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Highland Cathedral Import

4.7 out of 5 stars 42 customer reviews

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Audio CD, Import, February 22, 2000
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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Pop songwriter and Irish instrumentalist Phil Coulter melds the traditional and contemporary on his American debut, Highland Cathedral. Filled mostly with light, airy piano tinkling, this music soothes with simple melodies while recalling the Celtic tradition. Soft uilleann pipes and whistles swoop in and out of Coulter's piano, and his occasional use of harp, violin, accordion, and cello add a new dimension (albeit unexciting yet interesting) to the music. Coulter is also unafraid of the synthesizer, which on such songs as the title track, "Tranquility," and "If These Stones Could Speak," creates a lush, timeless feel akin to the music of Enya and one that works well. In fact, Aoife (pronounced "ee-fah"), a protégé of Maire Brennan, Enya's sister, contributes a crystal soprano to select tracks and these songs are definite highlights. Not for the listener looking to push listening boundaries, but rather for those plainly in love with pleasant New Age Celtic music, Highland Cathedral well satisfies. --Karen K. Hugg

Track Listings

Disc: 1

  1. Highland Cathedral
  2. Holy Island
  3. Tranquility
  4. The Flowers Of The Forest
  5. Over The Sea To Skye
  6. The Gathering - Bealtaine
  7. If These Stones Could Speak
  8. Going Home
  9. The Enchanted Glen
  10. Pilgrims' Way
  11. Flow Gently Sweet Afton
  12. Coultergeist
  13. In Loving Memory
  14. Our Island Barque


Product Details

  • Audio CD (February 22, 2000)
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Format: Import
  • Label: Imports
  • ASIN: B00004KD0S
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #250,986 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Marc Ruby™ HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on April 28, 2004
Format: Audio CD
Take soft piano and string renditions of melodic tunes. Add a smattering of traditional music like 'Flow Gently Sweet Afton' and 'Over the Sea to Skye.' Mix with the occasional skirl of bagpipes and the fine voice of Aife ni Fhearraigh. Put Phil Coulter at the helm and in short order you have Highland Cathedral an album that can best be described as Celtic New Age - if you need to describe it at all.
Enya, of course, owns this market segment, and will probably own it forever. But once you leave her own ingenious ability to write beautiful music and sing it just as well, the drop off to second best is a bit steep. Phil Coulter is perhaps the best of them, although his style is more or less one step removed from Celtic film music, it's always the kind of listening that invites you to sit bake and take a weight of your shoulders.
Occasionally, he shows some daring, but for the most part he is theme and variations of traditional sounds. And, perhaps, a bit too much them and not enough variation. Even so, I like Highland Cathedral, and probably always shall. Like most of my generation, I am a secret Celt. Entranced by legends, and music and sounds that always seem a bit better than the ones to which I am heir.
And this suits me fine, whether it is that martial bagpipes of 'Highland Cathedral,' the easy familiarity of 'The Flowers of the Forest,' or the beautiful singing on 'If these Stones Could Speak' or 'Our Island Barque.' While this music will never move mountins, it can still move the listener a bit closer to comfort and peace. No small accomplishment.
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I have had this cd for about a month now and I never get tired of listening to it. It is relaxing without being boring. I love the way Phil Coulter gives a discription about each song giving you a background of how he wrote it and what it represents. My husband loves his music and even my four year old grandson loves the "drum song" (you will know which one I am refering to when you hear all of the beautiful sounds of all kinds of drums as the focal point put together with the music. I highly recommend this to people who like Enya, Yanni, John Tesh, etc.
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This is as good as it gets. Mr. Coulter is in touch with the stars of the heavens, and his music speaks with nostalgia of a world he knows well, remembers fondly, and wishes to introduce to us. Just buy it - you will love it.
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Highland Cathedral represents my first exposure to Phil Coulter's music. I find this album to be a wonderful blend of the modern and the traditional, the personal and the universal, the meditative and the motivational. Phil Coulter manages to use a variety of musical vehicles to deliver transcendent music including solo piano, Celtic and Scottish melodies, enchanting vocals, and textured harmonies. The album is simply beautiful, full of songs that inspire and elevate the soul. If you like contemplative, new age, or Celtic music, then you'll surely appreciate Highland Cathedral.
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I have enjoyed the "Celtic Thunder" music since I first saw them on PBS. I noticed that a lot of the music that they preform is written by Phil Coulter, so on a wim I ordered this and one other one of his. It is a wonderful CD and I have it loaded in the CD player right along with my a few of my other favorite CD's that I have playing a lot in the background all day long. This seems to be a combination of traditional highland tunes like "Over the sea to skye", and equally wonderful tunes that he has written himself, like "The gathering bealtaine". This man is a true treasure.
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Enjoyed all songs but especially the title song and "Tranquillity" The Flowers of the Forest" and "The Enchanted Glen" Haunting style of music which leads the listener to reflect on the meaning.
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This is one of those recordings that allows you to turn out the lights, sit in a comfortable chair, and just lay back and become lost in the music of someone who loves what he does best. Not only so, but it can allow your imagination to take you to magical places. The music of Phil Coulter does that for me.
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I learned about Phil Coulter on a trip to Ireland, where the tour guide played his CDs during "quiet times" on the bus. I loved it, and have now become a fan. Nice, soothing music that you can listen to at work and drown out all the cube-farm noise!
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