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The McDonald-Bianculli Flute & Guitar Duo | Hill of Slane: Psalms, Sonatas & Sojourns

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Official Website BROOKLYN EAGLE REVIEW Oct. 2, 2008 McDonald-Bianculli BLOG Hill of Slane - The Video Bruno Boutin, Luthier - Builder of Pat\'s guitar on this CD Recording Studio for Hill of Slane Mastering Studio for Hill of Slane

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Classical: Chamber Music Classical: Baroque Moods: Instrumental
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Hill of Slane: Psalms, Sonatas & Sojourns

by The McDonald-Bianculli Flute & Guitar Duo

Classical Music that crosses borders, styles and traditions and provides fresh new interpretations of classics from the repertoire.
Genre: Classical: Chamber Music
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Hamburg Sonata in G, W.133: Allegretto - Rondo: Presto
7:28 $0.99
2. Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1034: I. Adagio ma non tanto
3:06 $0.99
3. Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1034: II. Allegro
2:51 $0.99
4. Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1034: III. Andante
3:43 $0.99
5. Sonata in E Minor, BWV 1034: IV. Allegro
3:48 $0.99
6. Hill of Slane
6:03 $0.99
7. A Psalm of Thanksgiving
10:20 $0.99
8. Sonata, Op. 37
10:49 $0.99
9. Sonata: I. Allegro, meno mosso
4:14 $0.99
10. Sonata: II. Andante espressivo
5:26 $0.99
11. Sonata: III. Allegretto animato
3:02 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Hill of Slane – Psalms, Sonatas & Sojourns

"They are dedicated, polished musicians, with a will to communicate, not just with their listeners, but with each other. In its own modest way, this is a "feel good" CD – perfect at the end of a trying day. The engineering is excellent in its warmth and realism, and even the booklet notes have been given unusual attention." Raymond Tuttle - Classical.net

"...a cleanly and masterfully produced album (that) has both Brooklyn and Ireland at heart." - Brooklyn Eagle Oct. 2, 2008

Recent Listener Comments:

“Your CD is absolutely beautiful!! It pulled me in from the first note.”

“The flute sound is so warm and you both play so well together.”

“What a lovely and magisterial reading of the piece! (Hill of Slane) It really took me back to the days of my visit to the HIll and the subsequent effort to translate that experience into music.

“Heavenly….is a word that comes to mind. The beautiful intimacy of your playing felt like vines winding and embracing each other. I started to look at the notes and was forced to stop because the sound was so compelling.”

“Whoa, Katie bar the door! GREAT GREAT GREAT CD! You two should be really pleased - it's a different Kind of CD - not your normal garden variety flute/guitar CD. “

“You both play so beautifully - lyrical with all the haunting qualities that some of the music intends.”

“The tone of each instrument, each selection and overall quality is magnificent.”

“ I have to tell you that not only do I love the CD, but my kids want to hear it all of the time. We play it in the car at least every day.”

“No question why you chose the title track. It’s a very beautiful composition. Very atmospheric. That first low-register, sustained note draws me into the piece. At the beginning the guitar sounds almost like a piano.”

“The sleeve, sprinkled with a dazzling emerald green in a pastoral setting, is captivating; the enclosed notes apt and informative, and pictures representative of the warm chemistry that permeates each and every note you both play. I will need to listen to your virtuosic renderings several times to fully catch all of its quintessential qualities.”

“Many thanks for the CD. A very uplifting selection and I like your sensitive performance of my Sonata. Thanks so much for including it on the CD.”

“What a joy to listen to your CD! Kudos to you & Kathleen for beautiful playing & convincing & musically rewarding interpretation plus a very interesting selection of repertory.”

“ It's been several weeks since I received your amazing CD. I've listened to it several times at the gym on Bose headphones and several times at home. It's unbelievably good. You both sound so polished, so musical, so wonderful.”

