Winter Poem

Winter Poem

by Secret Garden


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According to pianist Rolf Løvland, Irish-Norwegian neo-classical duo Secret Garden's seventh studio album, Winter Poem, was inspired by the "darkness that surrounds the Scandinavian winter." While there's a genuine sense of melancholy laced throughout its largely instrumental 11 tracks, fans of their luscious new age sound needn't fear a new gothic reinvention, as there's very little here likely to find its way onto a horror movie soundtrack. Indeed, the stately piano chords and sweeping string arrangements (courtesy of the Czech National Symphony Orchestra) of opener "Make a Wish" feel more suited to a Downton Abbey-esque costume drama, while elsewhere the lilting "Anticipation" recalls the emotive ivory-tinkling of Ludovico Einaudi's understated scores, the more uptempo "Fionnuala's Cookie Jar" is a highly percussive Irish jig packed with Celtic fiddles and tin whistles, and "Suite," a 15-minute overture written especially for the 2010 Shanghai World Expo, reveals that Løvland and violinist Fionnuala Sherry are capable of realizing their symphonic ambitions. The three vocal tracks are just as quintessentially Secret Garden. "The Dream" is a lavishly haunting affair underpinned by muted beats, emotionally stirring strings, and lullaby-ish melodies, sung by Clannad's Moya Brennan in her own unmistakable ethereal style; Riverdance vocalist Fionnuala Gill lends her quivering glass-shattering tones to the atmospheric ballad "Mary's Lament"; while "Powered by Nature" (written by Brendan Graham, the man responsible for the now ubiquitous "You Raise Me Up") is a valiant attempt to replicate the anthemic qualities of their most enduring song. Winter Poem is unlikely to convert those who have previously likened their music to wallpaper, but while it's true that there's nothing particularly challenging or inventive on offer here, it's hard to disagree with the opinion that what they do, they do very well.

Product Details

Release Date: 11/08/2011
Label: Valley
UPC: 0025041142328
catalogNumber: 11423
Rank: 31681

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Secret Garden   Primary Artist
Per Hillestad   Percussion,Drums
Manus Lunny   Bouzouki
Fionnuala Sherry   Violin
Annbjørg Lien   Key Harp
Rune Arnesen   Percussion,Drums
Bjørn Ole Rasch   Organ,Keyboards
Rolf Lovland   Piano,Conductor,Keyboards,Background Vocals
Stian Carstensen   Accordion
Mick O'Brien   uillean pipes
Ottar Nesje   Percussion,Drums
Moya Brennan   Vocals,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Simon Breyer   Horn
Odd Nordstoga   Accordion
Czech National Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Jiri Hurník   Leader,Concert Master
Tracey Campbell   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Fionnuala Gill   Vocals,Guest Appearance
Vlastimil Kobrle   Leader
Kristiansand Symphony Orchestra   Performing Ensemble
Lumir Vanek   Bassoon
Xiaohui Ma   Erhu
Ariel de Wolf   Cello
Espen Grjotheim   Vocals,Background Vocals,Guest Appearance
Anne Takle   Background Vocals
Roald Råsberg   Drum Loop
Roar Broström   Oboe
Odd Lyngstad   Bassoon
Per Elias Drablös   Bass
Pål Svendsberget   Leader
Jitka Tomsicková   Cor anglais
Cathrine Iversen   Vocals,Background Vocals,Harmony
Ruben Gundersen   Background Vocals
Martin Wikstøl   Background Vocals
Tini Flaat   Background Vocals
Siren Wilhelmsen   Background Vocals
Hilde Nordbakken   Leader
UIA Vocal Ensemble   Choir, Chorus
Dana Wichterlova   Oboe
Robbie Harries   Bodhran
Hana Brozova   Flute
Marion Walker   Oboe,Cor anglais

Technical Credits

Fionnuala Sherry   Producer
Hans Fredrik Jacobsen   Whistle
Rolf Lovland   Arranger,Composer,Producer,Orchestration,Whistle
Mick O'Brien   Whistle
Brendan Graham   Composer
Xiaohui Ma   Whistle
Roald Råsberg   Engineer

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