Search - Mark O'Connor :: Midnight on the Water

Midnight on the Water
Mark O'Connor
Midnight on the Water
Genres: Country, Special Interest, Classical
  •  Track Listings (18) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Mark O'Connor
Title: Midnight on the Water
Members Wishing: 0
Total Copies: 0
Label: Sony
Release Date: 4/28/1998
Genres: Country, Special Interest, Classical
Styles: Bluegrass, Outlaw Country, Instrumental, Chamber Music
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 074646286227, 5099706286226, 766486918122

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CD Reviews

The solo hero
D. Earls | Kansas City, MO USA | 02/28/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Is there anything this man can't do?After paying tribute to his various sources of inspiration on Heroes - by playing duets with them - O'Connor began a journey into "serious" music. As a composer and performer, Mark O'Connor disappointed me on those early outings, even while I admired and respected his courage to stray from his roots.It all pays off here. For not only are the master (Paganini) and mentor (Benny Thomasson) here, but all the other heroes as well: Stephane Grappelli, Russ Barenboim, Sam Bush, Vasser Clements, Pinchas Zukerman, to name a few. They've all become Mark O'Connor.This recording demonstrates maturity in every aspect of O'Connor's craft - as composer, as classical violinist, and as pure fireworks fiddle player. The tone that defines O'Connor (for me) is here, but it shines through the other styles he's absorbed.The album's title piece is simply the finest O'Connor recorded performance - so far. It pays tribute to Benny Thomasson - a man who felt it was unnecessary to compose new pieces because there were so many undiscovered, unplayed variations on the old ones.This one's good enough to make you forget to ask "What's next?""
Midnight on the Water
Cynthia K. Duncan | Concord, CA USA | 01/04/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Listening to Mark O'Connor playing Midnight on the Water, I was certain I heard the Beloved. And, when it was over and I wasn't sure, I knew it to be so when Amazing Grace captured me. Mark O'Connor understandably speaks of Nicolo Paganini as his inspiration. I would suggest that Sir Paganini is dancing with the angels at this very moment listening to these *amazing O'Connor caprices.*"
Paganiniesque (is that a word?)
Rod Saunders | Tulsa, Ok | 10/21/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"O'Connor's virtuoso fiddling on this album is truly remarkable. I've followed his career for nearly twenty years now, and his playing was never better than what is presented here. The caprices are pure genius, combining classical styled arpeggios with rock/jazz/blues based riffs with a little fiddling thrown in for good measure. He even uses the bouncing bow technique (spicatto) in a similar fashion to Paganini's first caprice. The improvised pieces further display O'Connor's musical brilliance and creativity. Improvisation #4 showcases his mastery of harmonics (no, it's not an electric violin you're hearing) and exagerrated vibrato (fiddlers might call it a shake). The liner notes say that this piece was recorded in one take in a moment of inspiration. Unbelievable!The weakest cuts on this album in my opinion are the guitar and mandolin/mandocello pieces. When I first saw O'Connor he was playing guitar for the David Grisman Quintet on Austin City Limits. I was dazzled by his ability as a flatpicking virtuoso. It was only after I began collecting DGQ albums and reading up on the members that I discovered that he was known more for his world class fiddling than his picking. Later he came out with the False Dawn album where he composed and performed all of the pieces from a selection of over a dozen instruments. The picking on Midnight On The Water fails to live up to the first class playing he did in the 80s, however. (If you ever get a chance to hear the DGQ album Quintet '80 which is out of publication, or the live DGQ album with Stephane Grappelli you'll hear O'Connor at his best on a Somogyi acoustic guitar). It seems to me that as his focus on pushing the envelope for the violin has increased his focus on the plucked instruments has diminished. It's just as well, I suppose, since he reportedly has had to abandon the guitar and mandolin due to a case of bursitis. Still, the caprices alone are well worth the cost of this CD. We may very well not see the likes of this genius again in our lifetime."