ACROSS THE ISLES Gentle Spirits
- Turlough O’Carolan (1670 - 1738): Irland/Ireland:
- 1Variations on the Scottish Air 'When she came ben'03:47
- 2Mrs. Power, or Carolan‘s Concerto04:08
- 3The Fairy Queen03:59
- 4Carolan‘s Favourite Jig02:31
- 5Mabel Kelly02:27
- 6Daniel Kelly02:39
- 7Castle Kelly01:42
- 8Captain Kelly’s Reel01:10
- Interlude I: (dedicated to Pete Engelhart):
- 9Interlude I - Pete's Blessing02:32
- Anonymous: Schottland/Scotland:
- 11A Port01:46
- James Oswald (1710 - 1769):
- 12Scots Lament02:45
- 13Corne Yards03:02
- Niel Gow (1727 - 1807):
- 14Lament for the death of his second wife04:31
- Francesco Geminiani (1687 - 1762):
- 15Variations on Auld Bob Morrice02:30
- 16Reel of Tulloch04:01
- Interlude II: (dedicated to Steve Hubback):
- 17Interlude II - Alchemy of Alloys02:28
- Henry Purcell (1659 - 1695): England:
- 18Fairest Isle01:56
- 20Faronells Ground05:07
- Henry Purcell:
- Nicola Matteis (1650 - 1714):
- 22Ground after the Scotch Humour02:51
- Georg Friedrich Händel (1685 - 1759):
- 23Gigue I & II 'Wassermusik' / 'Water Music', Suite No. 3 HWV 35006:51
Info for ACROSS THE ISLES
ACROSS THE ISLES – a new borderless musical experience.
Baroque & folk music from Ireland, Scotland and England merge with the sounds of percussion
What does baroque music sound like when written by composers who were inspired by Celtic folk music? Can folk be combined with elements of the baroque? And what happens when, on top of all this, you add percussion from across a range of cultures? Gentle Spirits provide enchanting answers to all of these questions with their new album “ACROSS THE ISLES”. It brings the music of individuals such as Irish composer Turlough O’Carolan, Italian composer Francesco Geminiani, who enjoys high levels of popularity in Scotland, English composer Henry Purcell or London-based composer George Frideric Handel to a whole new level: with a liveliness reminiscent of dancing, delicate poetry and modern grooves.
For example, in the piece “Daniel Kelly” by Irishman Turlough O’Carolan, the Gentle Spirits trio combines archlute / baroque guitar, recorder and percussion to allow a carefree reggae rhythm to resonate throughout the piece. The “Corne Yards” lute piece, written by an unknown Scottish composer, takes on a mystical beauty with soaring percussive notes and gigues I & II from Handel’s famous “Water Music” gain a new sense of musical flow thanks to percussion drumming. The album also traces back to folk’s roots in baroque music, thus opening the listener’s eyes to a modern interpretation. Early and traditional music have rarely sounded this contemporary – something which is sure to excite classical music fans just as much as folk fans.
Gentle Spirits: early music for a modern audience
“ACROSS THE ISLES” was recorded by the Gentle Spirits trio: in their repertoire and interpretations, the three experienced musicians tear down the borders between folk and baroque music, interacting with the compositions in a manner which does not confine them to history. The musicians use percussive elements to orchestrate and arrange the timeless melodies in a fresh and new way, thus bringing them into today's world for a modern audience. The ensemble was founded in Göttingen and unites musicians from Germany and the Netherlands. Flautist Elke Hardegen-Düker, lutenist and guitar play-er Andreas Düker and percussionist Job Verweijen each successfully pursue their own solo careers and have regularly come together to perform as the Gentle Spirits ensemble for years. In doing so, they create an independent, open-minded and poetic form of music which cannot be placed into any single genre. Their unique sense for melodious playing, tender emotions and percussive sounds from across a range of cultures transforms historical music into a new listening experience without borders. In doing so, the musicians tie in with the great baroque composers – who, in turn, were also inspired by folk tunes. The title “Ye gentle spirits of the air” from Henry Purcell’s opera “The Fairy Queen” is what inspired the name of the ensemble: Gentle Spirits.
