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Sailing to Byzantium

Artist: Christine Tobin

Date of Release: 02/07/2012

Catalogue no: 2092

Label: Trail Belle

Price: £12

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Track Listing

No

 

Title

Duration

1

listen

When You Are Old

2

listen

The Lake Isle of Innisfree

3

listen

The Song Of Wandering Aengus

4

listen

The Wild swans At Coole

5

listen

The Fisherman

6

listen

The Pity Of Love

7

 

The Second Coming

8

listen

In Memory Of Eva Gore Booth and Con Markievicz

9

 

What Then?

10

 

Sailing To Byzantium

11

 

Byzantium

12

 

Long-legged Fly

13

 

The White Birds

 

 

 

 

Appearances by

Gareth Lockrane, Liam Noble, Phil Robson

THIS CD WILL BE RELEASED IN 2ND JULY AND CDS WILL BE SENT OUT THEN. THE CD CAN BE PRE-ORDERED NOW AND PAYMENT WILL BE TAKEN AT TIME OF PURCHASE
12 poems by WB Yeats set to music by Christine Tobin

Poems W.B. Yeats
Music written & arranged by Christine Tobin
Produced by Christine Tobin
Due for release 2nd July 2012 on Trail Belle Records

Special guest – actor Gabriel Byrne reads poems tracks 2,6, 13.
Christine Tobin – voice, piano on track 2.
Liam Noble – piano on all other tracks
Phil Robson – guitars
Gareth Lockrane – flutes tracks 3, 5, 9, 10, 13.
Kate Shortt – cello
Dave Whitford – double bass


 

Reviews

 

01/06/2012 Peter Quinn, Jazzwise 4 stars****

In this beautiful collection of songs based on the poetry of WB Yeats, vocalist Christine Tobin has created an unqualified masterpiece. Setting poems from across the entire spectrum of Yeats' oeuvre, Tobin perfectly gauges the emotional and spiritual resonances of the texts, aided by performances of incredible subtlety and understatement. The singer nails her beguilingly pure tone and melodic fecundity to the mast from the get-go in the autumnal opener "When You Are Old". In the music's simplicity and emotional directness - songs such as "What Then?" , "The Wild Swans at Coole" and "Sailing To Byzantium" channel a folk-like potency and restraint - you might be able to detect residual traces of her previous release, Tapestry Unravelled. Special guest Gabriel Byrne, Tobin's former school teacher in Dublin, recites "The Lake Isle of Innisfree" (adroitly accompanied by the singer on piano). "The Pity of Love" and "The White Birds", and if his presence on the album helps to attract the attention of a wider audience then so much the better. Creating a sound-world all of its own, the seductive spell of Sailing To Byzantium is immediate, its depth of feeling limitless. Discs of this stature are not common - this is recommended unreservedly.

 

18/06/0012 All About Jazz Bruce Lindsay

On Sailing To Byzantium singer/songwriter Christine Tobin adds music to the poems of Ireland’s much-loved William Butler Yeats (1865-1939). Get this wrong, and an entire nation might well demand answers: get it right and a richly imaginative and beautiful recording is promised. Tobin gets it right.Tobin’s love of Yeats goes back to her teens in Dublin, when her first boyfriend would read her two of the poems: the beautiful “When You Are Old” and the mysterious “The Song Of Wandering Aengus.” Sailing To Byzantium originated in Tobin’s 2010 performance of Yeats’ poems, given at the invitation of the National Library Of Ireland. Her emotional connection to Yeats’ words comes across in every line—in a career of superb vocal performances, this may well be Tobin’s best yet.

Tobin is both a masterful songwriter and a skilful interpreter of other writers’ work; her 2010 album with pianist Liam Noble, Tapestry Unravelled (Trail Belle), superbly reworks Carole King’s iconic recording. Noble is also a central presence on Sailing To Byzantium, driving the pace of “The Song Of Wandering Aengus,” emphasizing the fearful mystery of “The Second Coming.” His rhythm playing, in partnership with bassist Dave Whitford, provides a strong foundation from which their fellow players take a variety of fascinating paths.

Each musician seems to intuitively understand Tobin’s musical ideas. Kate Shortt‘s cello adds pathos to “When You Are Old” and heightens the sense of regret in “The Wild Swans At Coole.” Phil Robson‘s playing is graceful and fluid, his solo on “The Fisherman” matching Tobin’s voice in its beauty. On “Byzantium” the pair combines on a lovely tune reminiscent of Robert Kirby’s arrangements for Nick Drake.

Gabriel Byrne, now better known as the star of Hollywood movies such as The Usual Suspects (1995), was Tobin’s teacher at school in Dublin. Byrne accepted Tobin’s invitation to read three poems and brings his own gravitas to the proceedings. Tobin gives him space, keeping instrumentation to a minimum. Byrne reads the moving “The Pity Of Love” unaccompanied; on “The Lake Isle Of Innisfree,” a poem that longs for the peace of a “bee-loud glade,” he’s joined by Tobin’s lyrical but sparse piano; for “The White Birds” Gareth Lockrane joins him in a flute and voice duet.

Much of the success of this album is down to the way in which Tobin’s music serves Yeats’ words. The poems are always the primary focus, inspiring the music and the performances. Tobin gets the combination just right, giving emphasis to Yeats’ imagery and emotions, highlighting the subtler nuances, and opening the poems up to offer a new experience. She does this so successfully, that it’s possible to forgive anyone who asks how Yeats has managed to write such beautiful lyrics to Tobin’s tunes. There’s a timeless quality to the music and words on Sailing To Byzantium: a record that goes, as “The Lake Isle Of Innisfree” puts it, to “the deep heart’s core.”

 

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