Gordon Giltrap / Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra

At the Symphony Hall Birmingham

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A DualDisc offering, At the Symphony Hall, Birmingham was recorded in March 2005, and serves up a truly breathtaking performance. On the audio side, the evening's performance of "The Eye of the Wind Rhapsody" (written to commemorate the 400th anniversary of Sir Francis Drake's circumnavigation of the world) captures Giltrap alongside the Sheffield Philharmonic Orchestra; on the DVD side, the remainder of the concert's highlights -- 16 pieces altogether -- sees Giltrap additionally joined by a string of special guests: Andrew Beradini, Raymond Burley, Gilly Darby, and Rod Edwards among them. It is a genuinely stirring combination, alternately rousing and relaxing, portentous and playful, as Giltrap fires through a well-rounded selection of career highlights and favorites. The opening "Appalachian Dreaming" sets the scene, of course; from there, the show dips into the likes of "A Dublin Day," "Here Comes the Sun," "Mrs. Singer's Waltz," and "Maddie Goes West," while Rick Wakeman shines across two of the closing numbers, "East Approaching" and, of course, the inevitable but never less than triumphant "Heartsong." Giltrap has described this concert as one of the most significant events of his entire life. This wonderfully packaged souvenir allows everybody to share in his joy.

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