Secret Garden – Songs From A Secret Garden (1996)

CDFrontCover1Songs from a Secret Garden is the first international album by Secret Garden. Released in 1996, it includes the Norwegian winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1995, “Nocturne”.Songs from a Secret Garden is the first international album by Secret Garden. Released in 1996, it includes the Norwegian winning song of the Eurovision Song Contest 1995, “Nocturne”.

The track «Song from a Secret Garden» became famous in Korea by being featured in the drama 젊은이의 양지 (which means “Sunny Spots (or Places) of the Young”) in 1995. Another track from the album, «Adagio», was featured in the 2004 Wong Kar-wai film 2046. (by wikipedia)

Secret Garden is Norwegian composer Rolf Loveland (piano, keyboards) and Irish violinist Fionnula Sherry.

Secret GardenThe album, however, offers much more than this duo; it is awash in orchestral strings (real ones), a choir (real one), and as many percussionists, harps, fiddles, keyboards, and whistles as are needed. Songs from a Secret Garden, a chart-topper in Europe, is unabashedly romantic, absolutely gorgeous. “Sigma,” featuring boy soprano Rhonan Sugrue and the Irish National Choir, is very pensive, like dried flowers left, an expected return disappointed.

The lyrics begin, “I search for the sign that will set my soul free.” Although Celtic music fans will find many moments of bittersweet nostalgia between the violin, pipes, and pennywhistles, the album’s closest musical relation might just be the intimate works of Maurice Ravel, particularly his “Pavanne for a Dead Princess.”

Romantic themes of true depth, played full out. Secret Garden is not afraid of tenderness nor beauty. (by Carol Wright)

“Somewhere within us all there is a secret garden. A garden in which we can seek refuge when times are rough, or retire to in joy or contemplation. For years I have visited my own secret garden in search of organic harmony and melody. The songs on this CD are some of what I’ve found”.

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“In 1994 I met an artist who through the soulful simplicity of her instrument gave my songs a voice. She is the famed Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry. Together we have tended the secret garden – and the crop is here for your picking. It is my sincere wish that by uncovering some of our secrets, you will pay a visit to your own garden”. (Rolf Lovland)

I just recently discovered Secret Garden. I am so glad that I did because I love their music. I will tell you what kind of music that I like to listen to at night or when napping or just being. I like Enya, Connie Dover, Loreena McKennitt for their high pitched female vocals. In this fast paced world, I need music that soothes one’s soul and takes one to some distant place. All of these artists take me to a heavenly place . Amongst all of the above mentioned artists, Secret Garden stands out. While listening to it, I am sure that angles are calling to me. Oh I love lots of different kinds of music, including irish Pub, Sounds of the 60’s, Classical, Broadway Musicals. But at certain times, I need quiet pensive music. If that is what you are seeking, try Secret Garden. (Ellen)

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Personnel:
Rolf Løvland (keyboards)
Fionnuala Sherry (violin)
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David Agnew (oboe, english horn on 03., 09. + 11.)
Deirdre Brady (flute on 05.)
Noel Eccles (percussion on 10.)
Hans Fredrik Jacobsen (whistle, norwegian whistle (on 01., 06. 07. + 10.)
Asa Jinder (keyfiddle, keyharp on 01., 07. &+ 10.)
Jean Lechmar (clarinet on 12.)
Des Moore (guitar, mandolin)
Andrea Marlish (harp)
Bjørn Ole Rasch (keyboards)
Jon Kjell Seljeseth (keyboards)
Davy Spillane (bagpipes (uilleann pipe), low whistle (on 02., 04., 07., 10. + 11.)
Rhonan Sugrue (vocals on 04.)
Gunnhild Tvinnereim (vocals on 01.)
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RTÉ Concert Orchestra
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Irish National Chamber Choir (on 04.)

