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A Gift of Classic Verse set to Powerful Music!
Posted by: Galadrielle from: Southern California on
Loreena McKennit's works were first recommended to me by a colleague who let me listen to "The Visit." In the 19th Century, the Pre-Raphaelites, including Louisa May Alcott, who wrote Little Women, were firm believers in making their own timeless and sturdy versions of medieval art, whether it be poetry or pottery! McKennit's "Lady of Shallot" takes this theme one step further, as this brilliant singer/composer has taken Alfred Lord Tennyson's classic Pre-Raphaelite poem, which, itself, is based on medieval Arthurian legend, and brings it to hauntingly clear life. When I close my eyes and listen to the powerful vocals, I can practically see Sir Lancelot riding up to that gloomy castle, and the Lady of Shallot being "sick of shadows" that she sees in the mirror in her room. This poem is well worth memorizing, but prior to my hearing it on this album, I was never able to set my mind to doing so, as people did a hundred years ago. However, after having listened to the whole album over and over again, "The Lady of Shallot" is now one of my favorite and most cherished songs, and I can recite it from memory!
"All Soul's Night" is sheer beauty, celebrating the solemnity of the Wiccan holiday Samwhain - the end of summer and the beginning of the new year, and when I listen to the refrain, about bonfires and dancing, I gain a deeper respect for the traditions of a religion other than my own!
Lastly, McKennit's treatment of a few choice lines from Shakespeare's play Cymbelline (which many consider obscure), about the heat of the sun, is as refreshing as a soothing cold swim on a blazing hot day.
I believe we are experiencing a revival of all the good aspects of the Victorian era. For those who appreciate its mystery and its grace, I strongly recommend this musical masterpiece.
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