W.B. Yeats Poems - Words and Music
Group Name Vincent O’Neill - Poetry Readings; Mary Ramsey - Original Music
Album ID - 54508-MCD

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W. B. Yeats himself might have been speaking of the performance of his poems by Vincent O'Neill and Mary Ramsey on this CD when he wrote that, “I have just heard a poem spoken with so delicate a sense of its rhythm, with so perfect respect for its meaning, that if I were a wise man and could persuade a few people to learn the art, I would never open a book of verses again...”

Vincent O'Neill and Mary Ramsey are the ideal performers to unlock the enchantment Yeats planted in his words. Dublin-born O'Neill brings to this recording skills developed at the Abbey, the Dublin theatre founded by Yeats, and honed in decades of stunning successes at the Irish Classical Theatre he co-founded in Buffalo. Mary Ramsey, a classically trained musician who has been playing the violin since age five and is lead singer and violinist for 10,000 Maniacs, adds a unique high octane boost to this recording.

O'Neill and Ramsey have given us a way of restoring the health of our fractured consciousness. Their performance bears out the hope of Florence Farr, the woman whose recitation so enamoured Yeats, that the “mystery of sound” could overcome “the din of the traffic of the restless” and restore “the peace of those who are listening for the old magic, and watching till the new creation is heralded by the sound of the new word.”

O'Neill's and Ramseys interpretation resists the temptation to overpower Yeats's words, and instead allows the words to find their way into the listener's consciousness at their own inherent pace.

Vincent O'Neill's recitation of “He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven” is a good example of the way in which his voice, intonation and respect for the lyrics achieve the magic sought by Yeats. Vincent's rendition masterfully blends the poem's magic and music.

1. The Land of Heart's Desire [ Excerpt ]
2. The Stolen Child
3. The Host of the Air
4. Who Goes with Fergus?
5. The Lake Isle of Innisfree
6. The Ballad of Moll Magee
7. The Mask
8. He wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
9. The Lover Mourns for the Loss of Love
10. The Song of Wandering Aengus
11. Adam's Curse
12. Never Give All the Heart
13. No Second Troy
14. Down by the Salley Gardens
15. Brown Penny
16. Easter 1916
17. The Rose Tree