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Tracklist:
1. Nocturne (lyrics by Petter Skavlan) 3.16
02. Pastorale 3.53
03. Song From A Secret Garden 3.37
04. Sigma (lyrics by David Agnew) 3.10
05. Papillon 3.28
06. Serenade To Spring 3.17
07. Atlantia 3.01
08. Heartstrings 3.27
09. Adagio 2.57
10. The Rap 2:31
11. Chaconne 3.30
12. Cantoluna 3.34
13. Ode To Simplicity 3.53

All compositions written by Rolf Løvland

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Fabrizio Paterlini – The Art Of The Piano (2014)

FrontCover1.jpgTwo years ago, Fabrizio Paterlini asked his friends to describe their impressions of the word melancholy. Their responses inspired him to write the track, “If music were melancholy”. But it didn’t end there. In his free time, he wrote piano miniatures and posted them on his Soundcloud page. After 250,000 hits, he knew he was onto something. Now these tiny tracks are collected in the form of an album (on white vinyl!). A follow-up to the wintry Now (which was selected as one of our Best Winter Albums of 2013), The Art of the Piano encapsulates a sense of forlorn nature, stillness in the midst of white, peace in the middle of a swirling world. It’s a perfect panacea to wintry woes. Even before playing these tracks, one intuits the theme. With titles such as “Empty room”, “Conversation with myself” and “Broken”, the album seems to address seasonal affective disorder with an empathetic ear. Yet while The Art of the Piano may be melancholic, it’s not sad. A certain dignity can be found in these grooves, the dignity of discovering beauty when color has faded all around. It’s a sweet irony that the vinyl is white, while the cover includes brighter hues, like a cardinal seen in snow.

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The set also includes one summer track (“Midsummer tiny song”), and concludes with the relatively upbeat “Wind Song”, the last piece to be recorded. In this piece, Paterlini seems to be saying, hold on, the brighter days are coming. The song ends in mid-thought, challenging listeners to respond by returning to melancholy, or venturing forth in hope. One advantage of this album is that it allows us to hear the artist unadorned. As much as we love additional orchestration, the solo piano provides nowhere to hide, and the performance seems more intimate as a result. There is, as the title implies, an art to the piano ~ it’s not enough to play the right notes in the right sequence. Paterlini is a tender performer, comfortable with silences, capable of turning a tender phrase with the high keys while sublimating the low. This artist’s love for the instrument, combined with the fact that these pieces were initially meant as gifts, makes the listening experience feel personal, rather than commercial. The white vinyl is the added touch that bridges the gap between performer and listener. (Richard Allen)

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Personnel:
Fabrizio Paterlini (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Somehow Familiar 3.39
02. Midsummer Tiny Song 3.42
03. My Piano, The Clouds 2.46
04. Empty Room 3.17
05. Conversation With Myself 3.41
06. Broken 3.47
07. If Melancholy Were Music 2.49
08. Wind Song 2.28

Music composed by Fabrizio Paterlini

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Brian Crain – Piano And Violin Duet (2012)

FrontCover1Brian Crain was a musically inclined child, but he was never formally educated in music, and yet has still found success as a pianist/composer. He was born in Hollywood, and although offered piano lessons, he preferred honing his baseball skills to practicing. He also built his own home studio while working on audio production for films as a teenager. Crain’s dreams of being a professional ballplayer did not come to fruition, but in the meantime, he had managed to teach himself how to play piano as he picked out his own melodies. He released his first CD, Morning Light, in 1997, and met with enough success to make music his career. Crain has since made more than a dozen albums of his own music. The use of one of his piano pieces, Butterfly Waltz, in a South Korean drama has made him an artist better known in Asia than in his home country. He has a large fan base and toured there several times, as his music is used in more TV commercials and programming. Crain enjoys trying new ideas in his music, such as unusual meters and minimalist concepts used on his albums Piano Opus (2011) and Piano and Light (2009), to complement his flowing, attractive melodies. (Patsy Morita)

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This CD is my favorite. The music is calming and dreamy. I use to do ballroom dancing. This piano and violin music brings back good memories while I sit and dance to the music in my mind. (I am in a wheelchair without legs). I am looking RitaChepurchenkoforward to purchasing more of Brian Crain’s piano music. I would highly recommend this music CD. (by Vickie Hegyi)

Rita Chepurchenko tudied at the Conservatorie and at the Academy of Music in Saint Petersburg, Russia, in the class of Professor Boris Gutnikov, where she finished her studies in 1983.

