Stivell's most advanced and ambitious work to date, the Symphonie Celtique is a long way from his solo harp excursions. In addition to various harps, pipes, and whistles played by Stivell, the instrumentation includes a rock band (guitars, bass, drums, keyboards), uilinn pipes, an orchestra of 40-plus players, and a choir directed by ex-Swingle Singer Christianne LeGrand. The music is sublime and profound, surging and droning at times with massed voices and instruments, at other times retreating to gentle, quietly lyrical passages. It is not traditional Breton, Irish, or Scottish music, but it is a modern, mixed-ensemble successor to those sources. To date, it is Stivell's magnum opus (originally a double album).
AllMusic Review by Bruce Eder