I've owned my copy of this for years, and I never tire of it. The whole suite is outstanding, Shaun Davey's exceptional skill as a composer, combined with Rita Connolly's incredible, magnificent vocal performance create perfection in music. Having researched the life of Granuaile, sometimes known as 'Ireland's Pirate Queen' for years, I find that this music illustrates her life story very clearly, with fact as well as legend referred to. I can easily drive around Clew Bay and the surrounding parts of Counties Mayo and Galway (where Granuaile lived) for several days listening to this music, and never feel anything other than how perfectly it suits the surroundings. I would urge anyone with a love of traditional and orchestral music to listen to this, as the two are beautifully combined. You do not need to be already familiar with the life of Granuaile described in the lyrics, but I think you will find your interest caught very quickly! For those who already know something of her, you won't be disappointed!
This marriage of classical music with folk-singing is achingly beautiful. If you heave heard "Chants d'Auvergne" by Canteloube then you have some idea how sweet and melancholy this is. The large chamber orchestra plays melodically and the singing has the bright clarity of Kathy Jordan (lead singer of Dervish). The story of Granuaile, the female pirate, would make a good feature film as well. Add to that the occasional folk fiddle, harp, uillean pipes and choir, and you have an hour of beautiful music. You thought that they don't make 'em like this anymore.
I bought the CD some years ago - then lost it, although I still have the cover and sleeve-notes, so I purchased the mp3. Davey and Connolly tell a magnificent story. Their superb music paints a memorable picture. Visited Clew Bay and Achill about 5 years ago, bought the book 'Granuaile' by Anna Chambers, (ISBN 978-0-7171-4582-9.) Read that while listening to some tremendously exciting music. I have always admired Shaun Davey's music. Rita Connolly has a powerful and engaging voice. The collaboration with Liam O'Flynn ... the best of Uillean Pipers ... is inspired. Truly glorious!