Natural three-dimensionality meets the highest sound resolution in the world Like all productions from the friends of green sonic label, the album was made using the PANTOFO-NIE® recording method – “live” without an audience, without overdubs and mixing. A special artificial head creates a 3D listening impression that makes the music appear spatial and alive, just like in a concert hall – even on two conventional loudspeakers. The “clàr” audio recorder – a product of the label’s own research and development – offers the highest sound resolution in the world. The result: a whole new musical experience – a natural, authentic sound with a level of three-dimensionality and resolution that, using the finest details, truly moves the listener.
An inspiring and elaborate booklet The new album, “ACROSS THE ISLES” is just as complex as can be expected from productions from the friends of green sonic label: the inspiring and comprehensive 58-page booklet, in both German and English, features breathtaking photos which awaken a yearning for the rich blue and green hues of Ireland, Scotland and England, as well as providing explanations of the composers, the works, the musicians and the recording technique used. The label, which is active on an international level, offers the album in the form of high-resolution downloads up to 352.8 kHz / 24 bit. In doing so, friends of green sonic once again makes good on its claim: the provision of exceptional music for a modern audience with the best sound in the world – and all this presented as a complete artwork in itself.
Elke Hardegen-Düker, Recorders
Andreas Düker, Archlute, Baroque guitar
Job Verweijen, Percussion
The Purcell title Ye gentle spirits of the air from Henry Purcell’s (1659-1695) opera The Fairy Queen inspired the ensemble to call itself Gentle Spirits. The trio is something special on the German music scene: It breaks down the boundary between folk and baroque music and cultivates a non-historical approach to literature in its repertoire and interpretations. The musicians orchestrate and arrange the timeless melodies in a fresh and new way, thus bringing them into today’s world. The ensemble ties in with the great baroque composers who were also inspired by folk tunes.
The soft recorder melodies by Elke Hardegen-Düker and the nuanced playing of Andreas Düker on the archlute and baroque guitar are raised to a new level by Job Verweijen. The Dutchman plays per-cussion instruments from different cultural backgrounds, overcoming stylistic and geographical boundaries. His playing shapes the interpretations and brings the music into the here and now.
The ensemble was founded in Göttingen (Germany) and unites musicians from Germany and the Netherlands. The instrumentalists have been performing together for years. At the same time, all mu-sicians pursue remarkable solo careers, which have led them to important classical music festivals throughout Germany and renowned concert series at home and abroad, from early music to excur-sions into jazz and pop.
In the Gentle Spirits ensemble, they combine their experiences and create a completely independent, cosmopolitan and poetic music – beyond all genres.
After an early education in church music Elke Hardegen-Düker studied recorder with Angela Hug and Winfried Michel. She enhanced her playing skills during courses with Marion Verbruggen and the Am-sterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet. In the Göttingen area she is active as a music teacher in the subjects “early musical education”, “recorder” and “piano”. With the Corda e Vento duo she has made it her task to perform the diversity of recorder music from the Renaissance to the late Baroque. Originals and adaptations are on an equal footing alongside each other. Performances have taken place at the Göttingen Handel Festival and with the Göttingen Symphony Orchestra.
studied classical guitar in Kassel with Wolfgang Lendle and lute with Stephen Stubbs in Bremen. His concert schedule includes participating in various opera performances at home and abroad as well as numerous ensemble and solo concerts. He received an honourable mention as best lutenist at the international Musica Antiqua competition in Bruges in 1996 and has participated in CD and radio productions, the International Handel Festival in Göttingen, the Tage für Alte Musik (Early Music Days) in Kassel and Georgsmarienhütte as well as the Gandersheim Cathedral Music Days and the Bodensee-Festival.
has gained experience in many world music rhythm traditions, for example from Cuba, Brazil, West Africa, India and the Middle East. Since he does not feel particularly committed to any one tradition, he combines these different elements with his individual ideas of sound to create his own vocabulary. This led to the development of various, unique multi-percussion set-ups, which he constantly develops further. The Gentle Spirits ensembles uses such a hybrid percussion kit. His search for special sounds culminates in instrument combinations created by himself with mechanics to supplement the sound as well as special productions by renowned instrument makers such as Pete Engelhart and Steve Hubback.