Personnel: Mychael Danna (piano, keyboards); Jeff Danna (guitar, mandolin, keyboards); Brian Miller (conductor); Krysia Kocjan (vocals); Glen Holmen (bass mandolin, acoustic bass); Sharlene Wallace (Celtic harp); Jamie Snyder (fiddle); Kirk Worthington (cello); Loretto Reid (flute, tin whistle, concertina); Ron Korb (flute, recorder); Ian Goodfellow, Ray Caldwell (Uillean pipes); Patrick O'Gorman (Highland pipes); Ena O'Brien (accordion); Bob Grim (trumpet); Eric Hall (bassoon); Utah Orchestra.
Engineers: Brothers O'Danna, Brad Haehnel.
Recorded at LA East, Salt Lake City, Utah; Too Much Sun Studios, Los Angeles, California; Not Enough Sun Studios, Toronto, Canada in summer 1995.
This version of A CELTIC TALE is narrated by Fiona Ritchie, host of The Thistle and Shamrock on NPR.
Composers: Jeff Danna; Mychael Danna.
Adapter: John Stuart Dick.
Personnel: Jeff Danna (guitar, mandolin, keyboards); Mychael Danna (piano, keyboards); Krysia Kocjan (vocals); Loretto Reid (whistling, flute, tin whistle, concertina); Sharlene Wallace (harp, celtic harp); Glen Holmen (mandolin, upright bass); Jamie Snyder (fiddle); Kirk Worthington (cello); Ron Korb (flute, recorder); Ian Goodfellow (pipe, Uilleann pipe); Patrick O'Gorman (pipe, bagpipe); Eric Hall (bassoon); Robert Grim (trumpet).
Audio Mixer: Brad Haehnel.
Liner Note Author: John Stuart Dick.
Recording information: East, Salt Lake City (1995); Not Enough Sun Studios, Toronto, Ontario, Canada (1995); Too Much Sun Studios, Los Angeles, CA (1995).
Editors: Paul Intson; John Hegedes.
Illustrator: Joseph Jacobs.
Unknown Contributor Role: Utah Symphony Orchestra.
A CELTIC TALE is an ambitious undertaking from the brothers Danna, a musical interpretation of the Irish legend of Deirdre, the beautiful lass who, engaged to the King of Ulster, falls in love with another. Her tale of prophesied doom, romantic longing, and bloodshed is told with great sensitivity and power, always haunting but never melodramatic. The enclosed booklet recounts the tale, although, like a great film score, knowledge of the story isn't necessary to enjoy the music.
Early in the song cycle, the Dannas paint pastoral images with standard Celtic folk instruments and sweetly melancholy phrases. Harp, bodhran, Uillean pipes, tin whistle, various flutes, and mandolin recreate verdant fields and dark forests. As the tragedy unfolds, the sound becomes orchestral, almost stately. A martial theme with fife and drums introduces Dierdre's love interest, the hunter Naois. Later, a lively Irish reel sets the stage for a fateful encounter at an inn. Perhaps most moving is the one song here with lyrics, Dierdre's "Lament," sung in crystalline soprano by British folk singer Krysia Kocjan.
This album is also available with spoken narration, under the title A CELTIC TALE NARRATED BY FIONA RITCHIE. The Danna brothers released a follow-up record two years later called A CELTIC ROMANCE: THE LEGEND OF LIDAIN & CURITHIR.