Hanneke Cassel | Some Melodious Sonnet

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World: Celtic Folk: Celtic Folk Moods: Instrumental
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Some Melodious Sonnet

by Hanneke Cassel

Contemporary, cutting-edge Celtic fiddle music. FEATURING 2008 USA SONGWRITING CONTEST instrumental category winning piece: "A Shadow and a Thought"
Genre: World: Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Pauline Conneely's/Arthur Muise/Dog Bites Chapman/The Boston Urb
4:53 $0.99
2. Pieces of Us/ Marc et Laura
4:40 $0.99
3. A Shadow and a Thought/ The Lightnin' Bug
5:42 $0.99
4. Strathspey O' Death #1/ Strathspey O' Death #2/ Colonel Thornton
4:22 $0.99
5. The Green Lady/ Olivia's Jig
5:07 $0.99
6. Blue
3:45 $0.99
7. Mothers of the Disappeared/ The Evenstar
6:38 $0.99
8. Fonix
3:41 $0.99
9. Bruremarsj Fra Lom
3:48 $0.99
10. The Artist and the Dancer
3:12 $0.99
11. Pigeon on the Gate/ Mrs. Joyscream
4:07 $0.99
12. Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing
5:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
"Exuberant and rhythmic, somehow both wild and innocent, delivered with captivating melodic clarity and an irresistible playfulness," says The Boston Globe about Hanneke Cassel's playing. Such charismatic fiddling has brought 26-year old Hanneke Cassel many honors and awards. She is the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion, she holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music, and she has performed and taught across the U.S., Scotland, Sweden, and Austria.

In addition to her solo act, Hanneke plays fiddle for the Cathie Ryan Band, and is a member of Boston-based fiddle bands Childsplay and Halali. She has made guest appearances with Cherish the Ladies, Alasdair Fraser, Matt Glaser and the Wayfaring Strangers, Ensemble Galilei, Aine Minogue, and Joey McIntyre (from New Kids on the Block). Her fiddling has graced the stages of Boston's Symphony Hall (opening for Judy Collins), Mountain Stage, The Plaza Hotel, Lincoln Center, the Boston Hatch Shell, and the Kennedy Center Millennium Stage.

Native of Port Orford, Oregon, Hanneke started playing classical violin when she was 8-years old. She met Portland-based fiddler Carol Ann Wheeler when she was 10 at an Texas-style fiddle contest. She soon quit classical, started taking fiddle lessons with Carol Ann, and began competing in contests throughout the Northwest. A few years later, Carol Ann encouraged Hanneke to learn some Scottish tunes. In 1991, Hanneke entered the Columbia-Pacific Scottish Fiddle Contest in Portland. She won the Jr. contest and went on a year later to capture the U.S. National Scottish Jr. Championship in New Hampshire. With this honor came a scholarship to study on the Isle of Skye, Scotland with the renowned Scottish fiddler Alasdair Fraser and Cape Breton master Buddy MacMaster. These two quickly became her fiddle heroes and continue to inspire her music to this day.
Hanneke's interest in and exuberance for fiddling is definitely a product of the ever-increasing presence of fiddle camps across the globe. The summers of her teen years were spent between Scotland, Mark O'Connor's Fiddle Camp in Nashville, and Alasdair Fraser's Valley of the Moon Fiddle School in California. She was inspired by the amazing musicians at these camps. Among them was Matt Glaser, Chair of Berklee College of Music's String Department. With encouragement from Glaser and Evan Price (fiddle camp friend, former Berklee student, and current member of the Turtle Island String Quartet), Hanneke set off for Boston in 1996 to attend Berklee College of Music on a string scholarship. She graduated in 2000 and continues to be an active member of the Boston music scene.



to write a review

Neil Gillies

Hanneke does it again
The music on this c.d. is beautifully put together. Wondered if she could keep up the standard of her previous albums - she certainly has. Great to hear her singing on the last track too. Very good album. Buy it.

