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Journey to the New World

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Editors’ Notes

Here Sharon Isbin follows her lifelong passion for folk music on an engaging artistic sojourn that spans four centuries and an ocean. The journey begins with a stately quartet of Isbin-arranged Renaissance lute works and spirited performances of the familiar English traditionals "The Drunken Sailor" and "Wild Mountain Thyme." But it’s Isbin’s admiration of American folk legend Joan Baez (whom the guitarist touts as her first musical hero) and country fiddle virtuoso Mark O’Connor that inspire the album’s accomplished focal points. John Duarte’s "Joan Baez Suite" was arranged specifically for Isbin, and the guitarist’s world-premiere recording here emphasizes the subtle, sophisticated contours of the folksinger’s muse, before Baez herself takes a welcome guest turn on the melancholy "Go ‘Way from My Window." The album’s historical/artistic arc concludes with a spirited delight: O’Connor’s expansive "Strings & Threads Suite" (in another premiere recording), where Isbin alternately backs O’Connor’s own sprightly fiddle playing and bridges the country-classical gap with her fleet fretwork.

Customer Reviews

A change of pace for Isbin

I confess for not being a fan of Joan Baez but she appears for only a bit. This is overall nice folk arrangments of origional and traditional tunes. The O'Connor Isbin duo at the end is a real winner. I told myself I wasn't going to like this experiment but it grew on me and have no hesitations recommending it to others. Fine playing all around.


so relaxing and clean sounding. i love it.

Great classical music

One of the better classical albums I've seen, well played and recorded in good sound this is one of those albums that anyone can appreciate, not just classical fans.


Born: August 7, 1956

Genre: Classical

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

Described by Boston Globe's Michael Manning as a musician who plays "beyond virtuosity," guitarist Sharon Isbin has been a consistent challenge for critics, who struggle to find the right superlative that would do justice to her exquisite playing. "In her hands," wrote Anne Midgette in The New York Times, the guitar takes on the precision of a diamond, each note a clear, shining facet that catches, prism-like, a glimpse of the spectrum." In essence, a performance by Isbin is like a painting by Vermeer:...
Full Bio

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