Cantiga | Magic Steps

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World: World Traditions World: Celtic Moods: Type: Instrumental
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Magic Steps

by Cantiga

A bright mixture of rustic Medieval dances, timeless Celtic airs and joyous fiddling opens the gateway into Cantiga's magical realm.
Genre: World: World Traditions
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. The Horse's Brawl
3:06 $0.99
2. La Volta
5:08 $0.99
3. Country Dances
3:59 $0.99
4. Harlequin Hornpipe
3:43 $0.99
5. Aran Boat Song
4:10 $0.99
6. Ja Nuns Hons Pris
3:43 $0.99
7. Ding Dong Merrily
1:49 $0.99
8. Ganglot
1:52 $0.99
9. Cantiga 100
4:26 $0.99
10. Miss Judge's Jig
3:35 $0.99
11. Tarantella
3:27 $0.99
12. The Parting Glass
2:19 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"CANTIGA's Magic Steps CD, like their previous recording, Once Upon A Time, is built upon an emotional content which is indeed a pleasure through which to contemplate one's own discovery of the world. You will find elegance, simplicity, grandeur, pride, stateliness, beauty, eloquent sorrow, and whimsical merriment.

Magic Steps fittingly, opens with The Horses Brawl. It showcases a counterpoint viola da gamba performance by guest artist Alexandre (Sasha) Raykov. The piece's embodied emotion is one of measured euphoria midst a dignified call to adventure --- as if to declare: "Onward and Upward!"

The Irish Traditional Aran Boat Song, cut #5, is my favorite Magic Steps selection. I indeed think it epitomizes the group CANTIGA and, yes, evokes for me fragile, haunting feelings. Might I suggest a glass of port and a late-night, quiet, candle-lit room to accompany this particular song. In fact, before you polish off that port, you might give ear to Ja Nuns Hon Pris, Ganglot, and Cantiga 100 (cuts #6, #8 and #9). I suspect that these songs will prove to be 'sleeper' favorites endearing themselves inextricably through repeated listening. For me, that's already beginning to happen.

Bottom line: Magic Steps presents all the familiar strides of CANTIGA in top form: Martha Gay's steady hand on harp, the unmistakable playful sound of Bob Bielefeld's woodwinds, the simple, articulate warmth of Max Dyer's cello, all uplifted by the percussion of Ray Dillard. The result is, quite simply, a musical world to delight in visiting. And especially, in the case of this CD, the collection takes on a more-than-usual, personal importance to all of us in its capture of some of the last recording sessions of passionate playing of the late CANTIGA co-founder, fiddler Malcolm Smith (1951-1996). Magic Steps is appropriately dedicated to his memory." Owain Phyfe, Nightwatch Recording

"This CD belongs in the collection of everyone who enjoys early music, energetic dance tunes, or exceptionally fine fiddle playing."

"Magic Steps" is a mix of works performed over several years by the members of the group Cantiga (Spanish for "song") The arrangements are fresh, lively and a delight to listen to. You can certainly hear the vibrant passion and evident joy that these musicians have for their work in each tune."

Maggie Boleyn, Webmistress, The Tudor Times



to write a review

Mr. Knoch

The most accessible and enjoyable early music available anywhere.
I heard Owain Phyffe at a local festival and, through him, learned of Cantiga and what great a sound they have. I was quite intrigued. I purchased their CD's and was completely blown away. There are no songs on any of their CD's that I did not enjoy. How many artists can you say that about? Their sound is accessible not only to us early music lovers but also to anyone else who happens to hear them by chance (or luck). Their sound truly bridges the gulf between centuries. I became an instant fan and will purchase any and all the work they can produce. They are simply the best.

Brother Donald

I've been a loyal Cantiga fan for more than 20 years. This is my favorite.
"Magic Steps" retains a permanent placement in my CD changer. The conversations between the individual players have grown more intimate over the years and their familiarity with the music and with each other makes this collection a manifestation of love. "Aran Boat Song" is my favorite Cantiga song of all time. I've used it as background music for the story of "The Fisherman and his Wife." By setting a tone with its sad lament, it has given the story a new life of its own. Its little wonder. As we collaborate, I recognize the members of Cantiga not only as superlative musicians but as fellow storytellers.

Frank Dutton

Beautiful music
This was the second (and will not be the last) Cantiga album I have bought. This one again shows the results of research into European, English and Irish music, culminating in an album that one has to listen to again and again, each time hearing the subtle ways that Cantiga have added their own style to the music.