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Celtic Harp: Fiona
Irish Traditional, Turlough O'Carolan, Patrick Ball
Celtic Harp: Fiona
Genres: Folk, World Music, Special Interest, New Age, Classical
 
  •  Track Listings (11) - Disc #1

In 1983, Patrick Ball released the first record in his Celtic Harp series. Now, ten years and five releases later, he has completed his most personal work to date. Fiona is a collection of traditional songs that include...  more »

      
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Album Description
In 1983, Patrick Ball released the first record in his Celtic Harp series. Now, ten years and five releases later, he has completed his most personal work to date. Fiona is a collection of traditional songs that includes some of the most beautiful and haunting tunes of the Celtic world - and is named after Patrick Ball's new daughter, Fiona. For many years, the Celtic harp, with its unique resonance and clear, bell-like sound was an important part of Celtic life, especially in Ireland and in France's Celtic province, Brittany. The few harps which survived into the 20th century, did so as museum pieces, and their incredibly large and varied repertoire began to sink into obscurity, too. Naturally, as musicians and listeners have rediscovered the beauty of these instruments, the old songs and laments have been rediscovered as well. On Fiona, Ball includes two of Ireland's most enduring and memorable folk songs: She Moved Through the Fair, an oft recorded classic which can now finally be heard in its original form, and Brian Boru's March, an ancient tune marking the brief unification of Ireland in the 11th century. Traditional songs from Scotland and Brittany also appear, along with a work by Turlough O'Carolan, whose popular music has been a feature of each of Patrick Ball's six recordings for Celestial Harmonies/Fortuna. Ball's wire-strung harp is the focus of this recording, but the traditional Irish pipes, whistles, and fiddle provide an occasional complement on several pieces.

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CD Reviews

More than just another Celtic harp album
Cat from Belmont | Belmont, MA USA | 12/09/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I own a fair number of Celtic harp albums and have listened to more, including Patrick Ball's four previous albums. While almost all of it has been pleasant, this one is a real standout. Where many albums offer still more versions of over-familiar melodies, this one is striking in its originality. Where some performances give the impression of tinkling music boxes or technical expertise that is somehow boring, this one is riveting and evocative. Some purists may find it insufficiently traditional, but I found it beautifully imaginative. Unlike reviewers who preferred this musician's earlier albums, to me this is the most interesting and moving of them all. "Fiona" came out in 1993; I am hoping that Mr. Ball is near to producing another album. Given the progression through his earlier work, I can hardly wait to see what he does next."
Enjoyable, but not my favorite
P. Lozar | Santa Fe, NM USA | 05/22/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)

"As always, Ball presents spirited virtuoso performances that elucidate traditional tunes and show off the nuances of the wire-strung Celtic harp. I like this album less than some of his previous ones because I think the material isn't as strong: he's a better performer than composer, and some of the traditional material strikes me as rather uninteresting compared with tunes he's recorded before. Still, it's a lovely album, and far stronger than some of the New Age fluff that passes itself off as "Celtic" music these days."
The Best Celtic Harp CD I've every Heard
Fiona Clancy | Plattsburgh, NY USA | 04/06/2008
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It was really easy for me to fall in love with this CD because , for instance we share a birthyear(1993) and a name(Fiona). But besides just that, this music, for all that it's just an instrumental CD it has so much emotion in it and the songs we're so well arranged by Patrick Ball, Kevin Carr and Tim Britton that it's really easy to just get lost in. It's also some of the most relaxing music I've ever heard, but that might just be because it's always been my lullaby music...But, if you're a fan of Celtic music, or even if your not, you can't deny the beauty of the music in this CD, so I suggest that you buy it, you won't regret it!"