She played first violin at The Quartet of the Conservatoire Rimski-Korsakov and was member of The Leningrad Philharmonic Orchestra in the years 1984 – 1986. Post-graduate exam in 1986. In 1992 she led The String Sextet of Lille, France.

In 1995 in all the history of The Prague Symhony Orchestra, she was the first wuman to become its leader (first violinist) and she is often asked to play as soloist with prestigious orchestras.

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Personnel:
Rita Chepurchenko (violin)
Brian Crain (piano)

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Tracklist:
01. Dream Of Dreams 4.21
02. Time Forgotten 5.25
03. Solitary Hill 2.59
04. Rain 4.32
05. Largo Maestoso 4.51
06. Wind 4.26
07. Adagio Con Amore 5.24
08. Andantino 3.56
09. Italian Summer 5.24
10. Butterfly Waltz 3.32
11. Reminiscence 4.33

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To me this music, has a sad yet very emotional feeling to it. It reminds me of cold, rainy days or the sky lit up by millions of stars! It gives you an image of something very majestic and beautiful that would make you cry at the sight of it. This piece of music is very beautiful and you should be proud! (Aanum Ghauri)

Enya – Same (The Celts) (1987)

OriginalFC1Enya is the first studio album by the Irish singer, songwriter and musician Enya, released in March 1987 by BBC Records in the United Kingdom and by Atlantic Records in the United States. It was renamed as The Celts for the 1992 international re-release of the album by Warner Music internationally and by Reprise Records in the United States. The album is a selection of music she recorded for the soundtrack to the BBC television series The Celts, aired in 1987. Four years into her largely unnoticed solo career, Enya landed her first major project in 1985 when producer Tony McAuley asked her to contribute a song to the soundtrack. After its director David Richardson liked her demo, Enya accepted his offer to compose the entire score with her longtime recording partners, producer and arranger Nicky Ryan and his wife, lyricist Roma Ryan.

Enya is the first studio album by the Irish singer, songwriter and musician Enya, released in March 1987 by BBC Records in the United Kingdom and by Atlantic Records in the United States. It was renamed as The Celts for the 1992 international re-release of the MCalbum by Warner Music internationally and by Reprise Records in the United States. The album is a selection of music she recorded for the soundtrack to the BBC television series The Celts, aired in 1987. Four years into her largely unnoticed solo career, Enya landed her first major project in 1985 when producer Tony McAuley asked her to contribute a song to the soundtrack. After its director David Richardson liked her demo, Enya accepted his offer to compose the entire score with her longtime recording partners, producer and arranger Nicky Ryan and his wife, lyricist Roma Ryan.
Enya received mostly mixed reviews from critics when it was released in 1987. It was a mild commercial success, peaking at number eight in Ireland and number sixty-nine on the UK Albums Chart. The album continued to sell; it was certified platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA) for shipments of one million copies. Despite its commercial performance, the album helped Enya secure a recording contract with Warner after chairman Rob Dickins became a fan of its music. After the commercial success of Enya’s next two albums, the album was reissued as The Celts which outperformed its original sales. It reached a new peak of number ten on the UK Albums Chart and sold a further one million copies in the United States. In 2009, The Celts was reissued in Japan with a bonus track.

