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Elysian Forest
Mark O'Connor
Elysian Forest
Genres: Country, Pop
  •  Track Listings (10) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Mark O'Connor
Title: Elysian Forest
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Warner Bros / Wea
Original Release Date: 6/28/1988
Re-Release Date: 10/25/1990
Genres: Country, Pop
Style: Bluegrass
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 075992573627, 075992573641

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CD Reviews

Mark Breaks Away from Country Music
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I have each and every one of Mark's solo albums (many of them in vinyl because they were not released later as CDs), so I go back a long time with this guy. Mark O'Connor can hang with anybody on guitar, mandolin, or fiddle. I think this is my favorite album of his, mostly because he plays a lot of guitar on it and it does not have a "country" sound, but sounds more like "new acoustic music" in style. The most exciting part of his shows is when he plays guitar. On this album he plays gut-string guitars, steel string acoustic, electric guitar, and bass! Of course, his fiddling is all over this disc as well.It was recorded at his old house, in the laundry room, and Mark's wife Suzanne had to take everything to the laudromat for about four months while he was trying to get the album done because he needed to move the washer and dryer out to have enough room to record. Another problem he had with this album was he lived near the Nashville airport, and planes kept flying over and interfering with the recording process, so he had to do everything at night. Fidula Caprice in A Major was finished just as the sun was coming up early in the morning. As you listen to the song you can picture this.Although it was recorded at a home studio, it sounds great, and the usual suspects make guest appearances: Edgar Meyer (bass), David Schnaufer (mountain dulcimer), Eddie Bayer (drums), Mike Lawler (synth), Jerry Douglas (dobro on Sally Goodwin), and Russ Barenberg (mando on Sally G).This underrated album is really one of his best. There is no singing, and only one strange song: Two creations, which is where Mark paired synthesizer and strings under a beat created by his unborn son Forrest's in-utero heartbeat paired with carpenters hammering together their new house. It's only a minute long, so it doesn't disturb the album's flow. Miss Sally Goodwin is a bit of a non-sequiter because it's a hoedown recorded live in Lisbon, Portugal. The rest of the album is very different from that bluegrass song. Elysian Forest, a reference to a blissful, happy place, from Greek mythology's Elysian Fields, the peaceful place the dead went to take their rest. If this is how the music sounds there, I can't wait to go."
Turning Point
Rod Saunders | Tulsa, Ok | 04/20/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This album marks a turning point in O'Connor's career. The Fidula Caprice in A was the first of 6 caprices composed and performed by Mark that eventually led to his headlong dive into the world of classical music. Patterned after the caprices of the great 19th century violinist Nicolo Paganini, this piece begins with a traditional style fiddling pattern but soon evolves into a virtuosic piece featuring lightning fast bowing and arpeggios. The first time I heard it it took my breath away. I realized that this guy had musical depth far beyond other fiddlers. Another noteworthy piece is the live recording of Miss Sally Goodwin, a ten minute performance which begins and ends with the hoedown Sally Goodin but displays various musical styles improvized throughout, including the Milk Cow Blues, Hot Canary, a little dabbling in Indian violin, classical riffs, and a few minutes of brilliant playing that defy description.These two tunes are worth the price of the CD in my opinion, but the other pieces further display O'Connor's musical genius as he plays guitar, mandolin, bass, and keyboard. Highly recommended."
A Bit Too New Age
Steve Vrana | Aurora, NE | 06/02/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"Mark O'Connor has played on hundreds of country albums as a session artist (guitar, fiddle), but you wouldn't know it from this 1988 album where he veers off dangerously close to new age territory. [On "Two Creations" he only plays chimes, for crying out loud!] However, he plays some stellar gut-string guitar on "The Inns of Granny White/Elysian Forest (#39 & #40)," and on the traditional fiddle tune "Miss Sally Goodwin" O'Connor improvises nicely over the course of a 10-minute live romp with Jerry Douglas on Dobro and Russ Barenberg on mandolin. This final track is easily the highlight of the album."