Thursday, March 20, 2008

now playing: Hanneke Cassel and Christopher Lewis: Calm the Raging Sea

Hanneke Cassel and Christopher Lewis
Calm the Raging Sea

Fiddle player Hanneke Cassel is known for her fiery attack, her exuberant playing, and her fine sense of serving the melody, whether that be in tunes she writes herself, songs she covers (ranging from traditional Scottish reels to U2), or when she’s backing up other artists. On her latest project, she adds a new aspect: she shows that she is as good at quiet reflection with her fiddle as she is at calling down fire.

Cassel joins up with guitarist Lewis for a journey through eleven hymns, some familiar, some less so, some from Protestant traditions, some from Catholic, some ancient, some new. It’s a well thought out and natural flow of music. Cassel has won US Scottish style fiddling championships and studied with Scotsman Alasdair Fraser, Cape Bretoner Buddy MacMaster, and musician of all trades Mark O’Connor. There’s Celtic flavor in these tunes, always subtle and always adding to the music. One could easily imagine the sweeping lines of Cassel's take on Fairest Lord Jesus, with percussive guitar from Lewis, being played out against a Scottish sky. The pairing of Be Still My Soul and O Sacred Head Sore Wounded is a combination which is both mighty and gentle. All the tracks are worth the listening, and it’s a fine idea to take the journey with Cassel and Lewis all the way from the opening track At Length There Dawns a Glorious Day to the closing pairing of Rest in You and Holy, Holy, Holy. As it unfolds, you’ll find new colors to the familiar and perhaps music you hadn’t heard but which seems right at home.

more about Hanneke Cassel

video of Hanneke Cassel playing -- not a hymn though...

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Blogger Notlob said...

The Music Road is the first to be alerted that Hanneke and Christopher, with Mike Block (cello) will be performing Saturday, February 28, 2009 at the Clarendon Hill Presbyterian Church, 155 Powderhouse Blvd., Somerville, MA.

Jeff Boudreau
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11:25 AM  

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