> A Celtic Spectacular [CF]: Classical Reviews- May2002 MusicWeb(UK)

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Celtic Dreams
Cry of the Celts
O’Farrell’s Welcome to Limerick
Simple Gifts
A Little Bit of Heaven
Irish Party in the Third Class (from ‘Titanic’)
The Countess Cathleen
Chasing the Fox
A Piper Celebration
Celtic Angels
The Mummers’ Dance
Steps from the Highlands
Danny Boy
The Last Rose of Summer
The Irish Washerwoman

James Galway (flute and whistle)
The Chieftains
John McDermott (tenor)
Liz Knowles (fiddle)
Kieran O’Hare (uilleann pipes and whistles)
Silver Arm Celtic Band
Cincinnati Pops Orchestra
Erich Kunzel (conductor)
TELARC CD-80571 [58’57"]

Not much of a spectacular success here unfortunately. Perhaps Galway’s brief appearance (one track lasting barely five minutes) speaks volumes for his desire or otherwise to be associated with such a fearful hotch-potch. McDermott’s voice is unattractive, his falsetto in Danny Boy makes one yearn for Clara Butt, a case of ‘come back all is forgiven’, while the slushily sentimental orchestral version, with saccharine-sweet violin solo in Last Rose of Summer makes John McCormack far preferable. The occasional glimpse of genuine Irish music only serves to remind one how wonderful that music is, but only in its natural state, not messed around or souped up like this. The Chieftains and Galway are superb, the rest is rubbish and should have gone down with the Titanic just like the Irish party in the Third Class.

Christopher Fifield

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