Following her work on the soundtrack to the romantic comedy film The Frog Prince (1984), Enya’s first major project as a solo artist followed when, in 1985, she was invited by producer Tony McAuley to compose a track for his BBC television documentary series The Celts. As a coincidence, Enya had recorded a track named “March of the Celts” before she was asked to be involved, and decided to submit it to the project. Initially, each episode of the series was to feature a different composer, but series director David Richardson liked Enya’s track so much, he commissioned her to compose the entire score.

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Enya worked with her usual recording partners, arranger and producer Nicky Ryan and his wife, lyricist Roma Ryan. The album was recorded in two locations; at Aigle Studios, a 16-track studio installed in the Ryan’s home, then located in Artane, a northern suburb of Dublin,[4] and a sound studio at BBC Enterprises at Wood Lane, London. When they recorded at the BBC studio, Nicky had to teach the audio engineers how he and Enya worked as their unusual recording process confused them at first. Nicky said he told them “to forget everything [they had] learned and just bear with us for at least a week”.[4] One such example was Nicky’s use of reverb, which he set to 24 seconds instead of the more common placement of one-and-a-half seconds.
A total of 72 minutes of music was recorded for the series. Roma recalled that Enya was given “various pastiches” that Richardson wished to incorporate into the episodes which Enya then used as a guide for to write music to complement them. Enya includes 39 minutes of selected pieces from the soundtrack. The album’s front cover depicts Enya posing with stuffed wolves.

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Several of the album’s track titles are titled or based on various historical figures and stories. In writing about the song in 2002, Roma pointed out that “Aldebaran” is named after the brightest star in the constellation of Taurus. In the Arabic language, the title translates to “the follower” as it follows the Pleiades cluster of stars, and the song is based on future Celtic people “passing Aldebaran on their journey to new territories, continuing their migratory pattern which was so predominant in their early history.” The track was recorded in its entirety at Aigle Studio as Nicky expressed the difficulty in having to recreate the recording process elsewhere. “The Celts” was used as the main title theme for the television series. “Boadicea”, which means “victorious”, is a reference to the queen Boudica of the British-Celtic Iceni tribe in East Anglia who led a resistance Roma Ryanagainst the occupying forces of the Roman Empire in 60 A.D., but was defeated and subsequently poisoned herself. As a song about her was already written, Richardson wished for a new track that depicted the idea of “being spellbound” by Boudica, which turned into “I Want Tomorrow”. In the liner notes of the album’s 1992 reissue, “I Want Tomorrow” is described, simply, as “thoughts of the present” and “March of the Celts” “echoes from the past”. “Deireadh an Tuath”, which translates from Irish as “End of the Tribe”, refers to past spirits and the fertile soil that helps ensure the future of the Celtic people, which is celebrated in the annual Gaelic festival Samhain, held on 31 October. “The Sun in the Stream” was inspired by the legend of the Salmon of Knowledge, a creature written about in various texts in Irish mythology who “possessed all the truth in the world”.
“Fairytale” is a track based on a story of early Irish literature about “love, jealousy, secrets and endurance” between Midir, a fairy king, and his love for a princess, Étaín. In the story, Etain is banished and transformed into a pool of water and emerges from it as a butterfly.[7] “Epona” is the name of the horse goddess Epona of the Gallo-Roman religion.[7] “Triad” is a track formed of three sections; “St. Patrick” is a traditional song that refers to St. Patrick who spent six years in captivity after he was captured by the Celtic people. The second part, “Cú Chulainn”, Irish for “hound of Cullan”, is named after the culture hero Cú Chulainn. “Oisin”, the final section, meaning “little fawn”, is based on the mythological character Oisín. “Bard Dance” refers to the bard, a man of ancient Celtic times who entertained the king. “Dan y Dŵr”, which translates to “Under the Water” in the Welsh language, is based on the intentional flooding of the village of Capel Celyn in Wales in order to accommodate a reservoir. (by wikipedia)

