Harper's Reverie: Irish Music Turlough O'Carolan[CD]
~ Joe Ross
A Celtic music project which features twelve different instruments in highly arranged and layered ensemble renditions of Turlough O'Carolan's ageless tunes. Joe Ross, Janet Naylor and friends offer this tribute to the last of the great Irish bards who lived from 1670-1738. Their musical interpretations feature Celtic harp, hammered dulcimer, mandolin, concertina, violins, recorders, flute, bassoon, upright bass and synthesizer. 'There have not been many albums that just feature O'Carolan's music, and those that do usually offer minimal instrumentation. This project is unique by giving O'Carolan's music a fullness with a highly arranged and layered variety of instrumental sound that is pleasing to the aural palate.' Harper Janet Naylor, from New Zealand, performs and teaches in Eugene, Oregon. Janet has won numerous performance competitions, playing a harp built by Oregon luthier David Thormahlen. Besides Celtic music, Joe Ross also performs bluegrass, folk and children's music with his solo 'Roots of Bluegrass' show. A member of the Northwest on Tour artist roster, Joe also performs with his wife, a harpist and fiddler, as the Zephyr Celtic Duo. Michael Bardossi, a trained classical violinist and superlative fiddler comfortable with a wide variety of styles, has worked for the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Oregon Baroque Ensemble and currently plays with the fine and highly-acclaimed Oregon band, Skye. Julia Heydon holds a doctorate in music history, with training in music of the medieval, Renaissance and Baroque eras. Julia performed with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and is also a member of Skye. Kevin McCornack plays in the popular instrumental Celtic and contra-dance group, Crabs in the Skillet. Peter Pollaczek, a founding member of the Roseburg Folklore Society, produces and performs folk music in Roseburg, Oregon. 'My response to this CD is very positive. From the tracks I have previewed and played on air I think the production values are very high. I have discussed for my listeners the personal significance of 'Lord Inchiquin' in my repertoire of fiddle tunes. Joe Cavanagh, WHUS 91.7 FM, Storrs, Connecticut 'I love the album...a splendid CD. A very pretty new CD. There has been a recent spate of disks featuring the music of the great 17th-century Irish bard Turlough O'Carolan (who's finally getting his due as one of the great composers), and this disk is right at the top of the list. Naylor's Celtic harp and Ross' hammered dulcimer, mandolin and other instruments mesh beautifully with violin, flute, concertina, recorders and synthesizer on buoyant dance tunes and ballads that capture the spirit of O'Carolan's muse. This is one of the best Celtic music albums I've heard this year.' Brett Campbell (email@example.com) from Eugene, Oregon 'I absolutely ADORE Harper's Reverie (so does my roommate)! Being one of the worst critics on the face of the earth, I couldn't find one note in the entire thing that I didn't enjoy. This CD will definitely be the background music when any entertaining goes on around here! I really, really like this piece of music.' Kathy Boyd, No String Attached, Portland, Oregon 'I am sitting here listening to the CD you sent... I am very pleased! The quality of the music is astounding, not to mention the variety of instruments. This truly is a delightful collection of O'Carolan's music. It will definitely be getting airtime on my show.' Melissa Hollopeter, WMTU 91.9 FM Houghton, Michigan 'It's delightful! I happened to be wrapping Christmas stuff while it was playing and it was so festive! Got me in the mood.' Julie Koehler, Associate Editor, Bluegrass Now Magazine 'Harper's Reverie' is really a fine effort, with great playing and superb as well as fresh arrangements. Possibly one of the best tributes to the music of O'Carolan. Massimo Ferro Radio Voce Spacio 1 'Un Monda di Musica' ('A World of Music') San Michele, Italy 'I like it! Nice variety of tracks, very good musicianship. Our station is a non-commercial station run by the Univ. of Notre Dame.' Harriet Engle, Celtic Traditions, WSND-FM88.9 (Engle.firstname.lastname@example.org) from Notre Dame, Indiana 'The playing is very good. I detect some classical leanings among the band. Delighted to see some unusual O'Carolan as well as the common elections. It is currently in light rotation on our program, 'Celtic Winds'. Richard Beard, NPR member station WNCW, Spindale, North Carolina. 'This Celtic CD is wonderful. Especially lovely in the morning with breakfast. It is just enchantingly beautiful music. I was also impressed with all the background information collected on Turlough O'Carolan.' Cathy Levin, Novato, Ca. 'The ever-wonderful music of 17th Century harpist and composer, Turlough O'Carolan, is celebrated with gusto in this fine album featuring Janet Naylor and Joe Ross. Friends join in on vibrant arrangements, playing a multitude of instruments. This recording feels alive, capturing the essence of O'Carolan's delicate, yet passionate music. Favorite tunes...sparkle off the hammered dulcimer and waft from the harp strings into a fanciful spray of sound and feeling. I was prepared to hate the synthesizer, but it's used so tastefully that I really didn't notice it. This is a well-crafted, well-produced album that I'm sure would please the old blind harpist. His heart would be full to know his work still touches people three centuries after he ambled through Ireland, as one of her last great bards.' Marilyn O'Malley, Victory Music Review from Tacoma, Washington Beautifully crafted. The players work well together. More than 'just another' O'Carolan recording. Nice stuff. I'm giving it airplay on 'Treasures of the Isles.' Mike Fleischer, WDCB 90.9FM (email@example.com) from Glen Ellen, IL 'Wonderful album, full of spirit and energy -- and nicely arranged pieces. I particularly enjoyed the combination of the hammered dulcimer and harp. It added real spark to the ensemble as it performed the O'Carolan canon. The CD will get plenty of airplay on 'Profiles in Folk,' on WSHU 91.1FM in Fairfield, Ct.' Stephen J. Winters, Fairfield, Connecticut.
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