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”.


“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)


Rolf Løvland (keyboards)
Fionnuala Sherry (violin)
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.)
RTÉ Concert Orchestra
Irish National Chamber Choir (on 04.)


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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