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Music On The Wind: Selected Pieces 1983-2003 (Celtic Harp)

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Album Review

Patrick Ball has a reputation as a new age player, but he's so much more as this career retrospective covering 20 years shows. He's an outstanding interpreter of the work of the great Irish harpist and composer O'Carolan, playing the work with a deftness and sensitivity that brings out both the lyricism and the rhythm in the music. But he's equally at home with traditional music, such as his version of Burns' "Auld Lang Syne" (which by now must be considered traditional), or "Black Is the Color of My True Love's Hair." While there's a preponderance of Irish pieces here (and specifically O'Carolan), that's understandable, given Ball's love of the Emerald Isle. And, frankly, he's as good and incisive as any Irish harper, with a gorgeous tone and wonderful feel. When he's reflective, there's a breathtaking solemnity in the music, and his technique is assured throughout, with wonderful, clear fingering. It may be that you don't need all of Ball's work, unless you're a harp junkie. But this is definitely essential — not just for Ball, but for Irish music.


Born: March 27, 1950

Genre: World

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

The melodic sounds of the wire-strung Irish harp have been revived by San Francisco-born harper Patrick Ball. Performing on a harp based on an ancient Celtic instrument and built by master harp builder Jay Wircher of Houlton, Maine, Ball has become one of the leading interpreters of the music of Turlough O'Carolan, an 18th-century Irish harpist and composer. Although Irish music is the heart of Ball's repertoire, his albums and performances have also included traditional songs from Scotland, Wales,...
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Music On The Wind: Selected Pieces 1983-2003 (Celtic Harp), Patrick Ball
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