Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
Genres: Folk, World Music, New Age, Pop
Listen to Samples
A near flawless album of instrumental music
(4 out of 5 stars)
"While the piano is hardly your typical Celtic musical instrument - fiddle, whistle, pipes or harp fill that bill better - a handful of pianists is winning over traditional enthusiasts with their supple and subtle arrangements of Irish and Scottish music. While on the Irish side Micheal O'Suilleabhain is justly famous, it is an American composer and pianist, Paul Machlis, who has done the job for the Scottish side. In "The Bright Field" he has produced a near flawless album of instrumental music drawn from the Scottish Celtic tradition. He is backed by a trio of traditional musicians, headed by stunning Scots fiddler Alasdair Fraser. Guitarist Bill Coulter and cellist Barry Phillips complete what at times sounds more like a chamber group than a folk outfit. Some of the tracks are arrangements of traditional folk tunes, others are Machlis' own compositions. While most sound loosely traditional, they would fit just as easily into the classy end of the film score/New Age pigeon hole. As with O'Suilleabhain, from whom he appears to have drawn inspiration, Machlis produces an almost orchestral effect with some pieces. The opening "Winter Suite" is an outstanding example. Other pieces - like the title track - have a more spare, autumnal feel to them. Haunting melodies are carried by delicate arrangements of piano - typically arpeggiated - combined with subtle string backing. Despite being the lead instrument, nowhere does the piano threaten to overwhelm. The overall effect of this moving and diverse music is quite simply beautiful."