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With production and lyrical help fully in place thanks to her husband-and-wife gurus Nicky and Roma Ryan, Enya’s combination of Celtic traditionalism and distinctly modern approach finds lush flower on her self-titled debut. All the elements that characterize her music — open, clear nods to her Irish heritage, any number of vocal overdubs to create an echoing, haunting feeling, and layers of synth and electronic percussion — can be found almost track for track. The flip side is that those who find such a combination to be gloopy mush won’t be at all convinced further by her work here. It’s understandable why folk music traditionalists and anti-mainstream types would get the hives, but those not coming from that angle will find much that’s rewarding. Given that the album is a commissioned piece of work, it actually stands on its own quite well. The charging surge of the title track functions both as a fine introduction and its own stirring, quietly powerful anthem, a good sign for the rest of the album. There are a couple of slight missteps — an electric guitar solo disrupts the string-and-vocal flow of the truly lovely “I Want Tomorrow,” for instance. Generally, though, her musical instincts serve her very well, with many striking highlights. The appropriately three-part “Triad” showcases her ear for vocal work excellently, while both versions of “To Go Beyond,” especially the second, which closes the disc with an exquisite extra string part, also are worthy of note. (by Ned Raggett)

What a great debut album !

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Personnel:
Enya (vocals, keyboards)
Patrick Halling (violin)
Arty McGlynn (guitar)
Liam O’Flynn (uilleann pipes)
Roma Ryan (vocals)
Per Sundberg (saxophone)

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Tracklist:
01. The Celts (Enya/Ryan) 2.56
02. Aldebaran” (dedicated to Ridley Scott) (Enya/Ryan) 3.05
03. I Want Tomorrow (Enya/Ryan) 4.00
04. March Of The Celts (Enya/Ryan)  3.15
05. Deireadh an Tuath” (Irish for “End of the Tribe”) (Enya/Ryan)  1.42
06. The Sun In The Stream (Enya) 2.54
07. To Go Beyond (I) (Enya) 1.19
08. Fairytale (Enya) 3.02
09. Epona (Enya) 1.35
10. St. Patrick/Cú Chulainn/Oisin (Enya) 4.23
11. Portrait (Out Of The Blue)  1.23
12. Boadicea (Enya) 3.30
13. Bard Dance (Enya) 1.23
14. Dan y Dŵr” (Welsh for “Under the Water”) (Enya/Ryan) 1.41
15. To Go Beyond (II) (Enya/Ryan) 2.58

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Loreena McKennitt – The Mask And Mirror (1994)

FrontCover1The Mask and Mirror is an album by Loreena McKennitt. Released in 1994, the album has been certified Gold in the United States.

 

Like most of Loreena McKennitt’s albums, The Mask and Mirror is heavily influenced by her travels. Her experiences in Spain and Morocco, specifically, serve as the inspiration for this album.

As her introduction to the album, McKennitt wrote:

I looked back and forth through the window of 15th century Spain, through the hues of Judaism, Islam, and Christianity, and was drawn into a fascinating world: history, religion, cross-cultural fertilization….For some medieval minds the mirror was the door through which the soul frees itself by passing…. for others the pursuit of personal refinement was likened to polishing the mirror of the soul. From the more familiar turf of the west coast of Ireland, through the troubadours of France, crossing over the Pyrenees, and then to the west through Galicia, down through Andalusia and past Gibraltar to Morocco….the Crusades, the pilgrimage to Santiago, Cathars, the Knights Templar, the Sufis from Egypt, One Thousand and One Nights in Arabia, the Celtic imagery of trees, the Gnostic Gospels…who was God? and what is religion, what spirituality? What was revealed and what was concealed…and what was the mask and what the mirror?

Accompanying all the selections, as the liner remarks, are some of the entries in a traveler’s log that McKennitt kept all throughout her journey.

The album’s cover uses a collage made from the medieval The Hunt of the Unicorn tapestries.

