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Riverdance: Music from the Show
     

Riverdance: Music from the Show

by Bill Whelan
 

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What FIDDLER ON THE ROOF was to Yiddish music, RIVERDANCE is to Celtic. Like "Fiddler," RIVERDANCE amplifies the heart-tugging intimacy and ancient power of ethnic tradition to spectacle proportion. The show, a smash in the U.S., England and Ireland, divided trad music lovers: Some saw it as a crowning glory; others balked on the

Overview

What FIDDLER ON THE ROOF was to Yiddish music, RIVERDANCE is to Celtic. Like "Fiddler," RIVERDANCE amplifies the heart-tugging intimacy and ancient power of ethnic tradition to spectacle proportion. The show, a smash in the U.S., England and Ireland, divided trad music lovers: Some saw it as a crowning glory; others balked on the Broadway bombast. None can deny RIVERDANCE was a defining moment -- Celtic music's flying leap out of the world music section and into the living room of pop consciousness. The show's score runs from folksy pub room jig to near-symphony. Composer Whelan, who boasts a solid trad resume as well as impressive conservatory bonafides, understands the ever-present link between "folk" and "classical" musics. So even if he polishes off some of the tradition's grit and burnish, he brings fresh instrumental language, a vast scale, and awesome precision in execution. The album boasts mighty talent, including fiddler Eileen Ivers, piper Davy Spillane, Near-Eastern reedman Nicola Parov, and the Irish choir Anuna. And when all those steel-toed dancers thunder in, it is undeniably thrilling.

Editorial Reviews

All Music Guide - Steven McDonald
Even though the visual elements are missing, this soundtrack to Riverdance sounds quite spectacular, making a no-holds-barred attempt to captivate the listener with grandiose variations on Celtic musical forms. Adding to the grandeur and magic of the music are performances by artists such as Davy Spillane, Maire Breatnach, Anúna, Nicola Parov, and others who are forces to reckon with individually. The music transits between soaring vocal pieces and floor-shaking orchestral numbers that possess astonishing energy. Lead ceilidh dancer Michael Flatley left the production under something of a cloud, turning up later with the derivative and far more mediocre Lord of the Dance. On this recording he, female lead Jean Butler, and the other ceilidh dancers can be heard providing taps on three tracks, including the thunderous "The Countess Cathleen/Women of the Sidhe."

Product Details

Release Date:
06/17/1997
Label:
Decca U.S.
UPC:
0601215307627
catalogNumber:
53076
Rank:
2447

Tracks

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Bill Whelan   Primary Artist,Palmas
Eileen Ivers   Fiddle
Máire Breatnach   Fiddle
Ronan Browne   uillean pipes
Jean Butler   Tap Dance
Robbie Casserly   Bass,Drums
Noel Eccles   Percussion
Tom Hayes   Spoons,Bodhran
Máirtín O'Connor   Accordion
Eoghan O'Neill   Bass Guitar
Nikola Parov   kaval,Gadulka
Rafael Riqueni   Guitar,Palmas
Davy Spillane   Human Whistle,uillean pipes
Cormac Breatnach   Whistle (Instrument)
Michael Flatley   Tap Dance
Moore   Acoustic Guitar
Anthony Drennan   Guitar
Michael McGlynn   Conductor
Prionsias O'Duinn   Conductor
Desi Reynolds   Drums,Tom-Tom
Kenneth Edge   Soprano Saxophone
Bill Whalen   Track Performer
Riverdance Irish Dance Troupe   Tap Dance
Juan Reina Gonzalez   Cantor,Palmas
Áine Uí Cheallaigh   Vocals

Technical Credits

Andrew Boland   Engineer,Remixing
Nick Ingman   Orchestration
Bill Whelan   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Orchestration,Remixing
Anúna   Contributor
Sara Clancy   Contributor
Katie McMahon   Contributor
Riverdance Orchestra   Contributor

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