditative disc that reflects
English melancholy… sublime and perfect.’

“[A]n enchanting collection of fine performances of lute repertoire from a number of composers from the time of the court of Elizabeth I. Very enjoyable.”
Lark Reviews

“According to the programme notes, these pieces are notoriously tricky to play, although I wouldn’t have noticed that from Alex McCartney’s assured performance here. … Alex McCartney’s playing is sensitive and musical, and the recording picks up the sound of the lute very well.”
Andrew Benson-Wilson, Early Music Reviews

Reviews for Mesangeau’s Experiments:
“I have greatly enjoyed Alex McCartney’s playing of these suites, with his lightness of touch in the faster movements, and sustained grace in the Sarabandes and Chaconne.”
Margaret Rees, The Consort

“McCartney’s interpretation of this reflective music is stylish and sublime.”
Kate Benessa, LSA

“This is sublime music, played with such feeling by Alex McCartney, a busy soloist and accompanist, who also directs the ensemble, Poeticall Musicke, and makes lutes. We are fortunate to be able to listen to this re-discovered music performed with such care.”
Stephen Page, Lark Reviews

“[McCartney’s] phrasing (an essential part of this ‘tricky’ French lute style) is admirably musical and the playing fluent and easily flowing.”
Martyn Hodgson, Lute News

“… the CD is a real pleasure to listen to and Alex McCartney shows he is a very good lutenist which one has a desire to hear more from.” Jean-Luc Bresson, SFL (Translated from the French)

“The playing is sensitive and musical…” Andrew Benson-Wilson, Early Music Reviews

“Using three suites Alex McCartney gives us a good impression of the refined art of the master.” Pizzicato (Translated from the German)

Extrasensory: Music


Alongside Alison McGillivray and Andrew Forbes, I’m running a multi-arts festival in Glasgow called Extrasensory:Music. It combines quality classical music making with artists, makers and entrepreneurs from many mediums. Performances run 9-11th September 2016 (and they’re all free).