Christmas Celtic Sojourn Live

Christmas Celtic Sojourn Live

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An outgrowth of Brian O'Donovan's popular Celtic radio show A Celtic Sojourn, (now nearing a 20-year run on the air), A Christmas Sojourn Live captures O'Donovan and his troupe onstage at Boston's revered Cutler Majestic Theatre for a joyous celebration as it might happen back on the Ould Sod. Issued concurrently with the CD is a DVD of the entire showSee more details below

Overview

An outgrowth of Brian O'Donovan's popular Celtic radio show A Celtic Sojourn, (now nearing a 20-year run on the air), A Christmas Sojourn Live captures O'Donovan and his troupe onstage at Boston's revered Cutler Majestic Theatre for a joyous celebration as it might happen back on the Ould Sod. Issued concurrently with the CD is a DVD of the entire show (filmed in 2006), which includes additional numbers not on the 14-song CD, plus behind-the-scenes footage. The show really has it all. The a cappella quartet Navan, singing in Gaelic and English, opens with a reverent rendering of "Silent Night," with the female vocalists sending up harmonies as crystalline as those of the McGarrigle Sisters. Karen Casey, a founding member of the great Irish band Solas, has several memorable moments in the set, leading the entire ensemble -- and the audience! -- in a glorious rendition of "Angels We Have Heard On High" and coming back later for a gentle version of "O Holy Night," which is immediately followed by a haunting, delicately harmonized "In the Bleak Midwinter" by Fionualla O'Donovan (the host's rich-voiced daughter). Guitarist Tony McManus, accompanied by clarinetist Billy Novick, adds a new flavor to the proceedings with a meditative instrumental, "Sholom Aleichem," a Jewish melody with roots in Celtic music, and multi-instrumentalist extraordinaire Michelle Mulcahy, playing the harp, contributes a soothing instrumental, "An Bhuatais/The Bucks of Oranmore," that is a work of stark beauty, at once introspective and, when she picks up the pace in the latter number, spirited in its sprint to the end. Robbie O'Connell, beautifully accompanying himself on fingerpicked acoustic guitar, offers a heartfelt rendition of John McCutcheon's WWII soldier's tale, "Christmas in the Trenches," paving the way for Navan's hymn-like benediction at the end. Thus, a Christmas classic.

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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Ronnie D. Lankford
The music that graces A Christmas Celtic Sojourn Live is the outgrowth of Brian O'Donovan's radio program, begun some 18 years earlier. More recently, the program expanded to a seasonal concert, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn with Brian O'Donovan, that included both O'Donovan's family and a number of guests. "Our initial idea was simple," O'Donovan recalled in the liner notes. "Replicate the gatherings that we love to have at this time of year with family and friends." A Christmas Celtic Sojourn Live maintains a slightly larger version of O'Donovan's original vision, with the intimacy of family and friends replaced by that shared between the performers and the audience. The core group of performers include vocalists Fionnuala O'Donovan, Karan Casey, and Robbie O'Connell along with the vocal group Navan. The instrumental arrangements of flute, guitar, and piano offer simple adornment, tastefully supporting each vocal. Holiday favorites like "Silent Night," "Three Kings," and "Oh Holy Night" mix easily with "In the Bleak Midwinter," "This Time Will Pass," and "Mary's Boy Child." There's also a nice take on "Christmas in the Trenches" by O'Connell, a melancholy song that takes on new meaning when one considers current wars. For anyone who has enjoyed O'Donovan's show or has perhaps seen A Christmas Celtic Sojourn, A Christmas Celtic Sojourn Live will serve as a fine souvenir and an enjoyable holiday recording.

Product Details

Release Date:
11/06/2007
Label:
Rounder / Umgd
UPC:
0011661706620
catalogNumber:
617066

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