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CELTIC SYMPHONY

Alan Stivell

Prog Folk


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Alan Stivell Celtic Symphony album cover
2.36 | 16 ratings | 2 reviews | 31% 5 stars

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Studio Album, released in 1979

Songs / Tracks Listing

1. Kelc'h Unan (20:45)
2. Kelc'h Daou (18:24)
3. Kelc'h Tri (33:15)

Total time 72:24

Lyrics

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Music tabs (tablatures)

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Line-up / Musicians

Alan Stivell / vocals, harps, scottish bagpipes, whistle, bombard
Chris Hayward / flute, percussion
Robby Finkel / keyboards
Michel Prezman / keyboards
Dominique Widiez / keyboards
Marc Perru / guitars
Mikael Valy / bass guitar
Roger Secco / drums
Padrig Kerre / fiddle, mandolin, bodhran
Daniel Herve / uilleann pipes
Marie-José Cochevelou / spoken word
Maire Fenton / Irish vocal
Una Ramos / kena
Narendra Bataju / sitar
Mrs Bataju / tampura
with additional pipe and drum bands, full orchestra, a choir directed by Christiane Legrand, and the Berber female vocal group Djurdjurda.

Releases information

Rounder 11523, CD Rounder 3088, Rounder CD 3088/89
LP Rounder 3088

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Renaissance of the Celtic HarpRenaissance of the Celtic Harp
Import
Mercury Import 1990
Audio CD$6.56
$5.56 (used)
International Tour: Tro Ar BedInternational Tour: Tro Ar Bed
Dreyfus 1999
Audio CD$15.01
$11.01 (used)
Chemins De TerreChemins De Terre
Import
Imports 2010
Audio CD$9.64
$23.09 (used)
Symphonie Celtique LP (Vinyl Album) German Metronome 1980Symphonie Celtique LP (Vinyl Album) German Metronome 1980
Metronome
Vinyl$19.00 (used)
Beyone Words Au-Dela Des MotsBeyone Words Au-Dela Des Mots
Import
PID 2011
Audio CD$6.39
$9.03 (used)
Olympia 2012Olympia 2012
Import
Wrasse Import 2013
Audio CD$16.37
$11.97 (used)
Back to BreizhBack to Breizh
Dreyfus 2000
Audio CD$16.99
$2.99 (used)
Live in DublinLive in Dublin
Dreyfus 1994
Audio CD$19.98
$5.69 (used)
Brian BoruBrian Boru
Import
PID 2011
Audio CD$6.39
$9.03 (used)
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ALAN STIVELL Celtic Symphony ratings distribution


2.36
(16 ratings)
Essential: a masterpiece of progressive rock music(31%)
31%
Excellent addition to any prog rock music collection(19%)
19%
Good, but non-essential (31%)
31%
Collectors/fans only (12%)
12%
Poor. Only for completionists (6%)
6%

ALAN STIVELL Celtic Symphony reviews


Showing all collaborators reviews and last reviews preview | Show all reviews/ratings

Collaborators/Experts Reviews

Review by octopus-4
SPECIAL COLLABORATOR RIO/Avant/Zeuhl Team
2 stars Tír na nÓg can be translated as "Land of Youth". It's an outerworld where the people of Goddess Danu, "Tuatha De Danann" went after leaving Ireland. It's an island far in the West similar to the Viking's Valhalla and the story is about Oisin brought there by the queen Niamh.

This island is imagined made of three concentric circles, and those are the three parts of this symphony.

The first circle stands for 20:45 minutes starting with a Krautrock mood for the first 5 of them. It makes me think to Amon Duul but in this case it's music, not just a trippy band playing bongos on the beach. After this a Keltic section starts. It contains some female speech and this part is quite similar to Lucia Hwong. Effectively Stivell played on her "Secret Luminescence" more or less in the same period. When the speech ends it's just celtic which turns into a chaotic symphonic part close to the end when the celtic mood is restored by the pipes.

The second circle is 19:12 and opens totally symphonic. After 8 minutes a typical Stivell's harp brings the listener to Bretagne, but the surprise is at about minute 12, when there's the most progressive part of this track. It's clear why the only other review of this album currently on PA makes a distinction between the first 30 minutes and the rest. Who likes the Clannad of the 70s or bands like Malicorne will surely like the second half of this "circle" on which bass and drums add a touch of prog to the druidic ambient.

The third circle is unlikely the inner as it's really bigger. It takes more than 30 minutes and starts with harp and wind instruments which behave like birds in a cool spring morning. You can like it or not, but this is the kind of music that I effectively expect from Alan Stivell. The following section sees Alan singing on a piano base which is later improved by flutes and female voices. As often happen in music, knowing what a song is about helps in being more receptive. In Tír na nÓg there are no illness and no sickness. It's a land of eternal youth and this part sounds like a hymn, a ritual. At minute 8:30 bass and drums are added and Alan's vocals are now a choir. Back to prog. At minute 16, more or less, there's the most happy moment of the whole album with a captivating rhythm, pipes and winds but after one minute only it moves into minor chords and fiddle. Still prog folk but darker. It's a section of sudden changes: drums and bass accents for a while, then bodhran and flute, then pipes. Each single part is quite good but it's not easy to follow. At minute 20 it's the usual (good) Stivell, the kind of music for which he's included in the prog-folk subgenre, for 3 minutes only...the druid ritual restarts, then another sudden change transforms the song in a sort of march, then a good celtic moment...then stop describing. Too many changes.

This is the defect of this 30 minutes track. Even if the transitions don't make it discontinuous it's almost impossible to follow. Each single part is good. at minute 25 there's a bit of funky, too, but transitions apart, I don't see the difference between this 30 minutes single track and a soundtrack made of 1 minutes short tracks.

With more continuity and cutting out some useless parts this album could have been very interesting but in my opinion it fails to meet the objectives. Good if you like the genre, well played and with some very good moments but if celtic folk is not your pot stay away from it. I like this album but to be honest I can't rate it with more than 2 stars.

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Send comments to octopus-4 (BETA) | Report this review (#443032) | Review Permalink
Posted Thursday, May 05, 2011

Latest members reviews

1 stars I always get very weak knees when I hear the word celtic associated with music. THIN LIZZY and RUNRIG is some of my favorite bands and I also like to explore other Celtic and Keltic bands from both Ireland and my home in the West Of Scotland. So I dipped my grubby fingers into my pockets when ... (read more)

Report this review (#204786) | Posted by toroddfuglesteg | Sunday, March 01, 2009 | Review Permanlink

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