The Symphonic Celtic Album/Compilation of Composers

May 6, 2011

Silva Screen Music of the UK has just released another compilation collection, this time with a Celtic theme and some of these movies don’t have anything to do with the Irish part of the world. These selections are arranged and orchestrated with a Celtic flavor so the particular movie theme has an Irish sound. We all know that Last of the Mohicans, Gladiator, The Shawshank Redemption, and Gladiator have little tie in. Somehow Indians, prisoners, and the use of uillean pipes  don’t necessarily have anything to do with that part of the world. We need also keep in mind that this CD has the general public in mind for sales as well as the die in the wool soundtrack collector. The selections are arranged and orchestrated with a light pops in mind for a concert hall listening experience. Still the collector can find this CD a pleasant experience as the tunes are instantly recognizable.

Five of my favorite selections are the classic Victor Young score to the film The Quiet Man directed by John Ford and starring John Wayne and Maureen O’Hara. Young who to this day has never gotten the recognition he deserves serves up a melody that most of us recognize as being so Irish we think of it as part of their culture. The tune “The Donnybrook” will certainly make you feel like putting on your dancing shoes as it lively, full of energy, and instantly recognizable to anyone who collects Victor Young. It is well performed by Bateman and The City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra. Miller’s Crossing offers an andante tempo whistling tune that takes your mind across the pond to Ireland and their proud people. So popular was the American melody by Carter Burwell that Caffrey’s Irish Ale used it in the advertising of their product. Far And Away offers John Williams melodic feelings about Ireland in the “End Credits.” He makes full use of an array of Celtic instruments to convey his feelings and set the Irish mood. “Women of Ireland,” written by Sean O Riada is yet another Irish melody recorded by many that has become another theme song of the country. This instrumental version is simply played solo by the cello and then joined by harp and flute. The full orchestra enters halfway through and they perform with heartfelt feeling to bring a tear to your eye. It ends with flute and a delicate harp. An enchanting chorus opens Bill Whelan’s “Riverdance” which leads to an Irish fiddle, flute, and the pounding percussion increases the tempo of the music to an Irish step-dancing beat.

As this is a compilation from Silva much of the material is from previously recorded CD’s. The recording and performance of the City of Prague Philharmonic Orchestra is excellent. No longer is there any need to have to worry about what the quality will be. They perform soundtrack material at the highest level.

If Celtic grabs your attention and you’re interested in an hour plus worth of selections I think you’ll be satisfied putting some of the films chosen out of your mind. This release is available as a download of whatever tracks you wish or as a CD at the regular outlets.

Track Listing:

1…. Miller’s Crossing-End Titles (4:52)

2…. Lord of the Rings-May It Be (5:16)

3…. Lord of the Rings-The Fellowship (5:50)

4…. Barry Lyndon-Women of Ireland (4:30)

5…. Shawshank Redemption-End Titles (3:40)

6…. Braveheart-For the Love of A Princess (4:15)

7…. Titanic-My Heart Will Go On (5:00)

8…. The Last of the Mohicans (2:38)

9…. Highlander-Training Montage (4:45)

10… Quiet Man-Donnybrook (2:40)

11… Rob Roy-Rob and Mary (3:30)

12… Far and Away-End Credits (5:46)

13… Gladiator-Now We Are Free (6:37)

14… River dance (5:40)

Total Time is 65:37

Silva Screen Music #SILKD6046

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