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Celtic Treasure - The Legacy of Turlough O'Carolan

32 customer reviews

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Audio CD, February 2, 1998
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Celtic Treasure - The Legacy of Turlough O'Carolan + Windham Hill Classics: Celtic Legacy + Celtic Legends
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Editorial Reviews


1. Panxty Burke/Planxty Drew - Shelly Phillips
2. Squire Parsons/James Betagh - Orion
3. Eleanor Plunkett - Deanta
4. Lord Inchiquin - Deiseal
5. The Hawk of Ballyshannon - Ann Heymann
6. Loftus Jones - Dordan
7. Si Bheag, Si Mhor - William Coulter
8. Captain O'Kane - Seamus McGuire
9. Colonel John Irwin - Mairle Ni Chathasaigh and Chris Newman
10. Mrs. Judge - Donna Long
11. Bridget Cruise/John O'Connor/George Brabazon - Domining Bouchaud and Cyrille Colas
12. Fanny Power - El McMeen
13. Carolan's Concerto - John Whelan
14. Carolan's Farewell To Music - Jerry O'Sullivan

Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 2, 1998)
  • Original Release Date: February 2, 1998
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Narada
  • ASIN: B000005P5V
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,474 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

32 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 1, 1999
Format: Audio CD
While the quality of the selections on this album is uniformly excellent, I wasn't as satisfied with it overall as I have been with other collections of O'Carolan tunes. I finally figured out why: O'Carolan wrote his melodies for harp, where the resonances in the empty spaces between the notes are as important as the notes themselves. The most successful tracks on this album are those featuring the harp itself, or plucked/hammered string instruments that emulate it, such as guitar and piano (I think Donna Long's "Mrs. Judge" is brilliant). Other selections, e.g., John Whelan's lively "Carolan's Concerto," work well because the tune requires agility rather than expressiveness. But the slow tunes are less effective on an instrument such as the flute, where the melody becomes a series of legato notes with no breaks between them: compare Jerry O'Sullivan's rendition of "Carolan's Farewell to Music" with, say, Patrick Ball's, and you'll see what I mean. I still enjoy the album in general, but I tend to skip some tracks when I play it!
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful By Brianna Neal on September 30, 2006
Format: Audio CD
"Celtic Treasure" is an elegant, engaging tribute to the work of someone who was, and still is, a "Celtic Treasure" himself: Turlough O'Carolan, the blind, itinerant harper from Baroque-era Ireland who's considered to be Ireland's first national composer. Narada has brought together a collection instrumental recordings from various artists who share a gentleness of spirit and wistfulness of soul, each presenting a one of O'Carolan's compositions in a fitting, original arrangement. Artists featured include Deanta, Orion, Shelley Phillips, Dordan, William Coulter and John Whelan, and the instruments used are generally Celtic harp, whistle, acoustic guitar, accordion, cello and piano. O'Carolan (whose name, did you know, is more properly spelled "Toirdhealbhach O Cearbhallain"?) left a legacy of some 200 surviving tunes that bridge the gap between folk music and art-songs, enchanting his wealthy patrons as much as listeners today. Earl Hitchner, Celtic music expert, sums up the impact of O'Carolan's legacy in his liner notes: "[O'Carolan was] someone who never set foot outside his homeland, yet produced music of transporting grace and radiance destined to touch every corner of the earth." Couldn't say it any better! For more laid back Celtic music try anything from the Maggie's Music label, and also Narada's "Celtic Treasure II," which is a bit livelier than "Celtic Treasure I." The groups Orion and Deanta (both featured on this album (in tracks #2 and #3 respectively) have excellent solo albums as well.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Jay on September 7, 2000
Format: Audio CD
This CD is absolutely incredible. O'Carolan is about the best composer that ever lived, it is about time that someone compiled some of his best works. I listen to this CD nearly every day. I find it very relaxing. Whenever I hear Planxty Burke, or Eleanor Plunkett - my mind is bombarded with images of rolling greens and Irish rain. A truly beautiful compilation of music that flow and work very well with each other.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 2006
Format: Audio CD
Though I have listened to quite a bit of Celtic music and really love bagpipes, this introduction to "The Legacy of Turlough O'Carolan" has captivated my entire being. There are melodies which have me up on my feet dancing to the tune of quiet waltzes (Si Bheag, Si Mhor by William Coulter; Captain O'Kane by Seamus McGuire) or either attempting some type of jig! My all time favorite is "Lord Inchiquin" performed by Deiseal. This is a fascinating and fun piece of music that transports me back to the 17th century to join others in a spirited dance at some outdoor festival! Marvelous!! Additionally, the biography supplied giving details of O'Carolan's life is inspiring considering what would seem like an insurmountable physical limitation - blindness! Buy a copy of this CD! Enjoy!!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 16, 1998
Format: Audio CD
This collection is truly inspired. Honestly, it is difficult to believe that the music was written in the 1700s. The artists give great interpretations, and the music makes you think you are sitting with a Guinness in a great Irish pub somewhere in County Donegal. A find!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By E. Scherline on October 9, 2005
Format: Audio CD
This was my first exposure to O'Carolan's music and it was a superb experience. It is hard to believe he lived in the sixteen hundreds. His music is beautiful and relevant. I would strongly recommend this CD to anyone who enjoys lovely folk music. Squire Parsons/James Betagh is my absolute favorite arrangement and I could and do listen to it everyday.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Jay H. Colborn on March 31, 2010
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This is worth five stars as calm, relaxing. If you are looking for fast or singing music, this is not it. But I like variety, like Ani Minogue, Celtic Women, and calm music like this.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Ronald P. Roberts on September 11, 2007
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
Listening to and appreciating the music on this album can be really enhanced by first reading up on O'Carolan (say on Wikipedia). It is remarkable how the music of a blind, itinerant composer has been preserved over the years. The various artists performing on the album have transcribed the music for their own instruments and ensembles to yield very pleasant listening.

I highly recommend this album.
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