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August 2018
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A belated Rev. about the CD No Boundaries

from Gertraut / Vienna

 
Sorry, sorry, sorry, I own this CD that a friendly pair of hands packed in America and shipped to me since the end of April, but some big family-troubles prevented me to write about it earlier. So -  there it is now, fresh from the computer so to say. Funny if you start a CD without knowing what youll hear, as there is no track list on the jacket (Ill enclose one!).

Starting with the absolutely enchanting Ill Tell Me ma, a well known childrens song, that I always wanted to have recorded by our tenors, it provides a fitting beginning for this CD and it gives  me more ideas about Matthews shaker that starts the song. Now is it a musical instrument or just a metal shaker filled with rice or something? Unless I ask him about it, I wont know and I equally wont know about the bells on her toes, is it just a proverb or are they real?

And this light hearted beginning does not prepare me for the second song that I know for 8 years now, the hurting The Town I Loved So Well. Phil Coulter wrote this song about his childhood in Derry in Northern Ireland and what mankind did to it and the people living there and it still is not even over yet. Dear God, how long will we go on hurting each other? And how significant is this song for Daryl, who perforce knows so much about these Troubles?

Another favourite of mine is next, Hard Times by Stephen Foster. Let us pause in lifes pleasures and count its many tears&  now, that is what I do not need at the moment! Oh, would those Hard Times come again no more, but we all know that they will and we have to manage what happened  in some way or other. So Ill just enjoy the song and try not to think about it too much&

Now equally for 8 years I know now Remember Me and as in his other song Phil Coulter talks about something that seems never to end. He wrote it for the Celtic Tenors especially to use their Opera-trained voices for it and I love it since then. (And still the Celtic Tenors have to dedicate it to troops all around the world, we do not get any wiser, it seems).

Now the next one lightens the mood definitely, it the almost indomitable Irish Rover and it has a special significance for me, for I remember standing in Carrolls in Dublin, trying to decide what little gifts to bring to my family from my trip and this Irish Rover was played in an endless circle to the poor tourists. And as it went in and out of my ears I just thought now if only the Celtic Tenors would be singing it. So well, they are singing it for me now (and I still remember my friends daughter howling along with James at a concert as the poor old dog was drowned!

Another gem of this kind follows  Finnegans Wake. I just can imagine Finnegan rising from his death bed, because his precious whiskey was thrown around and our tenors just make you see it (I watched them in a video doing it) and I enjoyed the spectacle!

O.K, back to lovely voices, I do not need to see them in this one, I  just have to listen - the wonderful shanty Shenandoah, one of my best loved a cappella songs done by them. It brings America and its Folk Songs back to me and I guess I will push repeat before I go on&

The Mad Lady And Me is next, written by Jimmy McCarthy and they do it beautiful, but the lyrics never told me why this lady wanted to drown herself, it is just guess-work, but with so much unhappiness in this world, who wonders???

The next one is so beautiful that I find no words for it, my beloved Caledonia, this modern Scottish Ballad by Dougie MacLean. And the homesickness of a whole country of people is pictured there, having been forced to leave and wanting to go back so badly& but listening and comparing made me somehow favour the first recording on the CD The Celtic Tenors, it is more solemn somehow&

It is back to Opera voices for the next one, although Agustin Laras Granada, written 1932, belongs to Mexican folk music and is sung in Spanish (and our tenors sing the original version as far as I followed the lyrics). And it is well known that Lara was never in Granada&

Now it is really Opera Time, for Nessun Dorma, prince Kalafs aria from Puccinis Turandot follows. And I guess I will always love it, sung by three beautiful voices and a chorus that changes every time they sing it at a different location and each time Vincerò! at the end is the adequate word for it!

Now then, there is Danny Boy now, sung a cappella as always and equally as always it is one of their best, although I have heard it so often and have it recorded on different CDs. And you can interpret it as ever you want, father and son, young man and his love and so on and so on.. Still loving it, dear Tenors and I guess I always will!

Now the next one made me exclaim aloud, for it is something I wanted recorded for a long time, it is An Cailin Rua. Not knowing Gaelic, I looked the lyrics up and I remembered Sir John  Harding saying  a sweeter, more gentle, undulating melody would be hard to imagine.  So I read the translation and at the end it made me wonder why the red headed girl had slipped away with the shop-boy, she cant have heard the tenors singing that song to her, otherwise she would never have gone&

They are hurrying through the next one  The Star of the County Down, this old Irish ballad with words by Cathal McGarvey (1866-1927), but it fits the same now in the 21 century. My book says the tune is a pentatonic melody (whatever that is), but I still prefer it a bit slower!

Ag Criost an Siol, that lovely Gaelic Prayer with the music by Sean ORiada comes next, I love it since owning the CD So Strong and what is it that Matthews voice is almost at its best timbre if he sings a cappella in Gaelic? It suits wonderful&
And without a pause it goes on to Fionnghuala, this Puirt a Beul piece of music and years of listening to it have me resigned to the fact that they can sing it without getting knots in their tongues&

And it ends with an highlight that I wanted to own very much, the beautiful Holy City. Written by Stephen Adams (music) and Frederick E.Weatherly (lyrics). It is a traditional and favourite hymn for all Christian denominations and they sing it beautiful and I still do not get it  that I first learned about it so many years ago in the Book Ulysses by James Joyce. I never understood it and still it let me learn about this beautiful hymn!

Finis  this was the last song. And this time I will not forget to pay tribute to Colm for his wonderful piano-accompaniment. What I would like to hear someday would be a concert just by him, he is such a wonderful pianist! If the DVD will be available, I guess I will buy it, if not, I can look up most of the songs in the different videos on You Tube.
I liked them very much, these 16 different songs, sung by The Celtic Tenors!