La Belle Dame

Music of Love, Longing and Sorrow in the Celtic and Poetic Traditions


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Track list (links are to MP3s):

  1. Sea-Longing (Ionndrainn-mhara)
  2. The Month of January
  3. The Gathering Dusk
  4. Bonny Portmore
  5. The Soldier’s Song (Òran an t-Saighdear)
  6. La Belle Dame sans Merci
  7. Doun In Yon Banke
  8. Spell of Creation
  9. Shadow
  10. My Fair Darling (Mo Mhúirnín Bán)
  11. When I Am Dead, My Dearest
  12. Richmond’s Passage

Featured Musicians:
Susan Craig Winsberg – flutes, pennywhistles, recorders
Susan McKeown, Molly Pasutti, Kathleen Fisher – vocals
Lisa Lynne Franco – celtic harp
Stephanie Bennett – pedal harp, celtic harp
Jay Ansill – guitar
Sean Michael Clegg – guitars, mandolin, bouzouki
Larry Steen – double bass
Stephanie Fife – cello
Novi Novog – viola
Michael Eagan – archlute
Denise Briesé – viola da gamba, violone
Jim McGrath – percussion
Mike Bruno – didgeridoo
John McLean Allan – Deger pipes
Aloke Dutta – tabla, tamboura

I would like my listeners to know that I feel the utmost reverence for the poets whose works I used to create songs, and that any changes I made to the text, be it omissions or additions, were due entirely to musical considerations. I hope you and the poets will forgive me. — Susan Craig Winsberg

For those interested in flutes, Susan played on a couple noteworthy instruments: a 10-key, cocuswood flute, Rudall & Rose (London), c.1835 (from the collection of Rick Wilson of Pasadena, California); and an Edward Almeida modern flute with a boxwood headjoint made by Howel Roberts of Munich, Germany.

Dedicated to the memory of Kathy Richmond-Baxter and Jeffrey Richmond, my great aunt and uncle from Scotland who both recently passed away.

An Die Musik
Du holde Kunst, in wieviel grauen Stunden,
Wo mich des Lebens wilder Kreis umstrickt,
Hast du mein Herz zu warmer Lieb entzunden,
Hast mich in eine beßre Welt entrückt!

Oft hat ein Seufzer, deiner Harf entflossen,
Ein süßer, heiliger Akkord von dir
Den Himmel beßrer Zeiten mir erschlossen,
Du holde Kunst, ich danke dir dafür!

F. von Schober

To Music
O gracious Art, in how many grey hours
When life’s fierce orbit encompassed me,
Hast thou kindled my heart to warm love,
Hast charmed me into a better world!

Oft has a sigh, issuing from thy harp,
A sweet, blest chord of thine,
Thrown open the heaven of better times;
O gracious Art, for that I thank thee!

(translation by Gerard Mackworth-Young)
All non-traditional tracks composed by Susan Craig Winsberg. All tracks produced and arranged by Susan Craig Winsberg, Co-produced and engineered by Gilberto ‘Gil’ Morales. Basic tracks for “The Month of January” and “When I am Dead, My Dearest” engineered by Michael Harmon. Additional guitar arrangements by Sean Michael Clegg. Additional arrangements on “When I Am Dead, My Dearest” by Stephanie Bennett.

Recorded at the following California studios: Michael Harmon Studio, Oakland; Love Tribe Studios, Van Nuys; J. E. Sound Production, Hollywood; Harpworld Music, North Hills; Outback Studios, Claremont; Studio F, Belair; Kalani Music, West Hills; Talking Drum Records, Santa Monica. Mixed by Gilberto “Gil” Morales at Love Tribe Studios. Mastered by John Matousek at Masterworks, La Cañada, California.

Artwork and graphics by Jasper Johal. Cover art reproduction: La Belle Dame sans Merci, 1893 (oil on canvas) by John William Waterhouse; Hessisches Landesmuseum, Darmstadt, Germany/Bridgeman Art Library, London/New York. photos by: Jaspar Johal (of Susan Craig Winsberg and Molly Pasutti), Cari Pike (of Kathleen Fisher) and John-Francis Bourke (of Susan McKeown)