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Celtic Treasure

92 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 13, 2007
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Recorded in Dublin, Ireland, Hayley's third solo album is a very personal collection of classical arias, Irish and Maori folk songs representing treasured people and places in her remarkable musical journey. For the first time the album also includes several original tracks written by Hayley herself. Celtic Treasures is a celebration of Hayley's family roots, and her grandparent's journey across the World on the first boat that left Ireland for New Zealand in the 1880s taking with them a rich musical heritage. Her grandmother a singer, and her grandfather, who played the accordion, were to be important influences on Hayley's musical development.

Having sung before royalty and performed with the Irish super-group Celtic Woman, Italian tenor Andrea Bocelli, and Welsh baritone Bryn Terfel, the very young and remarkably beautiful singer is back with a tribute to her Celtic ancestry. As with her previous Platinum-selling releases (she is already a huge star in her native New Zealand, Japan, Australia, and the UK), the orchestrations are lush, with sighing phalanxes of strings and woodwinds. But in keeping with the avowed theme, there are also soft touches of soulful, wavering tin whistles and vaguely fiddle-like violin vamps. The program is more varied than the album's title might lead one to expect, encompassing everything from "The Last Rose Of Summer" and "Danny Boy" to "Shenandoah," "Scarborough Fair," "Abide With Me," and even a couple of more pop-oriented songs penned by Westenra herself. However, brief sideways winks toward Nashville or the Great White Way do not adulterate the album's overall mood of ethereal, remote bliss. The one misstep is an English-language cover of "Un Bel Di" ("One Fine Day") from Puccini's Madama Butterfly: an aria unsuited to the artist's fragile, bell-like soprano and placid temperament. This aside, established classical crossover/theatrical divas like Sarah Brightman would be wise to begin looking to their laurels. --Christina Roden
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Product Details

  • Performer: Hayley Westenra
  • Audio CD (March 13, 2007)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Decca
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (92 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #19,028 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

68 of 70 people found the following review helpful By ekovalsky on March 14, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Hayley has an extraordinary voice, a rare talent that may manifest once in a generation. I think she has at least equalled Sarah Brightman which is no small accomplishment, particularly since she has yet to celebrate her 20th birthday. Her choice of program material continues to be excellent and there are no fillers on Treasure (I have the UK version, ordered directly from Amazon UK). My standout tracks are Let Me Lie, Notte del Silenzio, Shenandoah, Summer Rain, One Fine Day, Sonny, and Abide by Me. If you buy the US version, I suggest the Walmart version as you will get an exclusive bonus track, Mummer's Dance by Lorenna McKennitt. Although some of the material does fall into the Celtic music category, I prefer the UK naming. The different versions of all Hayley's releases are a source of confusion and frustration, but blame this on the label and the different chart targets among the worldwide markets.

Some of Hayley's own material is featured on Treasure, including Let Me Lie and Summer Rain. The latter is reminscent of Enya's best work. I am certainly impressed with her songwriting ability and hope to see more original work on future projects. Hayley also plays the piano beautifully on Sonny, a piece I find no less moving than Angel by Sarach McLachlan. That is high praise indeed. As much as I love Hayley's classical material, the more contemporary pieces are my favorite... ditto for Sarah Brightman.

Hayley is absolutely beautiful and a great performer. If you don't already have it, order her DVD (Live in New Zealand) with Treasure. My favorite tracks on the DVD are Pokarekare Ana, River of Dreams, Across the Universe of Time (great backup vocals by her sister Sophie -- another future star ?), Who Painted the Moon Black, Hine e Hine, and Wuthering Heights.
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30 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Ruth Anderson VINE VOICE on March 16, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Hayley Westenra's third CD, Celtic Treasure, is a somewhat misnamed as it isn't strictly "Celtic" -- it's an eclectic collection of songs that perfectly showcases her crystalline soprano. The disc features several favorites that are staples on Celtic music releases, such as "Scarborough Fair," "Danny Boy," and "The Water is Wide." Also included is "Last Rose of Summer," a gorgeous duet with Meav from the group Celtic Woman, a nod to Hayley's current involvement with that ensemble (as featured on the recently released A New Journey CD & DVD). Their voices blend beautifully. In addition to these well-known "classics," Hayley expands her artistic horizons with this album which features her in the roles of song writer, arranger, and pianist on a handful of selections. Two of her song writing efforts are particularly striking - "Let Me Lie" is a lovely, lyrical song with an arrangement that possesses a lush, almost cinematic quality, while "Summer Rain" features a driving rhythm reminiscent of Enya's classic "Orinoco Flow." There is a nod to the pop sensiblity that was exhibitied on Hayley's second disc, Odyssey, in songs like "Summer Fly" which recalls the jazz stylings of "I Say Grace" from that disc, allowing Hayley to "cut loose," this time on a toe-tapping, folk-flavored tune. Hayley's extraordinary talent has become more and more evident with each successive album, exhibiting a continued trend of artistic growth and vocal maturity. Her voice has lost none of the purity found in her 2003 debut (aptly titled Pure) or the ability to hit unbelievably high notes with apparent ease; rather, her voice possesses an added depth and richness indicative of her maturation as a vocalist.Read more ›
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on March 13, 2007
Format: Audio CD
Celtic Treasure opens with `Let Me Lie,' a beautiful, slow piece that shows off Hayley's vocal timbre and her ability to express emotion in her singing. The peaceful sounds of the harp and flute take you away to a grassy field, and you can almost see the clouds passing overhead as you lie on the ground. The song gradually builds up into a beautiful, dramatic chorus -- "heal me through as I lay here with you." This says so much about how Hayley values the earth -- her involvement with the Women's Environmental Network, her belief in natural remedies and alternative medicine, and her unabated love for her mother-land of New Zealand. What a promising way to open an album! (And the rest of it does not disappoint!).

The second song, `Scarborough Fair,' is beautifully arranged and orchestrated. Hayley's stunning vocal performance brings out all of the emotion and Celtic flavour that made this piece so timeless in the first place. `Shenandoah' follows, a wistful song about a man taking his love with him across the Missouri River. There are many things people have compared Hayley's voice to -- a songbird, an angel, a violin -- but I think her voice is most like water: it flows fluidly and effortlessly into every soaring note, and fills every little nuance in the song, giving it a fullness and sparkle that belongs to Hayley alone.

`Summer Fly' starts off quite misleadingly, with a flute that makes you expect another slow, Celtic song like the previous two; instead, it turns into a delightfully upbeat piece that takes you right into a summer night somewhere along the coasts of Cape Breton (the fiddler in this track is Cape Bretonian Natalie MacMaster) where the people are all dancing and socializing, hiding the burdens and sadness in their hearts.
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Topic From this Discussion
They have not made any real final announcements about the track listings of the disks. They didn't even tell me a tenative listing when I emailed the company about it. At this point your guess is as good as mine.
Feb 5, 2007 by Andrew D. White |  See all 4 posts
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