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Renaissance of the Celtic Harp

Alan Stivell

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Album Review

People who hear this record are never the same again. Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, one of the most beautiful and haunting records ever made by anybody, introduced the Celtic harp to many thousands of listeners around the world. To call this music gorgeous and ravishing would be the height of understatement—indeed, there aren't words in the English language to describe this record adequately. The opening work, "Ys," ais a piece inspired by the legend of the fifth century capital of the kingdom of Cornwall, which was engulfed by a flood as punishment for its sins. (Debussy wrote one of his finest works, "The Engulfed Cathedral," later adapted by the group Renaissance into "The Harbor" on Ashes Are Burning, based on the same legend). The reflective "Marv Pontkellec" is every bit as sublimely beautiful, but the highlight of this record is "Gaeltacht," a 19 minute musical journey by Stivell's harp across the Gaelic lands of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.

Biography

Born: 1944 in Gourin, Brittany, France

Genre: World

Years Active: '70s, '80s, '90s, '00s

If there is a single savior of Celtic music, Alan Stivell is probably it. Since the end of the 1960s, he has done more to revive interest in the Celtic (specifically Breton) harp than anyone in the world and, in the process, almost singlehandedly made the world aware of native Breton Celtic music. Since 1971, he has been recording albums of extraordinary...
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Renaissance of the Celtic Harp, Alan Stivell
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