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A Compilation
Natalie Macmaster
A Compilation
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (16) - Disc #1


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CD Details

All Artists: Natalie Macmaster
Title: A Compilation
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Rounder / Umgd
Release Date: 2/10/1998
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Celtic, Europe, British Isles
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPCs: 011661702127, 011661702141, 5018081014026

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CD Reviews

This CD has the greatest 7 minutes 19 seconds ever recorded
(5 out of 5 stars)

"I wrote a review before,but wish to add why I think this CD has the Greatest 7 minutes ever recorded.Buy "A Compilation" and hear what I mean. The Greatest 7 Minutes and 19 Seconds Ever Recorded? Natalie MacMaster is the best musician I ever heard in concert or on a recording. Yet I have not seen a CD of hers in a chain store or heard her on the radio. Natalie is an extraordinary Celtic Fiddler in the Cape Breton style. She learned to play from her uncle Buddy MacMaster who is considered one of the great fiddlers in history. I have studied music seriously for close to 50 years. I've heard most of the great musicians in concert in their prime. This includes hearing Chuck Berry,Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn play electric guitar, Ray Charles, Jerry Lee Lewis and Elton John on piano,and major groups from Dylan and The Band to The Grateful Dead and Metallica. I've listened close up to the blazing fiddles of Charlie Daniels,All Ireland Champion Martin Hayes and Scotland's International Fiddle Master Alasdair Fraser. Natalie MacMaster tops them all to my ear. Hearing her in concert was like being thunderstruck by a lightning bolt of beauty out of the blue. I was stunned, dazzled and amazed that anyone,anywhere could play an instrument so good. Her rendition of the tune "Captain Keeler" from the CD "My Roots Are Showing" was the best work of an instrument I ever heard, just incredible. On studying Natalie's music, I found a tune that shows her technical ability,intense playing and personal style. It is called "The King's Set",track 8 on her Cd "A Compiliation". When I close my eyes and listen to it, my mind is filled with wonderful images of life and history from centuries past. "The King's Set" starts with a happy go lucky old Celtic air.....Here I see a bright young man strolling along a country road in Old Ireland or Scotland hundreds of years ago. He's just been to market and is jingling a few coins in his pocket that he earned selling potatoes,cabbages,salt fish and some wool. He's going to a dance that night and he whistles the old tune he hopes the fiddler will play. He calls out to the dog that tags along with him, a red Irish Setter. From this idyllic scene,Natalie's fiddle stirs and changes the mood. Now she plays a deep melody that conjures up dark images of storm clouds gathering over The North Atlantic Ocean. You can feel the changing mood with every note,through to your bones.The tunes Natalie calls up were cherished and passed along for centuries, the treasure lore of Cape Breton fiddlers. Now you hear echoes of "The Old King's Reel" and see mosaics of throne wars with armies sweeping across the land driving families of farmers away to enclose the land for wealthy barons. The images are starkly contrasting as they appear right out of the music. One moment you are in a grand ballroom where ladies andgentlemen in wigs and splendid finery bow and curtsy to waltzes played by fiddler butlers. Then you see the crowded hold of emigrant ships tossing in a furious gale. You see the young man again on the passage. He holds tight to his dog and the fiddle that will carry and preserve the old tunes in the New World. Natalie's fiddle takes you through history,now there's the sounds of steam locomotives and drive trains. In her music you hear the sounds of the industrial revolution and see mills and factories where once there was farmland. Here is the story of the people,social history written in music. Now her fiddle is warmed up and Natalie really begins to pour it on. From wind to fire she calls up the mad dance tunes of The Celts. At the 4 and a half minute mark,Natalie starts flying with a breathtaking series of chord changes and progressions, up and down the scales. She's red hot now and goes back and forth with subtle changes of pace,picking up steam and glory. Her music crosses the centuries,now you see mothers reading The Good Book to children by hearthfire. You see generations of unknown,brilliant fiddlers patiently passing on the old tunes and techniques of string and bow to apt young children of hard dirt farmers and cold ocean fishermen. Then suddenly Natalie takes off in a heavenly reel,"The Cape Breton Fiddle Society's Welcome to The Shetland Isles".There you are off the boat in the New World, running with joy and your Irish Setter through a coastal meadow. There's bright wildflowers in a green field of four leaf clovers, the fragrance of purple sage and honeysuckle. You see pine,fir and redwood trees and eucalyptus scented streams. The music carries you along faster,chasing your dog who seems about to fly off. Overhead there are birds, seagulls and eagles soaring,wild swans and hawks and the singing of robins. The sky seems to open and rainbows pour down to pots of gold everywhere. You leap into the air,filled with happiness,off you go into pure light. Then just as pretty as you please,Natalie brings it home and sets you down like a feather. Now that's music,and why I call " The King's Set" the greatest 7 minutes and 19 seconds of music ever recorded. From the heart, with admiration, I say she is the best musician I ever heard. If you have a chance to hear her in concert, GO. She will take you to heaven for a while and show you what the word Beauty means. As far as I can see and hear in the music world, Natalie MacMaster is the best there is. John Mackesy Middletown, California 9/27/99"
Pure genius!
goodoldmac | Charlotte, North Carolina United States | 05/02/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"The best music brings to mind images of times both happy and sad, and no one,absolutly NO ONE... can do this better than Natalie MacMaster. This CD is, as its title states, a compilation from two earlier releases and is more traditional in scope than her more recent releases. The musical images abound through every song here, the green fields of Ireland, the mist-covered highlands of Scotland and of course, Natalies' home,the island of Cape Breton, which can be justly proud of the music of its most famous daughter(and also truly one of its best good-will ambassadors.)These tunes reflect Natalie's roots and her pride in them is in every note played. Do not miss any of this talented lady's music......"
Excellent and beyond belief,incredibly beautiful music.
goodoldmac | 09/23/1999
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Natalie Macmaster is the best musician I ever heard in concert and on recordings.I've studied music seriously for close to 50 years.I love it all, from oprera,to country to heavy metal.I heard, among others,in their prime in concert,Dylan and The Band, Elton John,Jerry Lee Lewis, Pete Seeger, Santiago Jimenez JR,Bonnie Raitt, John Lee Hooker,Chuck Berry,Ray Charles,Linda Ronstadt,Johnny Cash and The Carter Family, Waylon Jennings, Tom Rush,Roy Orbison, Gordon Lightfoot,Leon Russell and most of the great bands of our time. Natalie Macmaster is light years beyond them all.What she can do on her instrument is stunning and dazzling. This kid can play, flat out play!The "Compiliation CD was recorded when she was 16 and 19.Just wait'll you hear this,your ears are in for a major treat. The first track ,"Spey in Spate" will fill you with delight and send your spirit soaring.The second track is gorgeously delicious,one that you'll wish went on and on forever.And it gets even better.Track number 8, "The King's Set"is the best piece of recorded music I ever heard.This tune is made of centuries old number's like "The King's Reel" and more modern melodies like "The Cape Breton Symphony's Welcome To The Shetland Isles.Just listen to Natalie play "The King's Set",oh is it ever glorious.She starts with a gorgeouly delicious slow air, and takes off sowly, picking up steam and glory.At the 4 minute 30 second mark she starts flying with breathtaking chord changes and progressions.Then she explodes into the most Heavenly music.Wow! Her next tune,track 9 "Newcastle Hornpipes" is at the same level,so happy,joyful and delightful,just makes you want to get up and dance. All her recordings are consistently fabulous.If you ever have a chace to see her in concert, don't pass it by. She'll take you to heaven and show you what the word"Beauty" means.I've heard the best of the best.As far as I can see,Natalie Macmaster is the best there is."