In 1983, Patrick Ball recorded his first album, The Music of Turlough O'Carolan: Celtic Harp Volume I (17005-2) and brought alive the legendary sound of the wire-strung celtic harp and the compositions of its most celebrated master.
Over the next two decades, he recorded seven more tremendously popular celtic harp albums for the Celestial Harmonies/Fortuna Records label, performed thousands of concerts, and wrote and performed two acclaimed solo musical theater pieces in regional repertory theaters throughout the United States.
Whether in the recording studio, the concert hall or the theatrical stage, the celtic harp was always central and the praise unanimous. Variety enthused, "Hauntingly beautiful...a gem of a show." The Oakland Tribune described a recent performance as "...soothing, thrilling and haunting....one glorious tune after another." The Courier Journal of Louisville, KY described Patrick's playing as "ethereally gorgeous...almost a spiritual experience." And the Washington Post found the recordings full of "transporting lyricism and charm."
Now, to celebrate twenty years since the release of his first landmark album, Celestial Harmonies presents Music on the Wind: Selected Pieces 1983-2003. Included are 22 tracks drawn from all of Patrick's albums - the tunes that most enchanted his listeners. Of this release, Patrick writes:
"There is an old Irish legend that tells of a fiddler who would sit and listen at certain gentle places in the countryside and hear drifts of music on the wind. He didn't compose this music. It was given to him as a gift.
I would love to be able to say that I heard the tunes on this album rising out of the mists of Ireland. In truth, I heard them from fiddlers, pipers, flute players, and harpers, all of whom received them from musicians before them.
When I was asked to select my favorite pieces from all my recordings for this album, I thought it would be a difficult business. In the end, it turned out to be fairly simple. I sat and listened. And chose these. To me, they are all gifts, all music on the wind."
Patrick Balls other recordings on Fortuna Records and Celestial Harmonies include The Music of Turlough O'Carolan: Celtic Harp Volume I (17005-2), From A Distant Time: Celtic Harp Volume II (17011-2), Secret Isles: Celtic Harp Volume III (17029-2), O'Carolan's Dream: Celtic Harp Volume IV (17062-2), The Christmas Rose (17077-2), Fiona (13065-2), Storyteller: Gwilan's Harp & Other Celtic Tales (13100-2), James Joyce: Finnegans Wake, Excerpts Read by Patrick Ball (14113-2) and Fair Play (13178-2).
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
For this compilation of cuts from previous recordings Ball pretty much picked all my favorites. I guess they were his favorites, too. If you've always loved Ball's music, you probably already have all these songs. If you've never sampled the lovely, bellike tones of his wire-strung harp, or had a chance to appreciate his fine muscianship, this CD makes a great introduction. It's wall-to-wall beautiful music, beautifully played.
This CD highlights the clever and soulful arrangements of harp music that Patrick Ball has recorded over the past decades. Sparkling and delightful to hear.
After hearing master Celtic harpist and storyteller, Patrick Ball, in person, I bought his solo musical theater piece, The Fine Beauty of the Island, which turned out to be excellent! I wanted to sample more of his instrumental CDs but couldn't decide which one to buy. This compilation of pieces selected from those CDs over this 20 year period by the musician as his favorites turned out to be the best choice. If you like Celtic harp music, Patrick Ball is one of the best.
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