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Journey to the New World

4.4 out of 5 stars 38 customer reviews

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Audio CD, March 24, 2009
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$9.99 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details In Stock. Ships from and sold by Amazon.com. Gift-wrap available.

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  • Journey to the New World
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  • Sharon Isbin & Friends: Guitar Passions
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Total price: $40.39
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Product Details

  • Conductor: Sharon Isbin
  • Composer: Sharon Isbin
  • Audio CD (March 24, 2009)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: SONY CLASSICS
  • ASIN: B001R4SYOW
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #10,903 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is a review by John Hodges from the Juilliard Journal Online.

Joan Baez was one of guitarist Sharon Isbin's childhood heroes, so perhaps it was inevitable that they would eventually collaborate, and the joyous results are at the heart of a new Sony CD, Journey to the New World. Baez adds haunting vocals on "Wayfaring Stranger," which, thanks to arranger Carlos Barbosa-Lima, deftly steers away from treacle. She returns later in breathy, beautiful form for Isbin's transcription of John Jacob Niles's "Go 'Way From My Window." Both make fine bookends to the Joan Baez Suite (2002) by John Duarte, who died in 2004. It's a shame he didn't live to hear this recording. Using roughly 12 of Baez's songs, Duarte crafted a moody yet mellow tribute that shows off Isbin's expertise. A high point comes in the bittersweet "Where Have All the Flowers Gone": some arresting chord changes herald the traditional "Taps."

Isbin, who founded and chairs Juilliard's guitar department, begins the CD with four Renaissance duets, originally for lute and arranged for her playing both parts. Most impressive is the melodic invention of John Johnson's "Greensleeves," and I was struck by the haunting, anonymously attributed begins the CD with four Renaissance duets, originally for lute and arranged for her playing both parts. Most impressive is the melodic invention of John Johnson's "Greensleeves," and I was struck by the haunting, anonymously attributed "Le Rossignol." The generous disc also includes Andrew York's brief Andecy, a popular valentine to folk music of the British Isles.

The program ends with Mark O'Connor's Strings & Threads Suite, originally for violin solo, but here arranged for guitar and violin (the latter raptly played by O'Connor).
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Format: Audio CD
Have no doubt, this CD confirms that Sharon Isbin is a most generous, brilliant artist with a gift to touch the soul. Her latest (2009) CD brings an entirely new dimension of lyrical virtuosity to light. From the remarkable tonal color palette expressed masterfully in the opening 16th century flavored works, to the haunting "Andecy" which evokes a sensuality and beauty beyond words... Like a mysterious stranger who beckons... A brand new recording of "Wayfaring Stranger" begins with Isbin's intro, a cascade of notes sounding like a auditory magical spring rain, leading to Joan Baez's unearthly vocals. This poetic collaboration is absolutely heavenly. The Baez Suite that follows is enthralling. The concluding Mark O'Connor Strings and Threads Suite shows how truly alive and modern the classical guitar can be when its voice sings under Isbin's fingers. This is a CD that is a must in your collection and active on your MP3 player/iPod! There is very smooth sailing and something special at every stop along the way on this "Journey to the New World". Her best work to date...
7 Comments 35 of 36 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: MP3 Music Verified Purchase
Superb musicianship, and a musical journey from Elizabethan England to 20-century America. The "Joan Baez Suite" was inspired by songs that had been made famous by Joan Baez, who was one of Isbin's musical heroes. When Baez heard the suite she offered to sing two tracks on the album, accompanied by Isbin's playing. There is also a wonderful collaboration with Mark O'Connor.

National Public Radio broadcast an interview with Isbin a couple of days ago, which can be found on their website. This interview stimulated me to buy the album.
1 Comment 21 of 21 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
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Format: Audio CD
There are those rare times when I can get away to the Appalachians to flood my perception in what I concider The Garden of Eden. When I think of the appropriate music to put in the CD player as I enter the Blue Ridge Parkway ....I reach for this disk. Immerse yourself in the beauty of the timeless compositions and ethereal expertise. Sharon Isben is a Natural National Treasure.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
All you need to have to enjoy this cd is a pair of ears and the ability to hear. If you enjoy the stripped down guitar then this cd is for you. It has a certain flavor..I can see why it might not be for everyone. The flow of the music,tones, and melodies have a certain irsh feel to it. I also enjoy the addition of Joan to the cd, and her vocals really add to a few of the songs but it isn't overbearing. The cd almost has a harp like quality to it in areas of the cd to, and when you are just getting used when the violins start. This changes the cd up alittle probably not in favor for most tastes but I love the string instruments. I am enjoying the cd. Not for everyone but it is very enjoyable.
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Format: Audio CD
"To the New World" not just because of the music but because at the heart of this CD are two suites, specially written (in one case, arranged) for Sharon Isbin -- one by the British composer John Duarte, based on folksongs that Joan Baez sang, and the other by the American violinist (of Irish extraction) Mark O'Connor, who arranged his "Strings and Threads" Suite (originally for solo violin) for guitar and violin at Isbin's behest. The instruments take turn about as the lead in this suite, and it's just terrific: a series of short, mainly dance movements, ending with three that run together to form a sizzling finale, "Texas Dance Hall Blues," Swing," and "Sweet Suzanne." Great playing from both musicians here -- and just as long as it should be. At the center of the Duarte suite is setting of "Where Have All the Flowers Gone," appropriate to hear at the end of a week that saw the death of Pete Seeger, who wrote the song as a lament for young soldiers who died in Viet-Nam. The setting movingly incorporates "Taps," and Isbin plays it with the right restraint and dignity. The whole suite is beautifully and imaginatively set. Isbin also plays some Renaissance lute music in her own transcription and accompanies Joan Baez herself on two numbers, "Wayfaring Stranger" and "Go 'Way from my Window." It's touching to hear Joan now, a bit breathy and lower of voice, but with nice tone and still showing how to turn a phrase. Sharon Isbin plays wonderfully throughout, drawing a great variety of expressive effects from her instrument. Guitar addicts needn't hesitate; others should give this a try.
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