Alan Stivell - Master Serie (1998)
Alan Stivell - Master Serie (1998)
EAC Rip | APE, image+cue, log / 342 mb | Mp3 CBR 320Kbps / 138 mb | 16 tracks | Covers
Celtic / Breton Folk | Podis/PolyGram 846 648-2 | RAR 3% Rec. | Time: 56:59 | FileSonic, FileServe, Uploaded
This collection of all early material serves as an excellent introduction to the music of Stivell for the neophyte. While the tracks are varied - instrumental/vocal, rocked up/reflective, acoustic/electrified, it is all stamped with the mysterious scent of this troubadour. In his 20s he was already a fully formed artist, thanks to his early initiation into Breton music, the harp, their place in the celtic world, and indeed their role in civilization at large. Stivell is certainly non-traditional, yet faithful to his tradition, recognizing that its survival depends on modernization.
This collection of all early material serves as an excellent introduction to the music of Stivell for the neophyte. While the tracks are varied - instrumental/vocal, rocked up/reflective, acoustic/electrified, it is all stamped with the mysterious scent of this troubadour. In his 20s he was already a fully formed artist, thanks to his early initiation into Breton music, the harp, their place in the celtic world, and indeed their role in civilization at large. Stivell is certainly non-traditional, yet faithful to his tradition, recognizing that its survival depends on modernization. Nowhere is this better illustrated than on "Pop Plinn", with its swirling mix of harps, harpsichords, bellowing organ, pipes, and shrill lead guitars, and "Wind of Keltia", boasting Stivell's reverent vocals. "Suite des Montagnes" is indeed a suite in barely 3 minutes, with alternating organs and whistles asserting themselves. There are also a couple of cuts from "Renaissance de La Harpe Celtique" that are wisely placed back to back for their introspective qualities. The relationship to more Andean styles is explored on "Suite SudArmoricain". It's all highly recommended to those whose tastes run to the celtic but who want an uncompromising edge. Master indeed. kenethlevine, ProgArchives
If there is a single savior of Celtic music, Alan Stivell is probably it. Since the end of the 1960s, he has done more to revive interest in the Celtic (specifically Breton) harp than anyone in the world and, in the process, almost singlehandedly made the world aware of native Breton Celtic music. Since 1971, he has been recording albums of extraordinary beauty and diversity, ranging from ancient Breton and Irish material to modern folk-rock and progressive rock.
He was born Alan Cochevelou, the son of a harp-maker. His father was the rediscoverer of the Breton harp, but he started his musical life on a somewhat more conventional instrument, taking up the piano at age five. He was given a harp by his father at age nine, and studied for the next several years under the direction of his father and Ms. D. Megevand, a concert harpist, freely mixing classical repertoire and arrangements of Breton, English, Irish, Scottish, and Welsh folk material.
Stivell was playing concerts at age 11, and he began taking up the more general study of traditional popular Celtic music, including the Scottish bagpipes, drum, Irish flute, and tin whistle, while in his teens. He ultimately became well-versed in all of these and won honors in national piping competitions in Scotland, and chose the professional name of Stivell, the Breton word meaning fountain, spring, or source. By the age of 21, while studying for his degree in English, he became an established folk musician, recording songs to his own harp accompaniment. While his singing is less effective than his harp or bagpipe playing, his voice is expressive, and most of his albums feature a mix of vocal and instrumental music. In 1967, he formed a group consisting of himself on harp, bagpipes, and Irish flute and Dan Ar Bras on electric guitar, backed by bass and drums. He released several albums during this period, including Reflections (1971), A l'Olympia (1972), Chemins de Terre (1972), Celtic Rock (1972), and E. Lagonned (1976). He left the group in the mid-'70s to concentrate exclusively on a solo career -- by this time, he had become a major influence on a multitude of folk-rock musicians with his interweaving of electric and traditional instruments.
During the early '70s, he acquired a popular following in France and England. By the mid-'70s Americans -- and not only those of Irish or, more rarely, Scottish, Welsh, and Breton descent, but those interested in things Celtic -- were discovering Stivell in growing numbers, prompting labels such as Rounder to begin releasing his work (until then, available only as expensive imports) in the United States. Stivell's first major solo album, Renaissance of the Celtic Harp (1972), remains a favorite among fans of the stringed instrument, while his later albums also display his abilities with bagpipes and as a singer. For a time during the mid-'70s, his success placed traditional Breton and Celtic music on the English charts on a regular basis.
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