Joe Ross

A smooth, silky touch of the bow on the strings
Playing Time – 54:57 -- A superior instrumentalist, fiddler Hanneke Cassel shows expert attention to violin technique as she plays with a sweetness of tone that is also charged with much emotional electricity. That has become her unique flair. Her seven accompanists very ably embellish her enchanting repertoire and arrangements. They include Rushad Eggleston (cello), Christopher Lewis (guitar), Jake Armerding (mandolin, two cuts), Corey DiMario (bass), Casey Driessen (5-string fiddle, one cut), Dave Wiesler (piano, two cuts), and Aoife O-Donovan (vocals, one cut).

Cassel is a lyrical player who chooses a haunting tone for her fiddle in this album’s mix. Rather than overbearing “in-your-face” audio quality, Hanneke’s overall sound has the leanings of new world chamber music with a Scottish twist. Her enchanting repertoire draws from some of her favorite lady fiddlers, some Swedish friends, and the traditional canon (“Pigeon on the Gate”). Especially noteworthy, a majority of her jigs, strathspeys, airs and reels are original compositions. She’s equally adept at a quick-paced romp through the opening set as she is with a more leisurely and reflective “Pieces of Us.” A tune like “Fønix” has some powerful rhythmic intensity. Exceeding six minutes, one might wonder if the set of “Mothers of the Disappeared” and “The Evenstar” could become tedious. Hanneke demonstrates how dynamics and lyrical variation can be used to allow such a piece to musically breathe for smooth, flowing presentation.

Hailing from Port Orford, Oregon, Hanneke began studying violin at age 8 and really only has two years of classical training. She then moved to Texas-style and Scottish fiddling with plenty of awards, championships and albums along the way. She’s the 1997 U.S. National Scottish Fiddle Champion. Some of her teachers have included Carol Ann Wheeler, Alasdair Fraser, Buddy MacMaster, Mark O’Connor and Matt Glaser. Graduating in 2000, she also now holds a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from Berklee College of Music in Boston where she currently resides.

All of the pieces on “Some Melodious Sonnet” display virtuoso musicianship. A smooth, silky touch of Hanneke’s bow on the strings, along with such masterful techniques as the Scottish snap and plenty of triplets, intimately convey her music. A superior instrumentalist, she has a repertoire that both respects tradition and allows her to build a personalized signature sound. Closing the project on a contemplative and inspirational note, Hanneke sings “Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing.” Only in her twenties, Hanneke Cassel is a truly gifted and charismatic artist whose youthful exuberance and optimism shine through and will take her far. I’d like to see her continue to write and really push the envelope into some truly uncharted territory. She’s well on her way. (Joe Ross, Roseburg, Oregon)

Mark Nelson

Pure, enchanting music with bold colors
I heard "Green Lady..Olivia's Jig" on the radio in Seattle and it was so beautiful and sad it brought tears. The album's blending of classical Scot fiddle sequences, new melody, creative chords and harmonies was wonderful, and the cello is perfect. Take it straight with no chaser.


Best album of her\'s
This album is my favorite. All the songs were arranged beautifully. And a big wow to Hanneke\'s friddle skills. It\'s just so amazing. Listen to the clips here. If you\'re skeptical about the exact genre her music falls in, I\'d proudly tell you it falls comp. celtic. It\'s not bluegrassy or anything. Nice discovery I found at CDBaby!! Thanks.


Some Melodious Sonnet is an amazing CD. I love the mix of traditional tunes as well as Hanneke's beautiful and energetic melodies. I would pick a favorite tune, but it's impossible... they're all so fantastic. If you don't have this CD, you are truly missing out... go and buy it!

Jamie Fuller

Beautiful choreography of music!
Her music is uniquely beautiful and dynamic. Melodious sound grips you and sends you to the isles of Ireland and Scotland. Tremendously talented young musician. Enjoyed her music at Park Street and glad to hear more of her sound. Music is not trendy or tiresome so will enjoy this for a very long time.


Wonderful CD!
My daughters and I listened to some clips of the CD Some Melodious Sonnet and we just had to have it. My daughters ages 8 and 4 asked every day when the CD would come in the mail. They were so excited the day it came! We listen to it in the car every time we travel together.


Excellent CD. Quelle maestria Mademoiselle Hanneke ! Idem pour le CD My Joy


Beautiful music!
This is a wonderful CD. I danced to Hanneke Cassel, David Knight and Dave Wiesler at Glen Echo Park. I bought one of her CDs that night, after listening to that CD I had to have more.