People who hear this record are never the same again. Renaissance of the Celtic Harp
, one of the most beautiful and haunting records ever made, introduced the Celtic harp to many thousands of listeners around the world. To call this music gorgeous and ravishing would be the height of understatement; indeed, there are barely words in the English language to describe it adequately. The opening work, "Ys," is a piece inspired by the legend of the fifth century capital of the kingdom of Cornwall, which was engulfed by a flood as punishment for its sins. (Debussy
wrote one of his finest works, The Engulfed Cathedral
, later adapted by the group Renaissance
into "The Harbor" on Ashes Are Burning, based on the same legend). The reflective "Marv Pontkellec" is every bit as sublimely beautiful, but the highlight of this record is "Gaeltacht," a 19-minute musical journey by Stivell's harp across the Gaelic lands of Ireland, Scotland, and the Isle of Man.