Winter Poem

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
According to pianist Rolf Løvland, Irish-Norwegian neo-classical duo Secret Garden's seventh studio album, Winter Poem, was inspired by the "darkness that surrounds the Scandinavian winter." While there's a genuine sense of melancholy laced throughout its largely instrumental 11 tracks, fans of their luscious new age sound needn't fear a new gothic reinvention, as there's very little here likely to find its way onto a horror movie soundtrack. Indeed, the stately piano chords and sweeping string arrangements courtesy of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra of opener "Make a Wish" feel more suited to a Downton Abbey-esque costume drama, while elsewhere the lilting ...
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Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Jon O'Brien
According to pianist Rolf Løvland, Irish-Norwegian neo-classical duo Secret Garden's seventh studio album, Winter Poem, was inspired by the "darkness that surrounds the Scandinavian winter." While there's a genuine sense of melancholy laced throughout its largely instrumental 11 tracks, fans of their luscious new age sound needn't fear a new gothic reinvention, as there's very little here likely to find its way onto a horror movie soundtrack. Indeed, the stately piano chords and sweeping string arrangements courtesy of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra of opener "Make a Wish" feel more suited to a Downton Abbey-esque costume drama, while elsewhere the lilting "Anticipation" recalls the emotive ivory-tinkling of Ludovico Einaudi's understated scores, the more uptempo "Fionnuala's Cookie Jar" is a highly percussive Irish jig packed with Celtic fiddles and tin whistles, and "Suite," a 15-minute overture written especially for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, reveals that Løvland and violinist Fionnuala Sherry are capable of realizing their symphonic ambitions. The three vocal tracks are just as quintessentially Secret Garden. "The Dream" is a lavishly haunting affair underpinned by muted beats, emotionally stirring strings, and lullaby-ish melodies, sung by Clannad's Moya Brennan in her own unmistakable ethereal style; Riverdance vocalist Fionnuala Gill lends her quivering glass-shattering tones to the atmospheric ballad "Mary's Lament"; while "Powered by Nature" written by Brendan Graham, the man responsible for the now ubiquitous "You Raise Me Up" is a valiant attempt to replicate the anthemic qualities of their most enduring song. Winter Poem is unlikely to convert those who have previously likened their music to wallpaper, but while it's true that there's nothing particularly challenging or inventive on offer here, it's hard to disagree with the opinion that what they do, they do very well.
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Product Details

  • Release Date: 11/8/2011
  • Label: Valley
  • UPC: 025041142328
  • Catalog Number: 11423
  • Sales rank: 295

Album Credits

Performance Credits
Secret Garden Primary Artist
Per Hillestad Percussion, Drums
Manus Lunny Bouzouki
Fionnuala Sherry Violin
Annbjørg Lien Key Harp
Rune Arnesen Percussion, Drums
Bjørn Ole Rasch Organ, Keyboards
Rolf Lovland Piano, Conductor, Keyboards, Background Vocals
Stian Carstensen Accordion
Mick O'Brien uillean pipes
Ottar Nesje Percussion, Drums
Moya Brennan Vocals, Background Vocals, Guest Appearance
Simon Breyer Horn
Odd Nordstoga Accordion
Czech National Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Jiri Hurník Leader, Concert Master
Tracey Campbell Vocals, Guest Appearance
Fionnuala Gill Vocals, Guest Appearance
Vlastimil Kobrle Leader
Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra Performing Ensemble
Lumir Vanek Bassoon
Xiaohui Ma Erhu
Ariel de Wolf Cello
Espen Grjotheim Vocals, Background Vocals, Guest Appearance
Anne Takle Background Vocals
Roald Råsberg Drum Loop
Roar Broström Oboe
Odd Lyngstad Bassoon
Per Elias Drablös Bass
Pål Svendsberget Leader
Jitka Tomsicková Cor anglais
Cathrine Iversen Vocals, Background Vocals, Harmony
Ruben Gundersen Background Vocals
Martin Wikstøl Background Vocals
Tini Flaat Background Vocals
Siren Wilhelmsen Background Vocals
Hilde Nordbakken Leader
UIA Vocal Ensemble Choir, Chorus
Dana Wichterlova Oboe
Robbie Harries Bodhran
Hana Brozova Flute
Marion Walker Oboe, Cor anglais
Technical Credits
Fionnuala Sherry Producer
Hans Fredrik Jacobsen Whistle
Rolf Lovland Arranger, Composer, Producer, Orchestration, Whistle
Mick O'Brien Whistle
Brendan Graham Composer
Xiaohui Ma Whistle
Roald Råsberg Engineer
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    Posted November 10, 2011

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