Loreena McKennitt
Photo by Donna Griffith

Press play and enter the world of Loreena McKennitt, where walls dissolve into thick, billowing mists as the ground beneath your feet turns to compacted earth and the sky above opens up to reveal a black cloak dotted with shimmering stars draped beneath silk-like clouds. Were McKennitt’s composing and songwriting abilities lacking of any luster (as they most certainly are not), her voice would still possess the strength to hold her fifth album, The Mask and Mirror, up on its own. But the combination of this talented woman’s vocal prowess and songwriting ability makes her all the more similar to her work — ethereal and almost unbelievable in its level of quality. A mythical menagerie, The Mask and Mirror contains songs that lift the veil to reveal the soul of McKennitt’s work in eight dreamlike, Celtic-inspired tracks.

The opening track, “The Mystic’s Dream” (featured on the TNT movie The Mists of Avalon, based on the novel by Marion Zimmer Bradley), is a haunting tune that features McKennitt at her most heavenly peak as a vocalist, evoking the spirits of the instruments and Gregorian chant-like background vocals that accompany her on the track. The album excels at conjuring up mythical visions in the listener’s imagination, as with the gypsy-like tune “Marrakesh Night Market,” which echos of the picturesque scene the title invokes. The soul-searching “Full Circle” best exhibits McKennitt’s ability to transpose the true meaning of the lyrics into her songs.

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Even after the song ends, the somber mood lingers softly in the air. The balalaika (a three-stringed triangular-shaped instrument), the bouzouki (an eight-stringed instrument), and the hurdy-gurdy (a stringed instrument that also has keyboard and percussion parts) are among the rare, strange instruments introduced on many of the songs, including the lighthearted, uplifting “Ce He Mise Le Ulaingt? (The Two Trees),” on which these instruments demonstrate their incredible quality and prowess. The lyrics of this track are none other than the words of the poem of the same name by William Butler Yeats. McKennitt’s unique use of the lyrical words of William Shakespeare, combined with her skillful adaptation of the words to the heavenly, undulating music, make the final track, “Prospero’s Speech,” an inspiration in itself. (by Kerry L. Smith

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Personnel:
Anne Bourne (cello, background vocals)
Al Cross (drums)
Nigel Eaton (hurdy gurdy)
Ofra Harnoy (cello)
Brian Hughes (guitar, oud, balalaika, sitar)
Patrick Hutchinson (Bagpipes, pipe)
George Koller (bass, tambura, cello, esraj, tambura)
Rick Lazar (drums, percussion, udu)
Donal Lunny  (bouzouki, bodhrán)
Hugh Marsh (fiddle)
Loreena McKennitt (vocals, keyboards, goblet drums, accordion, piano,pipe)
Ravi Naimpally (tabla)
Abraham Tawfik (oud)
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background vocals:
Victoria Scholars Choir conducted by Jerzy Cichocki
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strings (on 07.2.)
Adele Armin – Andy Benac – David Hetherington – David Miller –  Douglas Perry –  Fujico Imajishi – Heinz Boshart – Kent Teeple – Mark Sabat – Marie Berard – Morry Kernerman – Sharon Prater – Susan Lipchak – Sylvia Lange

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Tracklist:
01. The Mystic’s Dream (McKennitt) 7.43
02. The Bonny Swans (Traditional) 7.21
03. The Dark Night Of The Soul (Traditional/St. John Of The Cross) 6.44
04. Marrakesh Night Market (McKennitt) 5.30
05. Full Circle (McKennitt) 5.57
06. Santiago (Traditional) 5.59
07. 1. Cé Hé Mise Le Ulaingt? (“Who Am I To Bear It”) (Hutchinson) 1.31
07.2. The Two Trees (Traditional/Yeats) 7.35
08. Prospero’s Speech (Traditional/Shakespeare) 3.23

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Inlet02ACommunication … before we had the internet

Vangelis – El Greco (A Tribute To El Greco) (1995 – 1998)

frontcover1El Greco is a 1998 classical album by Greek electronic composer and artist Vangelis (born March 29, 1943). The title is a reference to the man who inspired the composition, Dominikos Theotokópoulos (known as El Greco, “The Greek”; 1541–1614), the painter and sculptor of the Spanish Renaissance. It consists of ten long movements performed on electronic instruments.

