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A Midwinter Night's Dream

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Album Review

Canadian singer/composer/harpist Loreena McKennitt's lush Celtic-infused balladry and worldbeat sensibilities lend themselves well to holiday music, a genre she toyed with in 1995 on her Winter Garden: Five Songs for the Season EP. 2008's Midwinter Night's Dream takes those five songs (newly remastered) "Coventry Carol," "God Rest Ye Merry, Gentlemen," "Good King Wenceslas," "Snow," and "Seeds of Love," and adds eight new songs (all of which were recorded at Peter Gabriel's Real World recording studio) including "The Holly and the Ivy," "In the Bleak Midwinter," "Breton Carol," and "Emmanuel." The songs are immaculately produced as always, and McKennitt's predilection for Eastern mysticism and unique instrumentation keeps them from falling into the usual seasonal clichés.

Customer Reviews

Bravo!

Another great collection from Ms McKennit. Having been a long time fan back to the days of Elemental and Parallel Dreams, there are a few tracks on here which are previous releases, but to have them all collected with the new tracks is well worth it. Standouts include Noel Nouvelet!, the Holly & the Ivy and Snow, my all time favorite track by the artist. This is a great introduction to neophyte listeners of Loreena McKennit's work.

We will have a gorgeous Christmas this year

Mistress Loreena does it again! Words cannot express the amount of joy her music has brought into my life through the years. Like a breeze of warm air in the bleak of life's winter, knowing that some fresh Loreena material will accompany our journey towards 2009 is quite a nice feeling. Actually, it must be a sign that good days are ahead and that a positive change really coming our way. This is how Loreena's music makes me feel.

Simply Stunning

Loreena's music is deeply steeped in Celtic tradition and the music on this album, whilst not dance music by any means, invests medieval magic into Christmas. Her voice is pure, unfaltering and clear and the album's spirit and candour will warm the coldest of nights. The seventeen songs here represent outstanding value as a compilation, they are not repetitive, instead each has its own charm. Loreena will be part of all our Christmas cheer in time ahead.

Biography

Born: 1957 in Morden, Manitoba, Canada

Genre: World

Years Active: '80s, '90s, '00s, '10s

Loreena McKennitt's literate and sometimes experimental focus on Celtic-tinged traditional and original material, coupled with her haunting harp playing, has made her Canada's national chanteuse and new age troubadour since she broke through to prominence in the mid-'80s. The daughter of a nurse mother and a livestock-trading father, McKennitt studied classical piano and voice and learned to dance in the highland style as a youngster. Her love of traditional music was strengthened in the folk clubs...
Full bio