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Music > Irish & Celtic Christmas

Irish Christmas Music CDs

Featured Irish & Celtic Christmas Music

Home for Christmas - The Irish TenorsHome for Christmas

by Irish Tenors, John McDermott, Anthony Kearns, Ronan Tynan

The Irish Tenors are an acquired taste that, it seems, nearly everyone has acquired. On Home for Christmas, John McDermott, Anthony Kearns, and Ronan Tynan create a stirring seasonal follow-up to their extremely popular self-titled debut of Irish standards. On this disc, we get some of the best-loved holiday songs performed by the tenors in their trademark, Emerald Isle vocal style. Read more

+ Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 Shamrocks for Home for Christmas - The Irish Tenors Christmas Music for 12 months of the year!
The Irish Tenors have done it again. They made a Christmas album that is wonderful. Almost every recording artist or group makes a Christmas CD which is dragged out in December. Home for Christmas, by the Irish Tenors, will not be put away in January for 11 months. The music is traditional but done so exquisitly beautifully that it will always be ready to be listened to. The Irish Tenors are a joy to to the world. Thank you.

The Virgin's Lament (Caoineadhi Na Maighdine) by Noirin Ni RiainThe Virgin's Lament (Caoineadhi Na Maighdine)

by Noirin Ni Riain

The union between the well-respected Irish singer Nóirín Ní Riain and the monks of Glenstal is a perfect one. Ní Riain's lovely soprano tenderly chimes over the monks' deeper vocal blanket as they sing medieval Celtic religious songs in the sean nos or "old style" tradition--subtly varying enunciation and tempo. Singing in Gaelic and Latin Gregorian plainchant, Ní Riain delicately wavers and flies throughout Limerick's Glenstal Abbey, creating an angelic and purely holy atmosphere. On closer listen, it's actually the Glenstal monks who occasionally have trouble keeping up with Ní Riain's vocal mastery--though their lower, male voices provide a refreshing, grounding counterpart to her delicate, high tone. Read more + Availability

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Rating: 5 out of 5 Shamrocks for The Virgin's Lament (Caoineadhi Na Maighdine) by Noirin Ni Riain Exquisite Gaelic plainsong
The 11 1/2 minute final track - "The Blessed Virgin's Keening" - is sufficient justification for this album. The monks of Glenstal are superb in this antiphonal (call & response) plainsong sung in Gaelic. It is repetitive but never boring as there are constantly subtle changes keeping the listener's interest. "Mary's Keening" which begins the album is a perfect counterpoint to the final piece. "The Seven Sorrows of the Virgin Mary" is probably the most recognized piece on the album - and again an excellent rendition. There are no poor tracks - give this a listen and I'm sure you'll want an encore.

A Celtic Christmas: Peace on EarthA Celtic Christmas: Peace on Earth

by Various Artists

Number five in Windham Hill's Celtic Christmas series, this may be the best of the lot with evocative compositions and arrangements that don't slip into seasonal sentimentality, better known as schmaltz. Produced by Micheal O'Domhnaill, the guitarist and founder of Nightnoise, the disc centers on members of that band. Nightnoise gives a Celtic chamber music feel to the traditional Irish carol, "The Flight into Egypt," while also offering up the serene original, "No Room at the Inn." Nightnoise singer Triona Ni Dhomhnaill duets with her sister Maighread on the quavering harmonies of "Barbara Allen," while Micheal O'Domhnaill joins fiddler Paddy Glackin on "The Green Fields of Amerikay." William Coulter and Benjamin Verdery provide dual acoustic guitar filigree on "Flow Gently Sweet Afton" and Nightnoise flutist Brian Dunning joins Jeff Johnson on "Down the Chimney." There's something about that Celtic lilt, the sound of low whistles, cranky uilleann pipes, and Turlough O'Carolan tunes that instantly conjure up the warmth, quiet, and mysticism of Christmas. And it's all on A Celtic Christmas: Peace on Earth. --John Diliberto

+ Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 Shamrocks for A Celtic Christmas: Peace on Earth Christmas Time or Not, This is a Great Album!
I first discovered this collection about two years ago, and what a find! The music is hauntingly beautiful, and a great diversion from the "normal" Christmas fare available today. From the first track by Nightnoise "The Flight Into Egypt" you are taken away to a new land, where the music is soothing and relaxing. What a cure for the stress of the holiday! If you are looking for brilliant music, with a wintery feel, pick up this album.

A Scottish Christmas by Bonnie Rideout, Maggie SansoneA Scottish Christmas

by Bonnie Rideout, Maggie Sansone

Celebrate the many moods of A Scottish Christmas! Traditional Scottish carols, wassail tunes, strathspeys and reels for the celebration of Christmas, Hogmanay & the New Year, featuring Bonnie Rideout on Scottish fiddle, Al Petteway on guitar & cittern, Maggie Sansone on hammered dulcimer, Eric Rigler (the piper on "Braveheart" soundtrack) on Highland bagpipes, Scottish smallpipes & Uilleann pipes, with Abby cello and percussion. A Scottish Christmas in now a national touring ensemble and this CD recording captures all the sounds and magic of the stage show with performances on Scottish fiddle, viola, hammered dulcimer, guitar, pipes and drums. It was featured on CBS-TV's Sunday Morning and praised as "ancient and of the best selling CDs of the season and so compelling no matter what the listener's ancestry." It made The New York Times "Top 10 Holiday Picks" and was featured on both NPR's Performance Today and The Thistle & Shamrock.

+ Review

Rating: 5 out of 5 Shamrocks for A Scottish Christmas by Bonnie Rideout, Maggie Sansone Refreshing and beautiful
If you can imagine the haunting tones of bagpipes playing "Oh, Come Emmanuel," this is for you. Maggie Sansone, dulcimer artist and music producer extraordinare, Eric Rigler, the Braveheart piper, and award winning Bonnie Rideout combined to create a Christmas collection both familiar and new. All of these pieces are strikingly beautiful. If you love holiday music, but don't want to hear the same things again and again in the same old tired arrangements, get this one. Better yet, get one for home and one for your car (or office). You'll play it throughout the season.

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