Review of “Another April Day” from pianist, harpist and vocalist Marie-Thérèse McCartin
This was the first all instrumental album (let alone piano) we have reviewed so it was a bit of a challenge, yet delightful as well. I was not very familiar with the piano being used for Irish music, but found it to be surprisingly pleasant, visually stimulating and mentally contemplative. Marie-Thérèse McCartin’s style is crisp, clean and straight forward. Manipulating a piano to emotionally stimulate an audience through Celtic tunes, which usually rely on a singer’s voice, could not have been easy. Marie-Thérèse pulls it off wonderfully on “Another April Day.”
There is no need to repeat the facts, so from Marie-Thérèse’s website her bio reads this way:
Marie-Thérèse McCartin, B.Mus.Ed., Dip.Mus.Ed
Marie-Thérèse McCartin is from Co. Leitrim in Ireland and she began playing piano at the age of six. Marie-Thérèse attended The Royal Irish Academy of Music and went on to graduate from Trinity College, Dublin, with a bachelor’s degree in Music Education. Also an accomplished harpist and singer, Marie-Thérèse was a member of Anuna, the original chorus in Riverdance. In 2003 she realized a lifelong dream when she set up the Cavan Academy of Music. The school teaches a range of instruments and styles of music and welcomes students of all ages.
Marie-Thérèse’s most recent venture to date is the completion of this, her piano album, ‘Another April Day’. The album features the 60 piece Moldovan orchestra. The CD features the title track, an original composition by Marie-Thérèse with lyrics written by her father, Tommy, and both piano and vocals performed by the artist herself.
Her site is at:
This Celtic CD Review – Marie-Thérèse McCartin
“Another April Day” is a 15 track easy listening piano album of traditional Irish songs that you may or may not completely recognize. There is one original composition included, being the title song “Another April Day.” You get to hear it twice! This is Marie-Thérèse’s debut CD and we can only hope there are more. While this style of music is not typically or hugely popular, it has its place in any Celtic collection. Let’s face it, at some point your typical Irish music CDs may get monotonous. You will desire a variety. This CD is a much needed respite from everyday music and can also come in handy when the mood is right, perhaps at dinner time, while driving, contemplating life or even making love. It would be perfect as Celtic store background music too.
All of the tracks are not slow lamentable pieces. “Oro se do bheatha Bhaile” is a jazzy arranged song that reminds me somewhat of disco. “Port Lairge” is a lively and happy piece as well. Some of the tracks may bring a tear to your eye, they are that emotionally played by Marie-Thérèse. You can close your eyes and be taken elsewhere. Did you ever see those travel shows on cable that do fly-overs of beautiful landscapes? These tracks could be background music for that. The title track “Another April Day” is particularly beautiful.
If you’ve ever thought of buying a Celtic CD from one of those stand alone sample music devices you see in some restaurants and stores, save your money and get Marie-Thérèse McCartin’s “Another April Day” instead! You will acquire truly peaceful, unique, contemplative and emotional Irish music.
The bonus song on “Another April Day” is a vocal arrangement of the song “Another April Day.” It was very chilling and memorable long after the CD ended. I wish Marie-Thérèse would sing more often. Perhaps on the next CD. All in all this is a very good debut CD that I reluctantly ejected from the player and sadly got back to reality on another darkening fall day.