The Greatest Journey - Essential Collectionby Celtic Woman
The modern Celtic music revival shuddered in the wake of Michael Flatley's overbearing Riverdance and Lord of the Dance, which peppered the landscape to the point of overkill. While the more traditional beat of Celtic music remained, and remains alive and well, often nestled deep in its own wooded niche, what the general public received was increasingly more watered down and less palatable than anything before. However, there was a bright light within the storm when the fantastic Celtic Woman ensemble hove into view in 2005, to help revitalize Celtic music for a public that had little to choose from. Ethereal, ephemeral, spirited, and incredibly talented, this sextet of singers and musicians sparks fire through the beat of its songs, soars with complex and octave-defying vocals, and provides a remarkable showcase through the use of contemporary and traditional Irish instrumentation. Under the musical direction of David Downes, this compilation is a delicious sampling of songs with musical arrangements that never fight for attention amidst the pure vocals, but instead provide a backdrop that ultimately allows the entire thing to be cohesive and classy. While there isn't anything at all unexpected among the contents of The Greatest Journey: Essential Collection, the comprehensive set is highlighted by the beauty of songs from "Pie Jesu" and "You Raise Me Up" to the majestic sweep of "The Sky and the Sun and the Dawn" and on to the toe-curling, redoubtable bliss of "The Voice" and "Dúlaman." "Danny Boy" is here, and feels like an overtly commercial cop-out, but the deluxe CD package makes up for that with the inclusion of bonus tracks including "Mo Ghile Mear" and "Spanish Lady," both recorded live at Slane Castle. Greatest Journey is a competent collection, a solid introduction to the group for the novice, and a fantastic mix for the fan. [Manhattan issued an alternate version in 2008.]
- Release Date:
- Manhattan Records
Performance CreditsCeltic Woman Primary Artist
Robbie Casserly Percussion
John O'Brien tin whistle
Eoghan O'Neill Bass Guitar
Ray Fean Percussion,Drums
David Downes Percussion,Conductor,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Alan Smale Concert Master
Andreja Malir Harp
Irish Film Orchestra Performing Ensemble
John Page Conductor
Bill Butt Cello,Soloist
Robbie Harris Bodhran
Rosemary Collier Choir Director
Discovery Gospel Choir Choir, Chorus,Ensemble
Roisin Dexter Choir Director,Choir Conductor
Andrew Reilly Bodhran
John Page Conductor
Martin Johnston Cello,Soloist
Aontas Choral Ensemble Choir, Chorus,Ensemble
Nick Bailey Percussion
Nicky Bailey Percussion
Technical CreditsLeonard Bernstein Composer
Andrew Lloyd Webber Composer
Stephen Sondheim Composer
Charles Trénet Composer
Andrew Boland Engineer
Ciaran Brennan Composer
David Downes Arranger,Composer,Producer,Engineer,Liner Notes,Orchestration,Audio Production,Whistle
Mairead Nesbitt Arranger
Dick Farrelly Composer
Brendan Graham Composer
John O'Brien Whistle
Shay Healy Composer
D. Downes Composer
D. Agnew Composer
C. Ni Dhubhghaill Composer
Caroline Nesbitt Art Direction,Sleeve Design
B. McCrea Composer
Rolf Loveland Composer
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
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In response to the previous reviewer: This CD was advertised as a "Best of" compilation album for months - the track list should have given some indication this was so. Any disappointment is unjustified.
This is an excellent highlights CD of the Celtic Women's career thus far. There are even 2 new songs - "The Call" (Featuring the newest Celtic Woman, Lynn Hillary) and a sublime rendition of "Pie Jesu" sung by Chloe Agnew. In addition to the collection of songs from their previous CDs, there are live versions of "Mo Ghile Mear" and "Spanish Lady" - the latter of which has not been released on CD before.
There is plenty to enjoy on this album and is an excellent collection for anyone who has followed the group for years and for those who are as yet unfamiliar with Celtic Woman.
Apparently this is a hard concept to grasp, but, if it's billed as a "best of"....then that's what it is, no matter how many or few album's the group has released previously. The album is amazing. If you're new to the group, it's probably one of the best things you could get.
I am a hard core Celtic Woman fan-I've seen them live 3 times, have all 3 prior CD's and all 3 prior DVD's and play their music constantly. You can understand why I was excited to hear that they were putting out a new CD. Unfortunately, ther's very little that's "new" in this "Greatest Journey". 8 of the songs are on their 1st CD, 7 are on the 2nd, 3 are not on a prior CD but are on prior DVD's so there are only 2 truly new songs here. I give it 2 stars only because the music is great but they lose the other 3 stars for lack of originality.
The person who responded to my review apparently didn't read it first. I have nothing but the highest praise for Celtic Woman, both as a group and as individuals (in addition to the 3 group CD's & 3 group DVD's, I also have 6 of their individual CD's). I just learned they will perform in my area in May, 2009 and I am looking forward to attending my 4th CW concert. As I said, I am a hard core fan. I was disappointed because there was very little "new" on this CD (unlike the other person, I paid extra and bought A New Journey, the Special Edition with bonus tracks, so I do have Spanish Lady and Mo Ghile Mear on CD). Most performers don't put out a "best of" after only 2 CD's (I'm not counting the Christmas CD as that obviously falls in a special category).
My disappointment is fully justified.
This cd is the best yet. The music is uplifting & exciting.
Their voices are like angels from heaven. This cd is a must
for any Celtic Woman fan!
I love this CD. The music is beautiful, and it's wonderful to listen to at any time of the day. I highly recommend it to anyone looking for something different that touches you in many ways.
I have enjoyed the various Celtic Woman music DVD's and CD's. I feel that the best of the four DVD's and CD's are Celtic Woman  - Live Slane Castle, Ireland and Celtic Woman - A Christmas Celebration . Celtic Woman  was fair and Celtic Woman - The Greatest Journey  was mediocre with great scenery lead ins to each song. The various reviews about the current live show / tour that I have read are that the DVD and CD are far better than the actual show. With Lisa, Meav, and Orla being absent from the show at one time or another and/or with all three be absent from the show; the live tour / show has lost its flavor, excitement, and energy. The combination of David Downes, Lisa, Meav, Orla, Meav, and Maired was a very rare, but outstanding blend of characters and music talents that is highly unlikely to be repeated with Celtic music in the future. Fair --- Celtic Woman ; Outstanding ---- Celtic Woman ; Outstanding ---- Celtic Woman - A Christmas Celebration; Mediocre --- Celtic Woman - The Greatest Journey .