Customer Reviews: White Stones
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on March 10, 2000
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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on June 21, 2002
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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on May 28, 2003
"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. My favorite song is 'Poeme.' When I first got this cd, I couldn't get past it and it was only the second track! I listened over and over. 'Poeme' is one of those rare tracks that I have come across in my lifetime that stirs my heart so deeply, I often weep at the true, pure, unbridled emotion of it! I can play it on my violin and when I do I feel so wonderful. I wish I had the sheet music of the entire cd, it would be so much simpler. If anyone knows where I can get this, please email me and you will have a friend for life!
There are liner notes about each song and I want to end with the note to 'Poeme': "A song without words - an unspoken story. We listen with our ears - we understand with our hearts."
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on September 24, 2004
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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on March 14, 1999
At first I was skeptical about buying this cd because of it's new age, spiritual, modern look but once I took a listen I was amazed and taken aback by the beauty of the music on this cd. The songs are not crappy sythesizer pieces like most new age music, but have classical roots and sensational melodies. The main performers of Secret Garden are extremely talented musicians. Buy this cd as fast as you can. You'll never regret it!
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on September 23, 1999
Having recently seen this group on Public Television, I was lucky to choose this album as my first "Secret Garden" purchase as I think it's their best. It has a beauty and simplicity that nourishes the soul. Their music can calm and soothe you ("Sanctuary"). It can also inspire you ("Celebration"). Put it on, close your eyes and you can imagine all life's possibilities!
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on May 30, 2000
On a par with their first album, it has to be a tie. It is like a cross between classical music, haunting celtic melodies, and some tune that you would swear that you have heard before but can't remember when. I find that many of their songs seem to take me to a place in time I have never been and stir something that I can not place - like a dream forgotten upon waking.
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on June 2, 2001
There are times when words are incapable of describing something adequately. Secret Garden's White Stones is really something that needs to be heard in order to be understood. Even the small sound clips on Amazon cannot convey the perfect harmony of instrumental music that is contained on this disc. Be forewarned there are no lyrics, not a single spoken word or voice. This is definiately one of the most tempting lures to the group's body of work. The music, lacking lyrics, really allows for the listener to create their own meaning for a given song. The tracks vary in mood from the serene to "Celebration" pun intended. The songs are intelligently composed, most with a contemplative aura.
Personally, I am yet to find a more satisfying compact disc than White Stones, even above this groups other work which is also exceptional. Still, over two years after I initially purchased this CD, I still find it the most often played CD in my fairly large collection. The songs are perfect for the drive after a long day at work to calm down, or just in the background when doing something else.
If you are just looking for something a little different from what is played on the radio, I think that you will find great joy in having discovered Secret Garden.
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on April 1, 1999
I live in Boston and one day on my lunch break, I went to Borders bookstore to browse the travel section. I sat down on the floor with a travel book in my lap and was minding my own business when I realized that there was music emanating from the other side of the room. I stopped reading and listened and found myself, eyes completely welled-up, more moved and touched by this music than I'd ever been before. Secret Garden was giving a free lunchtime performance and I was lucky enough to have caught it without even knowing! After they finished, I immediately purchased this CD and asked them about the song which had struck me so beautifully. It was called "Passacaglia" and it is by far my most favorite track on the CD. Give this CD a try and I guarantee you won't regret it.
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on March 7, 2000
I picked this cd up without a clue as far as who the artist was or what their music was like. I was so surprised at how much I loved the cd from the first time I listened to it. The White Stones cd is so moving and beautiful. I am using Poeme to walk down the aisle to at my June wedding. I thank Secret Garden for giving us such wonderful and inspiring music.
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