About the Artists:
“…a marvelous blend…the cohesive warmth of their playing is a unique form of wedded bliss and New York is the richer for it…” CLASSICAL GUITAR, London, England
“…the four Mountain Songs by Robert Beaser were lovingly rendered by Kathleen McDonald and Pasquale Bianculli”…TIMES-COLONIST, British Columbia, Canada
“…Mr. Bianculli had a masterful touch, a fine sense of dynamic contrast and an excellent feel for phrasing…Ms. McDonald had the virtuosic agility for this piece (CPE Bach, “Hamburg Sonata”),…an impeccable sense of ensemble throughout the concert...” PIONEER, Long Island University, New York

Known for their sensitive performance of chamber music, Kathleen McDonald, flute, and Pasquale Bianculli, guitar, have been playing music together since 1977. Among their concerts have been appearances at New York’s Weill Recital Hall, Merkin Concert Hall, and Lincoln Center Library for the Performing Arts. Other concerts include De Doelen in Rotterdam, the World Trade Center Curaçao in Willemstad, King’s House in Kingston, Jamaica, TheaterForum Kreutzberg in Berlin. They recently performed in Oslo, Norway and Arnhem, The Netherlands during the spring of 2009.

Kathy and Pat live in Brooklyn Heights, NY where they continue to enrich the community with their music. Kathy directs “Baroque Across the River”, an early music ensemble that plays concerts in historical settings in Brooklyn and around the New York region. She was a student of Samuel Baron and Sandra Miller and has performed in master classes with Marcel Moyse in Vermont. She has worked with the best of New York’s early music scene and her group was featured at Gotham Early Music Early Season’s festival at the Times Center in Manhattan. Pat is Adjunct Professor of Guitar at Long Island University, C.W. Post Campus and Guitar Instructor at the United Nations International School. His teachers include Jerry Willard, Edgard Dana, Joseph Cassano and Billy Bauer. He has taken master classes with Angel Romero, Timothy Walker and Alexandre Lagoya.

Hill of Slane is the duo’s first CD. It was recorded and edited by John Kilgore (winner of 2016 Grammy for Best Engineered Album, Classical) at John Kilgore Sound & Recording and mastered at Candlewood Digital LLC by Richard Price.



to write a review

Mark Fitzgibbons

The Hill of Slane
Exceptional sound! This collection of duets for one guitar and one flute sound like they were recorded in a sound studio fit for the Philharmonic.
The first track (The Hamburg Sonata)has a wonderful breezy quality. It reminds me of an early spring day.
No question why the title track was chosen for that designation. “The Hill of Slane” by Arlo McKinnon, Jr. is simply a beautiful composition. Very atmospheric. An initial low-register, sustained note played on the flute draws one into the piece. There’s a comment in the liner notes about the silences-- “…like white space on a painter’s canvas.” What a wonderful connection that suggests between two art forms. Each time I’ve listened to the CD I find myself particularly drawn into the world of the “Hill of Slane.”
Without question “A Psalm of Thanksgiving” by Frederic Hand is the best DUET on the CD. Each instrument seems to be an equal partner with equal emphasis. And yet both instruments are highlighted during some beautiful passages.
A closs second to the Psalm for all of the reasons mentioned above are the first two movements of “Sonata?” By Richard Charlton. It’s a terrific contemporary melody. It can slow down one’s pace if you let it. It’s music to which one can unwind. Listening to the first and second movement of this piece is the antidote for a hectic day. The last movement with its allegretto tempo and unexpected key change at the end was the right selection for the finish of this outstanding CD.
Mention has to be made of the packaging. Do you remember those double album jackets released in the late sixties and seventies? They were comprised of two sleeves. One or both were for the vinyl. The binding was wide enough to include the album’s title and artist so that you could actually identify it when one’s LP collection was stacked back to back. Sometimes one of those sleeves included photos or a song sheet. Those jackets were often as treasured as the recordings. Well, “Hill of Slane” gives us a new, miniaturized look at a long lost but not forgotten means of packaging recordings. The cover art—a beautiful panoramic view of the Hill of Slane in Ireland—wraps the jacket cover. An additional photo of the same subject but with grazing cattle appears on the inside cover of the two sleeves. And, removing the CD from it’s crystal clear post on the inside right sleeve reveals--amongt those grazing cattle—a surprise.

david rosenbaum

Hill of Slane
Lovely pieces of music played by master musicians. Great music for Sunday morning or a Saturday night dinner party. Quality and beauty throughout!

Kate Deimling

beautiful album
The music is beautiful and masterfully performed. The CD's presentation is also a delight, with inspiring photographs of the Irish landscape and its ancient ruins. It's a great mix of classical and modern, with the meditative "Hill of Slane" as its centerpiece. Every time I listen to the album I hear more than I heard before.

Edie Lange

Hill of Slane
The very first note from The Hill of Slane piece commands your attention to stop and listen. It is mystical and meditative...a beautiful piece of music. While the entire CD offers diversity in style and sound, it also demonstrates an obvious love for the music. Bravo!