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White Stones

124 customer reviews

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Audio CD, April 15, 1997
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White Stones + Songs From A Secret Garden + Dreamcatcher
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Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Two factors account for the broad-based popularity of Secret Garden (the duo of Norwegian keyboardist Rolf Lovland and Irish violinist Fionnuala Sherry). One: the twosome's attractive, smartly conceived mix of compatible elements including light classical, urbane New Age, and well-mannered contemporary Celtic. Two: the pair's ability to persuasively present this formula with poise and (crucially) fetching good looks in a concert film, which in 1999 enjoyed broad exposure on American public television. (The performance, A Night with Secret Garden, is available on DVD.) White Stones is Lovland and Sherry's second collaboration, and, despite a few side trips into weighty sentimentality (e.g., the heart-clutching earnestness of "First Day of Spring"), it nicely conveys the pair's simple yet endearing children-of-the-cosmos spirit. Highlights here include the disc's energized, Celtic-influenced tunes ("Steps," "Moving," "Escape") and an infectious, regal charmer ("Celebration") Lovland composed in honor of the Queen of Norway's 60th birthday. Accompanied on nearly every piece by a small orchestra or Celtic instrumentalists, Sherry's violin sometimes evokes moods of melancholy that seem better suited for a two-hanky, movie-of-the-week film score. Yet a piece such as "Hymn to Hope" shows she can also elegantly trigger deeper feelings of longing and anticipation that can linger for hours. Overall, a worthwhile listen. --Terry Wood

Product Details

  • Audio CD (April 15, 1997)
  • Original Release Date: April 15, 1997
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Philips
  • ASIN: B000001ES4
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (124 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #22,669 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

43 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 10, 2000
Format: Audio CD
Just like the first Adiemus album, a truely work of art. A masterpiece which could happen, unfortunately, once in a life time. The best and most invested album by Secret Garden. The elements of Classic/New Age and Celtic/irish are combined so well. It is, indeed, an album with no songs, but it leaves no room for words, for it has its own passion which has no need for words. It will certainly give you the perfection you seek. The album has quiet pieces as well as fast, classic/folk, pieces well worth listen to. The CD is filled with orchestra and irish instruments. Its vivid and lushious music will haunt you and inspire you all togather.
The work of Fionnuala Sherry (Violin) is quite outstanding and breath-taking. As I understand, this CD had been recorded after she had an accident and broke her sholder. She had a very rough recovery and still could play as beautifull as she plays in the album.
All in all, if there were more stars I could give, this CD would go through the 10th star...
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Clarissa on June 21, 2002
Format: Audio CD
OK, this album isn't heaven but it sure comes close.
Ever since I became a listener of new age music I heard that Secret Garden was an excellent choice to start with (next to everything by Enya) but for some reason an interest for them never sparked in me, even after all the praise-worthy reviews I read. That is until I heard the elevating "Steps" come on as I listened to an internet radio station. It just took my breath away and captivated me like very few songs can do. Then I heard the gorgeous "Poeme" and melted as I listened to the violin and the piano play out a haunting melody. Even after that it still took me awhile to buy anything by them but once I saw the CD on sale ... at my music club I just couldn't pass up such an amazing deal so I bought it, and boy am I ever glad that I did. This has got to be one of the most spiritually exhilerating albums ever to grace the music industry. If you ever just want to get away from all the mainstream pop polluting the airwaves than put this on and let its magic do the rest. This CD just stirs the soul like no other can. It's truly that pure and beautiful. Fionnuala Sherry (who plays the violin) and Rolf Lovland (who plays the piano and keyboards) are a match made in heaven when it comes to composing music. Davy Spillane and John Tate even contribute to the beauty of this album with low whistles and uilleann pipes which spring up now and then to give the atmoshpere a slightly celtic feel. Other favorites, however, include "Moving", which sounds a little more upbeat and dancy than the others, along with "Escape" which allows me to release my soul and give my all on whatever I'm doing. So in closing WOW is pretty much all I have to say. This album's incredible so I highly recommend that you buy it. This is my only CD by them but I plan on buying all of their other albums in the years to come.
This is highly recommended.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Soaring Heart on May 28, 2003
Format: Audio CD
"Once upon a time, two children overheard their parents plan to abandon them in a forest, as they could not afford to feed them. But the children cleverly gathered small white stones, and on their long journey into the forest, they secretly dropped them onto the ground. At nightfall, left alone, the moon illuminated the white stones, and the reflection became their guiding light. So the fairytale about Hansel and Gretel goes.
Each song on the album can be compared to a white stone. Listen and let them lead you into your own secret garden." Fionnuala Sherry & Rolf Lovland
How 'White Stones' touches me goes beyond words. Every track is a treasure. Suffice to say, it will be with me forever. I've heard lots of new age music but this is one of the very best because of so many factors not just technically but emotionally. Music, for me, should balance both of these aspects and White Stones does perfectly. I'm a violinist and have heard many others but there is something very Special about Fionnuala. She plays with passion from her heart. She has played violin since the age of three. Her violin is obviously her best friend. She has enormous talent, unbelievable expression and is one of the most vivacious players ever. Rolf is the master mind/composer and an exquisite pianist who leads the band like a conductor but gives Fionnuala so much room. Them playing together is a truly a vision. I own 'A Night With Secret Garden' Dvd which I whole-heartedly recommend if you love this cd and want to see a violinist dance about and smile instead of the typical orchestra setting. 'White Stones' is for everyone who loves beautiful Music, but if you're a musician, I think you will especially appreciate this.
Each song on White Stones is truly the definition of Beauty.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By PhotoSmith on September 24, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Secret Garden's "Whitestones", is an amazing CD. The talent of Rolf Lovland and Fionnula Sherry is unprecedented...their styles compliment each other perfectly. "Whitestones" is a beautiful compilation of instrumentals, highlighting Rolf's songwriting and piano ability as well as Fionnula's amazing and haunting violin melodies. The songs on "Whitestones" are perfect to listen to after a long and stressful day, in the bath, and they are perfect to listen to while falling asleep as the songs are very ethereal and dreamlike. I have been listening to this disc for about six years and it is still in my main CD rotation, in fact I used the song "Hymn" at my wedding as I walked down the isle. This CD is a must to own for those who appreciate New Age and Celtic music. Their other albums are also amazing, and I am proud to say that I own every one of their releases and I am looking forward to their next release which will be out soon!
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