Jim Stewart | The Marco Polo Suite

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CANADA - New Brunswick

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Folk: Contemporary Celtic Folk: Celtic Folk Moods: Type: Tributes
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The Marco Polo Suite

by Jim Stewart

A musical tribute to Canada's famous tall ship
Genre: Folk: Contemporary Celtic
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Anthem for the Wind & Water
6:27 $0.99
2. The Launching
3:02 $0.99
3. Marco Polo
3:06 $0.99
4. Australia
7:00 $0.99
5. Bully\'s Hornpipe
3:05 $0.99
6. The Pea Soup Calamity
4:13 $0.99
7. Edwin\'s Song
9:40 $0.99
8. Southern Cross
4:16 $0.99
9. Hob-y-derri-dando
3:51 $0.99
10. We Built This Old Ship
4:08 $0.99
11. To the Ends of the Earth
4:07 $0.99
12. Anthem (reprise)
2:13 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
The Marco Polo Suite is composer Jim Stewart's award-winning tribute to one of the most famous ships in Canadian history. Launched in Saint John, NB, in 1851, Marco Polo was the first ship to circumnavigate the globe in under six months, thus earning the accolade "the fastest ship in the world."

Including performances by some of the finest musicians in Atlantic Canada, as well as Gordon Bok and Carol Rohl from Maine, the Marco Polo Suite has been featured on a variety of radio programs, including:

Atlantic Airwaves (Halifax/CBC regional)[interview]
Weekend Mornings (Halifax/CBC regional)
Morningside (Toronto/CBC national) [interview]
The Max Ferguson Show (Toronto/CBC national)
Gabereau (Vancouver/CBC national)
RSVP (Winnipeg/CBC national)
Take Five (CBC Radio 2, national)
The Eric MacEwen Show (syndicated Toronto/Maritimes)
BBC Merseyside (Liverpool, England)
BBC World Service
Australian Broadcasting Corporation
New Zealand Broadcasting
Radio Limerick (Ireland)
Various Public Radio Stations (USA)

The first public performance of The Marco Polo Suite(August, 1993, Festival By The Sea), with
20 musicians, narrator and slide presentation, was recorded by the National Film Board of Canada for use in its 1995 release The Marco Polo: Queen of the Seas

In 2002, in partnership with Opera New Brunswick, an expanded form of The Marco Polo Suite premiered as a multimedia folk opera at the Imperial Theatre, in Saint John, NB. The distinguished Canadian actor/director R.H. Thomson joined the cast as narrator.

The Marco Polo Suite has generated one of the largest listener responses to any music ever played on Max Ferguson's CBC Stereo program

The Marco Polo Suite was a 1996 recipient of a Porcupine Award, in the category of Canadian History, presented by Steve Fruitman of University of Toronto Radio, Inc., for “preserving Canadian history in song.”

The overture of The Marco Polo Suite was performed by over 60 musicians at Fiddlers' Rally '98, Linlithgow, Scotland

Portions of The Marco Polo Suite are being used by Parks Canada in a film promoting Fundy National Park (NB)

Portions of The Marco Polo Suite were used in the marine gallery exhibit of the Market Square annex of the New Brunswick Museum (Saint John, NB)

“... a tremendous piece of work which will go down in the annals of Maritime music history." Broadcaster and East Coast Music Association director, Eric MacEwen

"The Marco Polo Suite is a major piece of work and a wonderful gathering of singers and musicians ..." David Pirie in Maple Roots (North American Folk Alliance)

"... a fine and imaginative piece of work..." Hugh Jones, singer/songwriter and member of the legendary British folk group The Spinners

"It's quite an achievement and I will be playing it on the show here ... it's excellent and you should be very proud of it ..." John O'Regan, Radio Limerick, Ireland

"The Marco Polo Suite was given a first complete broadcast in Australia yesterday. It was presented by Roger Holdsworth on a special programme on radio station '3PBS' ... from the feedback and calls after the programme, it was warmly received." Ken Shewan, Shiplovers' Society of Victoria, Melbourne, Australia

"I cannot think of any other musical work with its origin in New Brunswick to make such an impact on the public imagination well beyond the borders of the province." Douglas Hughes, Times-Globe, Saint John, NB

"If you haven't already heard it on CBC or international radio stations, you will be thrilled by this excellent recording which captures so well a significant part of Atlantic Canadian history. The music is rich and well-produced." Donna Davis, Spray Magazine

"This folk opera takes us through instrumental traditionally based music, real folkie songs, songs of the theatre, along with narratives of diaries and tales. This remarkable CD is excellently produced ... " Steve Fruitman, CIUT-FM, Toronto

"Jim Stewart's composition, The Marco Polo Suite, is a musical tribute to one of Canada's most famous sailing ships, the Marco Polo ... Typically, this vessel and its rich history is unknown to most Canadians. Stewart has helped rectify this situation by creating The Marco Polo Suite ... The orchestration is sumptuous ... The album is graced by many fine performers." Gene Wilburn, Northern Journey Online



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The Marco Polo Suite
My husband and I bought our first copy of this CD when we drove from New York to New Brunswick to hear the premiere of the unique opera itself. I'm delighted that the music is now available at CD Baby, and have begun buying copies of the CD as gifts for friends. One of those to whom I first sent one, and soon afterwards e-mailed my still-vivid memories of the performance, wrote me, "I loved the CD even before reading your extraordinarily detailed email. I can only imagine how moving the opera must have been because just listening to some of the songs brought some tears." I'll bet one of those songs was "We Built This Old Ship" -- it does that to me pretty much every time. But that's only one of the memorable songs this album features! I love the moving whole; it's more than the sum of its excellent parts. I wish we could see the opera once more time, but am grateful that this fantastic recording is available.