The Eternal Knot is an extraordinary, dramatic soundtrack to a major television documentary series The Celts, created by Opus Television for S4C International; the series traces the history, lives, and culture of the remarkable Celtic people. Rather than simply perform artificial modern pieces reflecting today's lust for anything to do with that culture, Welsh composer Karl Jenkins delves into the rich history of the music and its ancient originators who lived over 2000 years ago north of the Mediterranean. Each track is based on a famous Celtic myth or historical figure, and the real joy of the collection is reading the liner note blurbs about them and then conjuring them to life as the music swells. "Cu Chullain" is portrayed as the ideal chieftain and defender of his tribe, so the tune features thick tribal march percussion, soaring native female vocals, and dancing orchestral sweeps. "Place of the Crystal Bridge" features the mystical imagery of a delightful palace on a small island, and the whimsical music is like an Irish twist on "Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairies." "Salm O 'Dewi Sant'" is about Saint David, who founded many monasteries, so the music has an appropriate brooding solemnity. The album's numerous soloists are almost all of Celtic extraction or have chosen to make a Celtic country their home, lending true authenticity to an extraordinary undertaking.
AllMusic Review by Jonathan Widran