Andreas Vollenweider - Magic Harp [Harp Music][New Age](2005)
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List Price: $18.98
Audio CD (June 14, 2005)
Original Release Date: June 14, 2005
Number of Discs: 1
Format: Original recording remastered
Label: Kin Kou
Andreas Vollenweider - Magic Harp
01. Moon Dance
02. See My Love
03. Dancing with the Lion
04. Behind the Gardens
07. Night Fire Dance
09. Flight Feet & Root Hands
10. Pearls & Tears
11. Cor Do Amor
13. Hey You! Yes You... (edit excerpt)
14. Moonday - Live in Tokyo (Special: unpublished song)
When Swiss harpist Andreas Vollenweider first arrived on the scene 25 years ago, he was a harbinger of a new instrumental music. That music is captured on this collection, which spans Vollenweider's career. The fantasy whimsy of "Behind the Garden..." is here, as well as intimate duets with violinist Mark O'Connor and singer Milton Nascimento. Like a ballerina with ADD, Vollenweider danced and leaped among complicated time signatures, polyrhythmic percussion, global sounds, and soaring classicism. But what held it together was the sound design of albums that were concept works, most of them a seamless flow from beginning to end. Pulled out of context, tracks are simply faded out and Vollenweider's gift for drama, musical storytelling, and moodier textures is sacrificed to focus on the more pedestrian, smooth-jazz elements in his music. But that doesn't detract from his mastery of the harp, not to mention just about every other stringed instrument he touches. Although Magic Harp by and large replicates 2001's
The Essential Andreas Vollenweider collection, there are a few notable bonuses. One is an exhilarating live recording of "Moonday" from a 1987 concert in Tokyo. A bonus DVD contains three music videos revealing Vollenweider's visual imagination (and not a little bit of corniness). An additional montage of concert footage is more tantalizing than satisfying. The orchestral performance clips of his unreleased Tales from Kira Kutan leave you wanting more, and a concert from 1981 reveals what a different time that was, when Vollenweider was hip and audiences literally grooved to his music. --John Diliberto
Super Magic Harp w/a bonus DVD and now VOX on DualDisc too!, September 30, 2005
Reviewer: Fischer "musicdude" (USA)
I loved the Magic Harp CD - great anthology from a cornerstone artist in New Age at a quality level that truley amazed, and I already KNOW all this music - and the bonus DVD is real delight! I just bought the all new VOX which is a DualDisc - CD audio on 1 side, 5.1 Surround mix and more DVD video on the other side - and it's only the price of a normal 1 sided CD!
If you're into any level of technology and have a DVD player the VOX DualDisc is very cool.
Too little Too late..... but must have, July 6, 2005
Reviewer: M. Svetinsky "MiroLab" (Los Angeles)
I've been wishing for an Andreas DVD for a long time now, and yes this is only tantalizing. As a longtime A.V. fan, i have all his albums plus the "Essentials", and now, yet another best of collection in "Magic Harp". So really, i paid $15 for a preview DVD of what i hope will be a true Concert Anthology DVD. I'd also love to hear Andreas in 5.1 surround SACD, though i don't see Sony putting money into such worthwhile projects. Anyway, the DVD is short, but truly enjoyable, and it's the only video of Adreas that I know of. I'm looking forward seeing and hearing more! If you need a "Best of Andreas" or are dying to see some live footage, Magic Harp is great, but if you're patient you may want to wait for a proper concert DVD.
Best of ... nothing but the Best, October 20, 2005
Reviewer: Markus Schwickert "harpnotized" (Mountain View, CA)
This CD/DVD set is not only a must have for Vollenweider fans but it is a great value for everyone who wants to be introduced to his works and everyone who enjoys exciting but calm music with beautiful clear sound that touches your soul.
Here are some of the reasons for me to enjoy Andreas Vollenweider's music:
- His electro-acoustic harp is a truly unique instrument covering a large dynamic range with an out-of-this world sound played by its creators hands
- The sound quality is fantastic
- Even after listening to his music for decades it still captures my imagination
- The music has an international and multicultural aspect with guest musicians from around the world, featuring some instruments that I never heard or heard of before.
In other reviews a recent release "Vox" is mentioned (introduced in the Magic Harp DVD) which in my opinion is excellent, too. At first I felt the same way about Vox as about every other release from Andreas Vollenweider, which is "oh no, he changed his style. Why did he do that. His music was great the way it was." But after listening to the music I realized that he just changed his way of expressing the same positive feelings. On purpose I avoid saying that his music "evolved" which is not the right term: AV's first compositions are just as wonderful as the latest with the silver line of the harp following the path. So, if you don't happen to have more than a dozen CDs of his music then the Magic Harp will present a good overview of mostly his earlier music. Not all albums from AV are represented, for example, no songs from Eolian Minstrel, Book of Roses or Kryptos.
A final caveat: knowing from people close to me you will either love this music or hate it instantly. So, if you listen to the samples on this website and you feel just the least bit intrigued then it is safe to say you will enjoy the CD and DVD.
A True Maestro , August 24, 2005
Reviewer: Divit (Portland, OR)
The CD alone is a marvelous statement to Andreas' creative genius, however, the DVD really solidifies that the man is a true Maestro. He is a master of all that he has attempted through his musical expression. The DVD segments of his early video works are truly 'break through' even without the benefits of modern computer enhanced scenes. The video also completes the portrait of who this man is. This is a wonderful set for the New Age, Trance, Up-beat Mood music fan.