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Once In a Red Moon

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Album Review

The global phenomenon of Secret Garden has been so far reaching that it's hard to believe the duo of Norwegian keyboardist/composer Rolf Lovland and Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry have only recorded three previous studio albums in addition to their 2001 compilation, Dreamcatcher. Once in a Red Moon continues Secret Garden's tradition of organic storytelling melodies and straight-from-the-heart performances with a wink back to the innocence and raw simplicity of their debut. Lovland and Sherry felt that their second and third recordings, White Stones (1997) and Dawn of a New Century (1999), were conceived as larger-scale projects which would help build the scope of their live performance presentation. This time, they wanted to let the natural performance of the piano and violin be the leading force; to this end, they built their productions based on the first, original sensitive and raw takes in the demo phase. There are also some unique new elements: guest appearances by the Irish National Symphony Orchestra and RTE Concert Orchestra players performing live in the studio fronted by Sherry (five of which were scored and conducted by Steven Mercurio, musical director for Andrea Bocelli); guest vocalist Karen Matheson of Scotland (on the ethereal universal love message "The Gates of Dawn" and the dreamlike, atmospheric "Greenwaves," with lyrics by Ann Hampton Calloway, who wrote the words for the Barbra Streisand song based on another Secret Garden track); Swedish harpist Asa Jinder, who worked on Secret Garden's debut and helps define the Nordic/Celtic mix of the duo's music; and world-renowned cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, duetting with Sherry's violin on the sweetly melancholy "Duo." Once in a Red Moon also features a once-in-a-lifetime musical experiment. Via their website, the duo asked people to participate in the new album by sending them "the global C," recorded on a piano. They received piano chords from all over the world, creating a global energy of sound for the final chord of the emotional closing track, "Elegie."

Customer Reviews

Something for Everyone

I find it remarkable that different people can pick so many different things from this album. I love Greenwaves and Gates of Dawn, but I find Awakening and Elegie to be far more etheral and stirring. I was first turned onto this album by an old girlfriend (nice girl who knew her music). The album hasn't lost its gloss even though some things seem to fall by the wayside. Excellent album. Get it.


I purchased this album way back when it was first released (pre-iPod). The minute I first heard the song "You Raise Me Up" I was blown away. Even having subsequently become a Josh Groban fan, I have to say that I enjoy this version even more than his--this is the original after all, however strongly the association with Groban may now be. But the songs "Greenwaves" and "Gates of Dawn", performed by Karen Matheson of Capercaillie, are by far my favorites. She has one of the most beautiful voices I have ever heard, and the songs are lyrically very touching. As always, the arrangements and performances by Rolf Lovland and Fionnuala Sherry are lovely; haunting and uplifting. Highly recommended.

Absolutely Beautiful

This has to be the finest representation of "new age" music I've heard. I happened to download this beauty on a Sunday Morning and leaned back with a cup of tea and sat transfixed until the album ended. The piano and soaring violins takes you to a place and time without boundries. It is well mixed...nothing seems out of place. Just buy the whole thing... won't be sorry.


Genre: New Age

Years Active: '90s

The winners of the 1995 Eurovision Song Contest, Norwegian neo-classical duo Secret Garden formed in 1994 around Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry and Norwegian pianist Rolf Løvland, the co-writer of Norway's 1985 Eurovision victor "La Det Swingge." Secret Garden's own Eurovision victory was notable as the first (and, so far, only) time a predominantly instrumental song has won the competition -- the contributions of guest vocalist Gunnhild Tvinnereim were clearly written to ensure the piece met with...
Full Bio
Once In a Red Moon, Secret Garden
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  • $11.99
  • Genres: Jazz, Music, New Age
  • Released: Jan 01, 2001

Customer Ratings