Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Celtic Harp, Vol. 3: Secret Isles
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age
The lilting, crystalline tone of the Celtic harp must be one of the most joyful sounds in mankind's history. The harp originated a thousand years ago in ancient Ireland; it shone through the age of the bards and brought... more »
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The lilting, crystalline tone of the Celtic harp must be one of the most joyful sounds in mankind's history. The harp originated a thousand years ago in ancient Ireland; it shone through the age of the bards and brought hope during long years of occupation and oppression. As it is a challenging instrument to play well, nearly two centuries ago the wire-strung Celtic harp was abandoned in favor of the easier to play, more subdued gut-strung neo-Irish harp. Patrick Ball would not let that sweet voice fall silent. He brings to audiences world-wide the ancient Celtic harp that "has always been loved and celebrated by the Irish people for its mystical power to enchant them, to draw them into realms beyond thought, and to refresh their spirit." That is exactly what Patrick Ball accomplishes in these five sparkling recordings. Listeners are enchanted by his performances. They are drawn to the emotional portrait that Patrick paints with each piece, romantic, melancholy or jubilant. Although Patrick is a delightful storyteller with words, these instrumental works tell their own stories, requiring nothing more than Patrick's fingernails deftly plucking the brass strings of his beautifully crafted harp. The harp he plays is a re-creation of the ancient Celtic instrument, lovingly crafted by master harp builder Jay Witcher of Houlton, Maine, who has made it his life's work to allow the sound of the great instrument to live again.Patrick Ball pays his greatest tribute to the legendary Turlough O'Carolan, a blind, itinerant harper who wandered the Irish countryside at the turn of the eighteenth century, playing for wealthy landowners. O'Carolan was witty, a prolific composer and a genius on the Celtic harp. It is little wonder that Patrick Ball has included O'Carolan's brilliant tunes in each of his first four volumes.
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An outstanding album
P. Lozar | Santa Fe, NM USA | 05/22/1998
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I think this is Ball's strongest album: years of touring and recording have made him fully at ease with his instrument (his earlier albums have a few rough edges), and the selection of mostly unfamiliar tunes is excellent. The arrangements are attractive and varied enough to keep up the listener's interest, and the performances are masterful without being slick. And, as always, the wire-strung harp has a clarity and openness that transforms whatever is played on it. All of Ball's albums are good, but this one approaches perfection."