This album is an expansion of an earlier album by Vangelis, Foros Timis Ston Greco. That album had been released in 1995, in a limited edition. For this general release, the track order was rearranged, three new tracks were added, and the album title was changed.

Vangelis composed and arranged the album, and performed all the instruments, accompanied by a choir conducted by Ivan Cassar. The music is in a Byzantine style yet sounding contemporary due to his use of synthesizers. Soprano Montserrat Caballé and tenor Konstantinos Paliatsaras make guest appearances on one movement each.

The album reached #66 in France and #74 in Germany. At the Billboard New Age Albums chart peaked at #9 position.

The image on the album is “The Knight with His Hand on His Breast” by El Greco.

(Not to be confused with El Greco Original Motion Picture Soundtrack, a 2007 album also by Vangelis)

This 1998 album expands the original ‘Tribute To El Greco’ (released semi-privately in Athens in 1995) to a full-length CD by adding three tracks (Movements III, V and VII) to the original ones, which have not been tampered with for this international release, only reordered slightly. The lavishly packaged 1995 release was limited to 3000 signed copies and officially obtainable only through the National Gallery museum in Athens which used the money thus generated to help acquire an El Greco painting (called ‘Saint Peter’) for its collection, although various copies have been bought by determined fans through different channels. I’ve always found the reasoning behind this restricted release a bit suspect – if you really want to generate a sizeable sum of money then why not create a great album and make it an international (or certainly internationally obtainable) release, perhaps upping the price a bit to account for its charity purpose. Anyway, a great album it was so this re-release has been much welcomed by fans unable to get hold of the original. The project shows Vangelis at his most inspired by the almost exclusively religious paintings from Domenikos Theotokopoulos (to give El Greco his full name) and his general artistic outlook. This becomes apparent from a rare personal note by Vangelis in the booklet, which is basically the mystic statement that, in order to be a truly creative artist, one must be true to one’s own nature and thus to Cosmic nature in general, as they are identical. The music’s flavour is very Byzantine, using Greek orthodox harmonies, church-bells, choir-sounds and more. It’s got a faint religious touch and is both austere and rich at the same time – austere because of the generally sparse orchestration, rich because of its deeply felt emotions. One of Vangelis’ main musical strengths, which is the use of rubato (the slight quickening up or slowing down of the tempo of the music to create those subtle effects), is very much in evidence throughout. Two singers from the classical world also make a contribution – a great aria by Spanish soprano Montserrat Caballe accompanied on piano and on another track tenor Konstantinos Paliatsaras. The album’s promotion (what little there has been) occurred mainly through classical channels and although it’s hard to think of a classical composer creating music equivalent in nature to ‘El Greco’ still anyone who likes classical music (for instance Wagner – similar use of rubato, or perhaps Eastern European religious music) will in all probability like this music as well. (by .vangelismovements.com)

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Doménikos Theotokópoulos (Greek: Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος [ðoˈminikos θeotoˈkopulos]; 1541 – 7 April 1614), most widely known as El Greco (pronounced: [el ˈgɾeko]; Spanish for “The Greek”), was a painter, sculptor and architect of the Spanish Renaissance. The nickname “El Greco” refers both to his Greek origin and Spanish citizenship. The artist normally signed his paintings with his full birth name in Greek letters, Δομήνικος Θεοτοκόπουλος (Doménikos Theotokópoulos), often adding the word Κρής (Krēs, “Cretan”).

view-of-toledoView of Toledo (c. 1596–1600, oil on canvas, 47.75 × 42.75 cm, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York) is one of the two surviving landscapes of Toledo painted by El Greco.

