Renaissance of the Celtic Harp

Renaissance of the Celtic Harp

by Alan Stivell
     
 
Long before Riverdance or Clannad or Loreena McKennitt; long before every record label felt compelled to offer a goblet of Celtic elixir, there was Breton harper Alan Stivell. It's safe to call him the Godfather of Celtic New Age music, the one who rediscovered ancient sounds and repackaged ancient symbols for a myth-hungry world. He almost single-handedly saved the

Overview

Long before Riverdance or Clannad or Loreena McKennitt; long before every record label felt compelled to offer a goblet of Celtic elixir, there was Breton harper Alan Stivell. It's safe to call him the Godfather of Celtic New Age music, the one who rediscovered ancient sounds and repackaged ancient symbols for a myth-hungry world. He almost single-handedly saved the ancient bardic small harp from extinction, rekindling an interest in its trad repertoire and simultaneously showing it to be a versatile vehicle for improvisatory excursions. He drew around him a circle of gifted musicians, including guitarist Dan Ar Bras and singer Gabriel Yacoub (who went on to found Malicorne). RENAISSANCE OF THE CELTIC HARP is a watershed, revealing entirely new possibilities for traditional music. On "Gaeltacht," tunes from Ireland, Brittany, and Scotland flow through Stivell's hands in a haunting, continuous slipstream of impeccable playing. His ethereal arrangement of "Eliz Iza," an old Breton folk melody, is still striking in its shimmering beauty, even to ears jaded by the countless lesser talents that have since then tromped through Stivell's gauzy Middle Earth on their way to New Age Valhalla.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Bruce Eder
People who hear this record are never the same again. Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, one of the most beautiful and haunting records ever made, introduced the Celtic harp to many thousands of listeners around the world. To call this music gorgeous and ravishing would be the height of understatement; indeed, there are barely words in the English language to describe it adequately. The opening work, "Ys," is a piece inspired by the legend of the fifth century capital of the kingdom of Cornwall, which was engulfed by a flood as punishment for its sins. (Debussy wrote one of his finest works, The Engulfed Cathedral, later adapted by the group Renaissance into "The Harbor" on Ashes Are Burning, based on the same legend). The reflective "Marv Pontkellec" is every bit as sublimely beautiful, but the highlight of this record is "Gaeltacht," a 19-minute musical journey by Stivell's harp across the Gaelic lands of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.

Product Details

Release Date:
06/18/1990
Label:
Mercury Import
UPC:
0042281800726
catalogNumber:
8180072
Rank:
14660

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Alan Stivell   Primary Artist,Bagpipes,Flute,Harp,Horn,celtic harp,Irish Flute,Bombard
Mik AR Biz   Horn
Dan Ar Bras   Acoustic Guitar,Electric Guitar
Yann-Fanch AR Merdy   Drums,Scottish Drums
Daniele Bartolletti   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Gabriel Beauvais   Viola
Jean-Claude Briodin   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Guy Cascales   Drums
Pierre Cheval   Viola
Henri Delagarde   Cello
Michel Delaporte   Percussion,Tabla
Jean-Marc Dollez   Double Bass
Anne Germain   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Claude Germain   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Paul Hadjaje   Viola
Jacques Hendrix   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Jean Huchot   Cello
Alan Kloater   Horn,Bombard
Gerard Levasseur   Bass Guitar
Manuel Recasens   Cello
Gerard Salkowsky   Bass Guitar
Gilles Tinayre   Organ
Francois Walle   Background Vocals,Choir, Chorus
Stephane Wiener   Viola
Mig Biz   Bombard
Gilles Tinayjre   Organ
Gérard Levavsseur   Bass Guitar
Stéphane Weiner   Viola

Technical Credits

Alan Stivell   Arranger,Contributor
Yann-Fanch AR Merdy   Liner Notes
Paul Houdebine   Engineer
Alan Kloater   Contributor
Mig Biz   Contributor
Jord Cochevelou   Arranger,Liner Notes
Franck Giboni   Producer
Arnold Dolmetsch   Arranger
Traditional   Composer
Philippe Lerichomme   Engineer
Bob Nolan   Liner Notes
Denise Megevand   Arranger
Paul Haudebine   Engineer

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