View Full Version : The Spirit of Ireland - RTÉ Concert Orchestra (FLAC/MP3)

07-24-2019, 11:40 AM
The Spirit of Ireland, performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra (Irish National Radio Orchestra)

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Features traditional works, and songs composed by Gerard Victory, Arthur Duff, James Royce Shannon, Shamus O'Connor & John J. Stamford, Shaun Glenville & Frank Miller, Hamilton Harty, John F. Larchet, Leroy Anderson, and Ernest Ball

Features arrangements by John Tate and Noel Kelehan

Conducted by Proinnsias Ó Duinn

Features vocals by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha

(Included in the download are transcriptions of the album's liner notes, which feature a description of the orchestra, the conductor Proinnsias Ó Duinn, and the vocalist Méav Ní Mhaolchatha. Credits are also listed for the performers in the orchestra, who have been name-checked for accuracy and spelling errors. More accurate versions of the song credits have been included, such as composers, lyricists or performance origins for any traditional songs. A decent quality cover sourced from Discogs has also been included, since I'm not able to scan the cover myself)


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The RTÉ Concert Orchestra (also known as the Irish National Radio Orchestra when performing abroad) is one of two full-time radio orchestra employed by RTÉ (the Irish equivalent of the BBC) one of the country's leading orchestras, with 45 musicians performing over eighty concerts every year and covering a wide variety of genres from classical to contemporary to jazz and beyond. This album is a recording of the music they performed for their second North American tour in 1997, and features compositions and arrangements of pieces by Irish composers and pieces often associated with Ireland but created elsewhere.

These include traditional classics such as "The Mountains of Mourne", "The Last Rose of Summer" and "Danny Boy (Londonderry Air)", selections from orchestral suites like Arthur Duff's "Echoes of Georgian Dublin Suite" and Hamilton Harty's "An Irish Symphony", and American tributes to the Emerald Isle including "When Irish Eyes Are Smiling", "McNamara's Band" and the works of Leroy Anderson. Roughly half of the album are performances of the original compositions, while the rest are arrangements made specifically for the tour, which are handled by John Tate and Noel Kelehan.

What's impressive about this album is how varied the included pieces are. As someone who's only experienced traditional Irish music (which tend to be 6/8 jigs that are always, ALWAYS in G major for whatever reason), it's really refreshing to hear works that go outside of that. From the classically inspired "In College Green" to the relaxed "By the Waters of Moyle" to the initially serene then excited "Irish American Song Book" to the exciting "Revel in Reel Time", there's a great deal of emotional ranger covered in this album that makes for an enjoyable listen.

Accentuating this even more is the performance of the RTÉ Concert Orchestra. It's hard for me to describe, but the feeling I always got when listening to these performers was a sincere sense of admiration and love for the music they were performing, to the point where even pieces I wasn't personally too wild about were still worth listening to thanks to how much the performers put into making these pieces 'sing' (if you'll pardon the cheesy expression). On that subject, the vocals provided by Méav Ní Mhaolchatha for select tracks are soothing and excellently performed, which really adds to the slow serenity for each of them.

For me, the highlights of the album are all the songs arranged by the late great Noel Kelehan. Normally working as a jazz musician, the man has a way with the orchestra that reminds me a great deal of Tomoyuki Asakawa in regards to creating arrangements that feel very nostalgic. As soon as I heard his beautiful arrangement of "The Mountains of Mourne", I knew that this album was going to be something special. He tends to handle the songs performed by Mhaolchatha, which I found a slight shame since I wanted to hear him do more serene orchestral tracks to let the instruments take center-stage, but he manages to work just as well by letting the performers play off the vocals in a way that makes these arrangements truly something.

If you've never really checked out orchestral Irish music before, maybe make this your basic introduction and see if it takes your interest. And if you like it enough, maybe consider buying it to own a copy yourself (since, for once, this is an album that's pretty easy to come across digitally and otherwise owing to its re-releases - [Only registered and activated users can see links]). Regardless, I hope there's something here that you end up loving or inspires you in whatever you do. Thank you for reading, and have a wonderful day.

07-24-2019, 11:54 AM
Thank you very much for sharing!

07-24-2019, 11:58 AM
Thank you!

07-24-2019, 06:47 PM
Sounds interesting. Thanks for sharing.

07-24-2019, 10:57 PM
link received thanks

07-25-2019, 01:39 AM
Thanks for the share!
Beautiful arrangements!

07-25-2019, 08:57 AM

m.a. de hoyos
07-25-2019, 09:36 AM
Thanks very much.

07-25-2019, 10:35 AM
thanks for the Link.

Paio Soutomaior
07-26-2019, 10:49 AM
Many thanks!

07-26-2019, 01:43 PM
Thank you very much ! Great Share and very appreciated comments !