CD, 70 minutes
Derek Bell, of the Chieftains captures the haunting, mystical quality of traditional Celtic music on this solo album of original melodies by Swami Kriyananda.
Derek played harp for over 25 years with five-time Grammy Award-winning group, The Chieftains—Ireland's best-known interpreters of traditional Celtic music. Classically trained, Bell joined the group in 1972, after a distinguished career as a harpist with the Northern Ireland BBC Orchestra, and as a professor of harp and Irish harps at the Belfast Academy of Music.
For many years, The Chieftains have been the most influential of the Irish folk musicians, credited with doing more to spread the appreciation of traditional Irish music than any other group in Ireland's history. Bell, a resident of Northern Ireland, had several solo albums to his credit. He composed three piano sonatas and Symphony in E-flat for orchestra, and was the recipient of the Manns Prize from the Royal College of Music.
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What Others Are Saying
"Derek Bell is the finest Celtic harpist of this, and quite possibly any, generation."
"An absolutely gorgeous collection of original melodies by Swami Kriyananda are performed on the Celtic harp by harpist extraordinaire Derek Bell in this exceptional Celtic release. Richly orchestrated, this touching music immediately captures the heart with its tenderness and passion and brings a warm glow that expands with each track and leaves the listener in a deeply sentimental, serene, and spiritual space. Truly a 'must have' for lovers of fine Celtic harp music. The Mystic Harp easily received my highest recommendation."
"...an ambiance quiet and dreamy enough to appeal to new age audiences and Celtic folkies."
"Although the pieces are comparatively new, Kriyananda has captured the essence of Irish traditional music with his haunting melodies and fluctuating moods. Bell's skills on harp, oboe, and English horn are well-known; here he once again develops themes and emotions with great sensitivity....There is a freshness throughout and feeling of discovery."
"Utterly radiant, with noble simplicity and innocence."
"To be in the enormously capable hands of such an accomplished expert as Derek Bell for the seventy minutes of The Mystic Harp is a treat indeed. For his part, Kriyananda has captured the feelings and sounds of Celtic Ireland with a deft artistry that clearly shows his mastery of this musical genre....The Mystic Harp [is] a treasure for lovers of Celtic and harp music."
—New Age Retailer
"These compositions beautifully capture all of the mystery, mirth, and rueful emotion that is so much a part of Ireland."
—Music Design In Review
"This is a lovely, light album full of charm and innocence....The Mystic Harp will take you to places that stretch from the innocence of childhood to the mystery and otherworldliness of the spiritual."
—The New Times
"The Mystic Harp radiates the delicate and loving side of the Celtic tradition."
—Carol Wright, All-Music Guide