El Greco was born in Crete, which was at that time part of the Republic of Venice, and the center of Post-Byzantine art. He trained and became a master within that tradition before traveling at age 26 to Venice, as other Greek artists had done. In 1570 he moved to Rome, where he opened a workshop and executed a series of works. During his stay in Italy, El Greco enriched his style with elements of Mannerism and of the Venetian Renaissance. In 1577, he moved to Toledo, Spain, where he lived and worked until his death. In Toledo, El Greco received several major commissions and produced his best-known paintings.

El Greco’s dramatic and expressionistic style was met with puzzlement by his contemporaries but found appreciation in the 20th century. El Greco is regarded as a precursor of both Expressionism and Cubism, while his personality and works were a source of inspiration for poets and writers such as Rainer Maria Rilke and Nikos Kazantzakis. El Greco has been characterized by modern scholars as an artist so individual that he belongs to no conventional school. He is best known for tortuously elongated figures and often fantastic or phantasmagorical pigmentation, marrying Byzantine traditions with those of Western painting (by wikipedia)

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Personnel:
Vangelis (synthesizer)
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Montserrat Caballé (soprano)
Konstantinos Paliatsaras (tenor)
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Choir conducted by Ivan Cassar

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Tracklist:
01. Movement I (Movement I) 10.04
02. Movement II (Movement II) 5.18
03. Movement III (new) 6.48
04. Movement IV (Movement III) 6.21
05. Movement V (new) 4.30
06. Movement VI (Movement V) 7. 52
07. Movement VII (new) – 3:18
08. Movement VIII (Movement IV) 9.43
09. Movement IX (Movement VI) 12.00
10. Movement X (Epilogue) (Movement VII) 6.21

In parenthesis, correspondence to the track listing of Foros Timis Ston Greco.

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The Vision of Saint John
(El Greco (Domenikos Theotokopoulos) (1541–1614)

Stephen Edmundson – Silver Apples Of The Moon (1992)

FrontCover1Stephen Edmundson is an US new age musician and this is his debut album … Recorded at the Bear Creek Recording Studio, Los Gato, California in 1989.

Stephen Edmundson plays the Hammered Dulcimer, a rare instrument, that has been experiencing a revival lately, especially in Celtic music. His main focus is the music of Ireland, Scotland, England, Wales and Brittany.
Filling out the repertoire are select pieces from the Renaissance and Classical periods. The brilliant, ringing tone of the Hammered Dulcimer is completed by the soft and relaxing sounds of the whistle and flute.

Two kind of harp are used on this recording: one is the wire-strung harp, the other is the more common nylon-strung harp.
The hammered dulcimer is a many-stringed, trapezoidal shaped
instrument, played with small wooden mallets.

Are real fine new age album, very gentle and soft … and you´ll hear tradtionals from all over the world …

Stephen Edmundson lives today in Göttingen (Germany) and is still active with guitar player Tomasz Gaworek.

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Personnel:
Hannah Beckham (violoncello)
Stephen Edmundson (harp, dulcimer, flute, voice, whistle)
Todd Hicks (guitar)
Jeb Hogan (guitar)

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Tracklist:
01. Fanny Poer 3.21
02. Winter Has Come 2.30
03. Jenny Plucked The Pear 1.17
04.An Hani a Garan 2.13
05. Molly MacAlpin 4.05
06. Lark on the Strand 1.40
07. The Kid On The Mountain 1.59
08. Gaelic Waltz 3.14
09. White Hart 1.41
10. Greensleeves 1.19
11. La Guabina 2.12
12. Voices Of The Rain Forest 3.31
13. Bird Of Paradise 0.54
14. Bailecito 2.32
15. Enchanted Valley 4.16
16. Lyenda 4.07
17. Charm Danse 3.30
18. Yedid Nefesh 3.56

All songs are Traditionals

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BearCreekStudios