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Reseña de álbum

A live Celtic ensemble, with vocalists, joins composer/pianist Michael Hoppe on Homeland, a musical remembrance of the music of European immigrants. Taken as a whole, the album could be a soundtrack for a movie about Western expansion. The opening credits would roll to "Homeland Theme," a victorious, heartening march with bagpipes, flutes, whistles, guitar, and snare drums. The Celtic theme is continued on "Cal's Lament"; the piece opens with thunder and a heartbreaking theme played by pennywhistle (Richard Hardy). Synclavier tympani take up the thunder roll (with bird songs) and the vast landscape seems to unfold in front of the speakers, giving a sense of destiny. Two pieces sound like old Western dance orchestras: the country-awkward "Tumbleweed Waltz" and the not much more graceful (but trying) "From Vienna With Love." Several pieces are unabashedly romantic, be they rhapsodic love themes or sad remembrances ("Elegy"). The stately "Lincoln's Letter" was inspired by a letter from the president to a mother who had lost five sons in the Civil War. The album ends as a movie might, with a pop version of the initial theme, "Homeland," sung by a vocalist, in this case Eliza Gilkyson. The song is similar to "God Bless America," but the lyrics both pine for the old land and embrace the new. Between lyrics and to end the track, bagpipes and drums play to increase the courage. Fade credits. Homeland is an engaging album; its mix of Celtic brashness and sentimentality, innocent folksy dances, and tender romance are a winning combination. Many of these pieces can be found in other arrangements on Hoppe's album Simple Pleasures.

Homeland, Michael Hoppé
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