on 26 April 2012
Bill Whelan is a gifted composer with a recognizable sound, trying to close the gap between classical music and folk with the Seville Suite with an aim, it seems to me, to be recognized as a serious composer.
Although all performances by orchestra and soloists are none other than great, the resulting recording is not entirely convincing to my ears. Lovely tunes and innovative use of folk instruments in combination with an orchestra cannot detract from the fact that the music is rather pompous (as is his style), which is quite annoying.
Usually I skip the Suite to get the tracks that follow - as these really make this cd worth your while. Both Timedance '92 and Dun Briste are moody, more sparse in execution and atmospheric. These tracks don't deserve a life of obscurity - neither Amazon nor Youtube offers samples.
2,5 stars for the Seville Suite and 5 stars for Timedance and Dun Briste make a balanced 4 stars.
on 7 November 2002
Bill Whelan is the prefect "crossover" artist. In this work he is essentially classical, using folk artists for colour. In "Riverdance" it is the stirring pulse of the music that makes it theatrical rather than concert-hall. If you buy it expecting it to sound like "Riverdance", you'll be disappointed. Consider it to be a string-based symphonic poem. Sean Davey does this kind of thing much better though. Note: "Riverdance" cannot be found in the classical section of Amazon.