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ARYEH FRANKFURTER - Celtic Harp  The Morning Dew

ARYEH FRANKFURTER - Celtic Harp The Morning Dew
Arc Music EUCD2496

Founded in 1976 in Germany and now based in the UK, Arc Music is an international company specialising in ethnic and world music from all over the globe. Their releases cover a broad spectrum of music from traditional Zulu music to instrumental music from Lebanon and pretty much all things in between. Last year saw them release their Ultimate Guide To Irish Folk which has just won Live Ireland’s award for Compendium Album of 2014. These two releases add more traditional music from the UK and Ireland to their catalogue.

Gaelic Scotland is a compilation made mainly from the back catalogue of the Macmeanmna record label, based in the Isle of Skye and well respected for the quality of their Gaelic output. This album contains a lovely collection of songs (and a couple of tunes) from well known singers such as Maeve MacKinnon, Donnie Murdo MacLeod, Mary Ann Kennedy, Blair Douglas, Charlotte Petersen, Iain MacKay and Cliar. Ishbel MacAskill is also featured prominently and her much missed, clear, pure voice stands out among the rest as exceptional.

The Morning Dew by Aryeh Frankfurter is one of a series of Celtic Harp releases by Arc Music. Aryeh plays very well known traditional Scottish and Irish tunes (mostly), some with accompaniment and some without. He is an excellent player and the arrangements vary from the very gentle and soothing to the dramatic with heavy orchestration. But he is no Laoise Kelly and at times the album feels more like something you would pick up in a Scottish gift shop, or hear in a hotel lobby in the Highlands – perhaps it is aimed at this market rather than at those with more knowledge of the harp and Celtic music in general.

As introductions to these different styles of music both CDs serve their purpose well, though how the Celtic Harp release will fare amongst more knowledgeable traditional music lovers is less clear.

Fiona Heywood


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This album was reviewed in Issue 105 of The Living Tradition magazine.