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Anúna: Revelation | Album Reviews

Siobhan Long, IRISH TIMES

Fri, Jul 17, 2015

Nine years on from their last CD release, and close to three decades since their founder, Michael McGlynn, first convened this choral group, Anúna exists, as Sliabh Luachra does, as much a state of mind as an entity.
The group’s membership ebbs and flows, but McGlynn’s steely focus is ever-present.

Revelation glories in a rich coalition of original material composed by McGlynn, alongside a beautiful early Christian text, Sanctus Santua, and, somehow fittingly, two divinely poised Japanese pieces whose sinuous lines allow the full choral potential of the group to shimmer

The opener, Mononoke Hime, reveals the deeper warp and weft of the ensemble. McGlynn’s writing has grown in confidence and subtlety, and the decision to use harmonica on Elegy (with text from the Book of Ecclesiasticus) adds to the richness of Anúna’s sound.

Irish Music Magazine : April 2016

It’s hard to think that it’s close to 30 years since Anúna first hit the scene. They brought an awareness of our heritage, using the oldest and most flexible of instruments, the human voice. It’s a tribute to Michael McGlynn that he has managed to keep the 17 members of the group together.

It has taken a combination of scholarship, razor–keen ears, and leadership qualities to realise the dream of a group that can tackle anything from renaissance polyphony to modern folksong – and there are two numbers in Japanese this time. If they have few competitors and imitators, that is proof of just how difficult is the task they have achieved.

The group has its own teaching method, and last November they launched a training choir with a summer course planned for Dublin in the summer. We have here an assortment of the many strands which make up our musical landscape from Love’s Old Sweet Song to Fill, Fill, a Rún Ó and there’s a great version of The Maid of Coolmore.

In this year when pre–cooked patriotism is much in evidence, this example of thoughtful craftsmanship should be very welcome.

John Brophy


released June 26, 2015



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ANÚNA Dublin, Ireland

"...thrilling, life-affirming..."
"...enchanting sonic tapestry..."
"...a place where the heavens meet the horizon..."

Falling into no category easily, Anúna remain at the fringe of contemporary music after over a quarter of a century of life. Timeless, ancient and simultaneously relevant to this world.
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Track Name: Fáilte don Éan
Fáilte don éan is binne ar chraoibh
Labhras ar caoin na dtor le gréin.
Domsa is fada tuirse an tsaoil
Nach bhfeiceann í le teacht an fhéir.

Cluinim, cé nach bhfeicim a gné,
Seinim an éan darb ainm cuach;
Amharc uirthi i mbarra géag
Mo thuirse ghéar nach mise fuair.

Gach neach dá bhfeiceann cruth an éin,
Amharc Éireann deas is tuaidh,
Blátha na dtulca ar gach taoibh,
Dóibh is aoibhinna bheith dá lua.

English translation:

Welcome to the bird, the sweetest on the trees
Who sings the beauty of greenery to the sun.
I am long tired of this life
For I cannot see her when the new grass comes.

I can hear it, though I cannot see her,
The chant of the bird they call cuckoo;
To look on her in the branches above
It is my bitter grief that I don't have that gift.

Each one may behold the charm of the bird,
For all Ireland is gazing, north and south,
With all of the flowers on the hills around,
And everyone can speak of such things with delight.
Track Name: Na Coille Cumhra
A chumainn is a shearc, rachaimid-ne seal
faoi choillte ag scaipeadh drúchta,
Mar a bhfaighimid-ne breac, is lon ar an nead,
an fia agus an boc ag búireadh;

A rún agus a shearc, gluaisfimid gan stad
go coillte breá glasa an Triúcha
A chúl álainn tais na bhfáinní cas,
is breá 's deas do shúile.

An t-éinín is binne ar ghéaga ag seinm
an chuaichín ar barr an iúir ghlais;
Is go bráth, bráth ní thiocfaidh an bás 'nár ngoire
i lár na coille cumhra.

English translation:

My love and desire, we will go for a while
beneath the woods, scattering the dew.
We will find the trout and the blackbird on her nest,
the bellowing deer and stag

My dear, my love, let us go without waiting
to the lovely green woods of Triúcha
Soft beautiful hair in twisting curls
your eyes are fine and lovely.

The sweetest bird singing on a branch
the cuckoo on the top of the green yew tree;
And death will never, never come to us
in the middle of the fragrant woods.
Track Name: Sanctus Santua
Sanctus, Santua
Dominus Deus sabbaoth
Pleni sunt caeli et terra gloria tua,
Hosanna in excelsis.
Benedictus qui venit in nomine Domini.
Hosanna in excelsis.

English translation:

Holy, holy
Lord God of might;
Your glory fills all of heaven and earth
Hosanna in the highest.
Blessed is he comes in the name of the Lord.
Hosanna in the highest.
Track Name: One Last Song
Sing me one last song that will carry me away
To the warm summer memory of home;
And that old melody softly echoes on the breeze,
To a pathway that I must walk alone.
I have loved, I have lain on the dewy morning fields
With a cloud of apple blossom in the air.

So lay me down.
I'm weary of the cries and distant drums.
One last farewell.
The time for endless sleep will come.

Sing me one last song as the evening shadows fall
From the gold chariot reaching from the west.
Raise up one last glass, as I hear the boatman call.
And an old song will carry me to rest.
I have loved, I have lain on the dewy morning fields
With a cloud of apple blossom in the air.

So lay me down.
I'm weary of the cries and distant drums.
One last farewell.
The time for endless sleep has come.
Track Name: The Maid of Coolmore
From sweet Londonderry to fair London town
There is no better harbour on this coast can be found
Where the children do wander as they play along the shore
And the joy bells are ringing for the maid of Coolmore

The first time that I met her, she passed me by.
The next time that I saw her, she bid me goodbye
But the third time that I met her, she grieved my heart sore
For she sailed down Lough Foyle and away from Coolmore.

To the north coast of America my love I'll go see,
It is there I know no one and no one knows me.
But if I do not find her I'll return no more
Like a pilgrim I'll wander for the maid of Coolmore.
Track Name: Revelation
Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel
Salva nos, Libera nos.

Post hæc vidi quattour Angelos
stantes super quattour angulos terræ,
tenentes quattour ventos terræ
ne flarent super terram,
neque super mare, neque in ullam arborem.

English translation:

Michael, Gabriel, Raphael, Uriel
Protect us, deliver us.

And after these things I saw four Angels
Standing on the four corners of the Earth,
holding the four winds of the land,
so that the wind may not blow upon the land,
nor upon the sea, nor upon any tree.