David Fitzgerald - In Paradisum: The David Fitzgerald Collection
STYLE: Celtic RATING OUR PRODUCT CODE: 18793-13745 LABEL: ICC ICC0949D FORMAT: CD Album ITEMS: 4 RELEASE DATE: 2006-05-25 RRP: £4.99
Reviewed by Lins Honeyman
Spanning a decade, Iona founder member David Fitzgerald's four solo releases have been repackaged into this retrospective box set. For the most part, Fitzgerald's virtuoso flute and sax playing is the real star of an ethereal collection which spans church music from the sixth century right through to the 20th with the first two discs ('Columcille' and 'Lux Aeterna') wisely containing a blend of instrumental and vocal numbers to supply a degree of diversity to the proceedings. For example, renowned counter tenor Tim Brown features in the captivating Latin piece "Veni Creator" and R&B diva Vanessa Freeman gives a soulful rendition of the standard "Were You There" whilst Fitzgerald himself shines in an instrumental version of "Veni Veni Emmanuel" (better known as the Christmas hymn "O Come, O Come Emmanuel") and the more experimental tracks on disc two. In truth, the final two discs in this collection ('Breath Of Heaven' and 'God Is Love') are musically less varied and are solely instrumental pieces but the opportunity is taken by the artist to present his own interpretations of songs by a disparate group of writers from past and present. The likes of Martin Smith's "I Could Sing Of Your Love Forever" and a handful of Graham Kendrick choruses sit comfortably next to the hymn "Dear Lord And Father Of Mankind" and ancient songs such as Hildegard Von Bingen's "O Euchari" whilst a version of Joni Mitchell's "Love" proves that Fitzgerald can lend his hand to just about anything. Whilst this box set won't enhance the collections of those who purchased the individual releases first time around, this is an extremely cost effective way of experiencing the back catalogue of one of Christian music's most revered players.
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4-CD box set containing David's first four solo albums: Columcille, Lux Aeterna, Breath Of Heaven and God Is Love.