Patrick Ball

Celtic Harp 3: Secret Isles

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On Secret Isles, the third volume in his series of solo Celtic harp albums, Patrick Ball continues to find attractive melodies to play. In some cases, they are familiar tunes, including "Carrickfergis" and "The Foggy Dew," although, as played on the harp, even these take on the sparkling, formal tone of the instrument. Similarly, Ball may play what is nominally a dance tune, "Carolan's Favorite Jig," or a sad ballad, "Squire Wood's Lamentation," yet the nature of the harp, with its cascading high notes and beautiful timbre, tends to leaven things out, so that one can't really dance or cry. Thus, the music is of a piece throughout, and the album is another set of precisely played, lovely performances by the harpist.

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