Amy Krupski,
Celtic Echoes
(Harper Grove Productions, 1996)

Amy Krupski is one of my favorite recording artists on the harp. Her music is artfully arranged, allowing the harp to sing with the sweet gentleness her delicate touch brings, lifting the listener to another state of consciousness, a dream world so vivid you would swear it is real. Krupski's arrangements have a way of bringing out the best of both the Celtic and classical worlds of the harp, skillfully blending the two worlds into one unique sound.

Using an understanding of the soul of the music, she manages to beautifully blend the harp with a variety of other voices, including the singing cello, the uplifting uilleann pipes and the soaring flute. Her choice of instrumentation on the tracks is impeccable, and the blend between the instruments shows great understanding as to how the various instruments can best complement one another. The result is a stunning collection of well-chosen Celtic tunes.

Amy Krupski shows her versatility on this album, from the high-spirited opening track, "Carolan's Welcome/Coleraine Jig," to the gentle lilt of the Scottish Air, "Coilsfield House." Be it tender and quiet or upbeat and uplifting, she manages to evoke the mood through her dynamic playing. "Dick Gossip's Reel/The Otter's Den" is a real foot-stomper, with a wonderful interplay of the harp with fiddle, whistle, and bodhran.

Her one original tune, "Destiny," fits in beautifully among the Celtic fare, having an almost-familiar feel to the gentle melody as it pulls the listener along with a slight sense of urgency. Her solo-harp treatment of "Carrickfergus" is my favorite arrangement of the tune that I've heard on harp, or maybe even in any form.

The recording is well titled, for there seem to be echoes from the Celtic past resonating within Amy Krupski's music. The lilt and lift in her melodies will lift you up and take you on a magic carpet ride to view Celticdom at its finest. Allow the Celtic part of you to take flight on an incredible journey with Amy Krupski as your guide.

[ by Jo Morrison ]