Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
|Cheryl Ann Fulton; Welsh Triple Harp|
The Airs of Wales
Genres: World Music, New Age, Classical
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A must if you like the music of the Welsh harp
Rxsigna@aol.com | Morristown, NJ | 08/21/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Having a Welsh background, I guess that I am biased, but I have to say that I think this is one of the best recordings of traditional Welsh harp music available. In particular, her treatment of the Variations on the Welsh Ground (the last track on the CD) is particularly ravishing. Whether you are in a contemplative or jovial mood, this CD will be your favorite, and if you're Celtic or Welsh (like I am) I'm afraid it's a must."
FrKurt Messick | Bloomington, IN USA | 09/28/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Several things drew me to this recording. I have had a long love on Celtic and Celtic-inspired music, both ancient and modern. I also learned that the artist, Cheryl Ann Fulton, did her graduate work at my own college, Indiana University (renowned for its music school). The Early Music Institute programming is among my favourite community offerings here, and this recording reminded me in aspect of those performances. Indeed, although I cannot be certain, I may have seen Fulton in performance in her days at Indiana University, as I was there in the early 1980s as a student as well.
This disc, 'The Airs of Wales' is Fulton's first solo recording. She has since produced other discs of comparable quality, but this one is definitely a gem.
Many of the tunes of the Welsh have become well-known folk songs, but not all of them originated as folk tunes. Much of this music was preserved by Edward Jones (1752-1824), reprinted by John Parry, from whose collection the music in this recording is drawn.
The Welsh Triple Harp has a primary place in the history of the harp in Wales. The harp has three rows of strings: two outer rows tuned to the diatonic scale, with semitones in the third central row. It arrived in Wales about 1630. The first major player was Welshman Charles Evans, on appointment to Charles II to play 'the Italian harp'. According to Fulton, 'the triple harp has a clear, crystalline tone which further enhances the beauty of the tuning.'
There are tunes that are joyous and full of energy, but there are also characteristic Celtic tunes with longing, loss and melancholy. According to Fulton, 'the majority of the Welsh Airs, including all the flower tunes, fall into a category Jones calls pastoral.'
This is stunning music, beautiful in tone, wondrous in performance, and grand in the emotional impact it leaves on the listener. This is clearly Celtic music, and bridges the gulf between old and new well, given the resurgence in popularity of such pieces.
Fulton is a master of this instrument, and a true gift to the world of music.