various artists,
Celtic Airs & Reflective Melodies
(Greentrax, 2012)

In these hectic days, it's wonderful to find a CD that will help us chill out without having that awful word in its title. Greentrax has come up trumps once more with an excellent compilation that hits the spot to perfection.

This album will not cause hypertension nor will it excite the extremities. Instead, the 18 tracks on offer will soothe the mind and relax the body. It may tax you a little bit in trying to recognize the tune as it swells in your room and mind, but even that is a soothing sensation.

Opening with "Lord Galloway's Lament," you might think the CD is going to be a morbid excursion ... but then you realize that the Celtic culture celebrated all aspects of life -- even its passing -- in wonderful music, and in this case is using that adjective in its much devalued original sense.

Gordon Gunn's "Slow Air for Margaret" reminds us of the romance of sweet, slow music, as does "The Swan" and "Wendel's Wedding."

This is not a CD that will leap out at you with familiar titles; in fact, "Ye Banks & Braes" was the only title I recognized from the contents list. But do not let that make you lose the chance of obtaining a beautiful collection of classic and classy tunes from the best purveyors of such music in the world.

This is one for sedate driving, lazy summer evenings, a roaring log fire and a wee dram to accompany the mood.

music review by
Nicky Rossiter

6 April 2013

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