by Anúna


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One of the first things evident about Anúna's 2012 album, Illumination, released in celebration of the group's 25th anniversary, is the diversity of the music. Listeners who associate the ensemble only with Irish and Celtic music may be surprised to hear a healthy sampling of songs from American Cajun, French, English, and Scottish traditions. In fact, the album opens with an idiomatic, wildly energetic performance of a Cajun song, "La Chanson de Mardi Gras, for solo, men's voices, and percussion." The diversity of musical styles on the album is a testimony to the versatility of Michael McGlynn, the group's founder, whose original compositions are featured on seven tracks and who is responsible for the arrangements of the other songs. McGlynn's original pieces, usually based on traditional texts, range in idiom from the directness of a folk song in "Summer Song" to a thoroughly modern but emotionally expressive style, with the use of extended vocal techniques and richly complex harmonies, in "Fégaidh úaihb." One might reasonably experience the feeling that a commentator once described as "a frisson of concern" upon seeing that the album includes choral arrangements of "Danny Boy," "Greensleeves," and "Scarborough Fair," songs that are done to death, often in mediocre arrangements and performances. McGlynn's arrangements manage to be both sophisticated and disarmingly simple, and in the singers' understated performances, make the songs fresh and thoroughly engaging. The characteristics for which Anúna is known -- a warm, rich blend, immaculate intonation, infectious enthusiasm, and the ability to make music of sometimes daunting technical difficulty sound effortless and natural -- are all in place on the album. Stacie Lee Rossow, in her debut recording conducting the group, conveys a thorough understanding of the various musical styles and draws sensitive performances from the singers. Several songs have prominent parts for soloists, all of whom sing with purity and unmannered directness. John McGlynn's solo in "Fionnghuala" is different -- it's anything but simple -- and he sings it with dazzling virtuosity. The sound is clean, detailed, and warmly immediate.

Product Details

Release Date: 07/17/2012
Label: Danu
UPC: 5391518340999
catalogNumber: 29
Rank: 63567

Album Credits

Performance Credits

Anúna   Primary Artist,Vocal Ensemble
Noel Eccles   Percussion
John McGlynn   Guitar,Vocals
Michael McGlynn   Vocals,Musical Direction
Rhonan Sugrue   Vocals
Andreja Malir   Harp
Rachel Thompson   Vocals
Lucy Champion   Vocals
Lynn Hilary   Vocals,Descant
Bláthnaid Conroy Murphy   Vocals
Hugo Leeney   Throat Singing
Tara McNeill   Violin,Vocals
Stacie Lee Rossow   Conductor
Pádraig Ó Dúbháin   Bodhran
Andrew Hozier-Byrne   Vocals

Technical Credits

William Cornysh   Composer
Brian Masterson   Engineer
Pierre de Ronsard   Text
Michael McGlynn   Arranger,Composer,Lyricist,Producer,Cover Design
Scottish Traditional   Composer
Frederick Edward Weatherly   Composer
French Traditional   Composer
Francis Ledwidge   Text
Abigail Bolt   Layout
English Traditional   Composer
American Traditional   Composer

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