Derek Bell is the harpist with The Chieftains. Everyone tells me that he
is a most congenial man. He is evidently a fine harpist.
But he is no composer.
The proceeds of the sale of this disc are to aid a charity called The
Grain of Wheat which seeks to give musical therapy to young orphans in Bulgaria
... a noble cause.
But the music on this disc is simply ghastly.
The first item Variations: Come on, Northern Ireland, come on is appalling
music; it is really that bad. And it contains a quotation of over a hundred
bars from Schumann's Symphony No 4. Why? It is 'spiced up' with Irish
drums and is so ludicrous that it is embarrassing.
The Divertissement on a tune kindly contributed by Dr Paddy Moloney
is another inane title and, again, the music is so poor that one wonders
how anyone would want to play it let alone record it. The Toccata
burlesca fares a little better but it also lacks purpose, sense and
And we come to the Symphony No 2 which lasts for thirty minutes but
it seems an eternity. It is so utterly devoid of any redeeming features;
it is suicidally boring.
Enter Linda, a clinical psychologist.
"Shall I open the bottle of Teachers now?" she asks.
"No," I reply, "but some black coffee would be welcome."
And it is.
The pieces by Beinsa Duono, a mystic Bulgarian, (1864-1944) are slight and
of no consequence.
"Shall we extend this evening of misery?" she enquires. "Let's put on the
Elgar Cello Concerto, a late Piano Sonata by Schubert, some
waltzes by Johann Strauss and then Elton John and the Sex Pistols ..."
I thank her for her kind suggestion but make another. She smiles radiantly
and with approval.
The music on this disc is appalling, shockingly bad and tedious. It is not
music to die for but music that needs a Government Health Warning.
Simply dreadful. Unbearable.
For another opinion from Rob Barnett
The following comment has been received from an un-named
"I would just like to impress a certain element
that was missing from Mr.
Wright's review, regarding the statement "The pieces by Beinsa
mystic Bulgarian, (1864-1944) are slight and of no consequence."
Mr. Wright is probably not aware of (understandably so), is that Beinsa
Duono, aka Peter Deunov, is a Bulgarian prophet and teacher of esoteric
Christianity. He was not a composer, and these songs (which is what
originally were), were given as prayers; they were never meant to be
compositions per se."