Search - Seamus Ennis :: Best of Irish Piping

Best of Irish Piping
Seamus Ennis
Best of Irish Piping
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
  •  Track Listings (28) - Disc #1

Traditional Irish Music - Uilleann Pipes , featuring reels, jigs, hornpipes, slow airs and marches.


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CD Details

All Artists: Seamus Ennis
Title: Best of Irish Piping
Members Wishing: 1
Total Copies: 0
Label: Tara Records
Release Date: 8/15/1995
Album Type: Import
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop
Styles: Traditional Folk, British & Celtic Folk, Celtic, Europe, British Isles
Number of Discs: 2
SwapaCD Credits: 2


Product Description
Traditional Irish Music - Uilleann Pipes , featuring reels, jigs, hornpipes, slow airs and marches.

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CD Reviews

A piping must-have.
Simon Burris | Waco, TX, USA | 07/29/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)

"This is a two-cd set, packaged in one slim box. Each cd holds a separate, previously released album named after a tune appearing on that album: "The Pure Drop" (1973) and "The Fox Chase" (1978). Although we are dealing with two separate albums, there is a continuity of playing style and sound quality that jsutifies treating the two as a single entity. Buyers should consider this set as an extensive anthology of Ennis performances taken relatively late in his carreer; they will not find, for example, the great variety as found on "Forty Years of Irish Piping" (see separate review).It must be emphasized that Seamus Ennis presents in these albums (as in all his albums) an authentic picture of traditional uilleann piping as it was at the turn of the twentieth century. Authenticity is assured by the simple fact that Ennis got his piping from his father, "who was considered to be the last of the pipers in the idiom or dialect of the old piping tradition," according to the introduction written by piper Liam O'Flynn. The terms "idiom" and "dialect" are well-chosen by O'Flynn, for Ennis' playing reflects a traditional "language" of piping in which the ornamentation and setting of tunes is, to a certain extent, determined by traditional practice proven over a century of playing. This traditional approach is quite different from one which emphasizes a purely personal approach independent of the history of the pipes themselves. As O'Flynn writes, this is "the specialised playing of the old pipers, as distinct from a rendering on a wood-wind instrument."The tradition represented by Ennis is, of course, but one of several. He is an exponent of the "closed" style, which simply means he tends to play by lifting up only those fingers necessary to produce a note. The result is a clear, sometimes staccato style that is especially effective in faster tunes, e.g. reels. (The "open" style, exampled by Leo Rowesome, is one in which the piper keeps his fingers lifted up unless and until they must be lowered to form a note. The result is a more legato sound.) The reader should be aware that it not a simple matter to "map" Irish piping style according to geographical area.Besides the piping itself (and there is only piping on these cds, unlike on "Forty Years" and "Bonny Bunch of Roses", where Ennis sings and plays tinwhistle) there are wonderful liner notes, written by Ennis himself, which give interesting historical details about each tune: where he acquired the tune, whether it appears in a collection, alternate names, translation of Gaelic terms, and brief comments on how the tune was performed by traditional musicians of his acquaintance (including his father).To sum up, this is a fine collection, suitable for any one interested in authentic Irish piping."
Later work from one of the true greats
Kevin L. Rietmann | Oregon | 11/29/2003
(4 out of 5 stars)

"The Ennis recording to obtain above all others, even for non-pipers, is RTE's Return From Fingal, mostly recorded in 1940 and 1948; aside from surface noise, the only flaw in these early recordings might be that Seamus displays a certain lack of restraint in displaying his unequalled technical prowess on this supremely complicated musical instrument. It also has a nice selection of recordings from his later days, when he'd been through a lot - car wrecks, heart attacks, and pneumonia coupled with being a serious acoholic, which took away much of the command he showed in his youth. Students of piping of course have much to learn from these recordings anyway, but others may be put out by the occasional squealing or flat chanter note, uncertain timing, and a persistent distortion in his high G. All that aside, on his best tunes this is still marvelous music, very nicely recorded and in good tune, from one of the real greats of the century."
The real deal -- nothing fake or fancy
Joe Sixpack -- | Middle America | 03/01/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Admittedly, the keening wail of the bagpipe is not for everyone... For those disinclined, the noise can be downright irritating. That being said, the style simply doesn't get better than this, and part of the reason is that, far from trying to hide the difficult aspects of Irish piping, Seamus Ennis practically revels in it. This 2-CD selection is drawn from two albums Ennis recorded for the Tara label, "The Pure Drop" and "The Fox Chase," and the set starts out with a real bang. On the second tune of the first disc, "The Fairy Boy," Ennis twists the tones beyond all reasonable limits, grinding the notes into odd, misshapen forms. Hardly content merely to know and regurgitate the old songs, Ennis is a true musician, one who muct play with and improvise around old themes. His work is playful, challenging and decidely experimental, unlistenable for some, yet a wellspring of creative depths for others... It's probably best taken in small doses, perhaps in a mix with other styles, but it's got an emotional and artistic resonance that's quite compelling, and is definitely worth checking out. For pipng fans, this is a must-hear record."