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Beautiful Darkness: Celebrating the Winter Solstice

4.0 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Audio CD, October 23, 2001
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Editorial Reviews

This trio presents exquisite acoustic arrangements of traditional tunes & songs from Russia, Ireland, Wales & other parts of the world, blending original material & spoken word to create the perfect backdrop for the winter season.
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Product Details

  • Audio CD (October 23, 2001)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: High Bohemia
  • ASIN: B000056K90
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #213,051 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Audio CD
This is one of my favorite CDs this season. The songs are simply lovely. Sond of the songs have words that are spoken rather than sung as poems or stories being told. Beautiful flutes, bells ringing, guitars and the like. Its very gentle music that you just want to sit and absorb. The lyrics are beautiful - poetic blessings, celebrating our change of seasons, the winter, the wildlife. A few have a celtic sound to them but most do not. The voices, music are just so harmonious, melodic, wonderful. This cd was just what I needed to celebrate the darkness. An amazing work. I wish I could find more like this one!
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
I admit it is difficult for me to find music that both suits my earth-centered sensibilities and my need for really good (professional, grown-up) music. This CD is refreshingly both. Much Pagan-ish music comes across as slightly cheesy to me, perhaps partly because I spend a lot of time listening to genuine indigenous sound and the worlds most gifted musicians from multiple cultures. This is NOT your typical "almost Celtic" or "almost poetic but-a-little-predictable" blatantly Goddess-honoring CD. No, this, this is subtle, sensitive, brave, professional, and inclusive. The artists include brilliant poetry by both John and Caitlin Matthews (who are personal friends of theirs) and bring in imagery from traditional pre-Christian Russia. There is a sampling from France, England, and my favorite treat, a soulful rendition of a Romani Gypsy song. Their own poetry is simple, understated, and still emotional. My only wish is that one of the vocalists had a silkier voice that matched a few of the songs emotionality better, but her youthful, raspy quality is perfect for the rest of what she sings. It is a shame they haven't done more sacred music.
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Format: Audio CD
Finally, I found it. I've been searching for actual Winter Solstice music to play during the holidays. Not one with Christmas songs, but rather, actual songs about the Winter Solstice: the dark season, the return of the light, and the winter season. This is it! It is perfect! The songs have a wonderful earthy feel to them; they really get you in the mood for enjoying the winter season. The album has lots of songs on it, so you really get your money's worth and the songs have lots of variation and interest to them. There are some spoken words throughout that really help set an overall tone of reverence and enjoyment of the season. I love this CD and it will become an auditory staple in this Humanist/Pagan household every time the wheel turns to the dark time of the year! Thank you so much to the artists for creating such a wonderful work of musical art!
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By Justme on February 22, 2002
Format: Audio CD
How does one begin to describe absolute musical and lyrical beauty? Beautiful Darkness is that description. It is mysterious, passionate, elegant, grand, heavenly, intoxicating and down to earth all at the same time. The artists on this CD have given music lovers a rare gift with this recording.
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By Eleth on December 28, 2012
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This was my first year openly celebrating another holiday alongside Christmas, and I was pleasantly surprised to find I loved this CD and that my family still found it festive without being dragging (like most actual Christmas CD's can be). I think, after listening to it, that we all had wanted a change from the traditional songs you hear all the time this time of year.

I found that many of the songs had a "Druidy" feel to them, which I liked. I've been looking into Druidry for quite some time now (feel in love as a kid, and that was over 2 decades ago...), but I'd yet to find something that captured that feel I had for it back then. This CD definitely did and that was a surprise.
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Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
This beautiful recording is not for people who like their music synthesized, computerized and artificial. Beautiful Darkness celebrates real voices, poetry and gentle acoustic instruments. A lovely accompaniment to your Yuletide ritual or festivity. This is new material, created by an artist well versed in more esoteric Yuletide and Winter Solstice lore. I especially love Kolyada.

I play it over and over again every year and the magic never fails me.
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Format: Audio CD
I bought this album a few years ago and look forward to playing it every Yuletime. I bought this unheard, fearing the worst, because we all know how bad pagan music can be!! For the music, it's nice and mellow and very well produced. It's the perfect music for introspective thought about the season, driving down a snowy lane or just curled up in blanket sipping cocoa.
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