Tonight I wanted to try something different with the Salons. I never intended the Salons to just listen to classical music; I wanted a wide range of music and or other media. So tonight we will listen to music and narration of the story of Deirdre.
The Legend of Deirdre is a traditional Irish tale, at least a thousand years old, containing all the elements of similar myths from cultures around the world–magic, prophecy, beauty, fate, faith, romantic love, brotherly love, war, and transcendent death. Deirdre’s great beauty – and fate – is foretold at birth, and ultimately there’s no escape. Like Helen of Troy, her beauty provokes war.
Like other Celtic heroines, Deirdre is a provocative protagonist, able and empowered in both love and war, which are inextricably entwined in Celtic myth. Yet in the end hers is a tragic tale. Destined to marry a king, she nevertheless finds her true love. Inevitably the lovers are exiled, and when at last they return to their homeland, he is slain and she is imprisoned by the very king she was fated to wed. Thus the darker moments fully realize the depths of the epic battle between the forces of destiny and the struggle of the heroes, and finally, the inconsolate sorrow of love lost.
The Music for A Celtic Tale was composed by Canadian brothers MYCHAEL and JEFF DANNA, both film scorers, as the soundtrack for an imaginary film of the beautiful and tragic medieval Irish legend of Deirdre. The score brings together the best elements of Celtic folk, symphonic, and ambient recordings, and sets a glorious new standard for popular Celtic music.
A wide array of Celtic folk instruments – fiddle, tin whistle and flute, guitar and mandolin, Uillean and Highland pipes, wirestrung harp, concertina and bodhran, with all their bite and pungent overtones – are here surrounded with the harmonic richness, color, and power of the orchestra. In a recording that abounds in outstanding performances,