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Neansai Ni Choisdealbha

(Nancy Costello)

Draiocht Na Feadoige

(Magic of the Flute)

CICD 197

Guest musicians:

Jack Talty: piano

Michael Hynes: flute

Cliodhna Ni Fhiannachta: fiddle

Aisling Ni Fhiannachta: fiddle

Johnny Og Connolly: accordion

Darren Breslin: accordion

Tommy Mellett: accordion

Eoin O'Neill: accordion

Johnny Connolly: melodeon

Meaiti Jo Sheamuis O'Fatharta: uilleann pipes

Paddy O'Fiannachta: bodhran

Originally from Cor na Rón in Indreabhán, a small locality that has always been renowned for music, Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha was first encouraged to play music at home by her father, Michael Mheáirt, and her mother, Bairbre Joe Staff Seoighe, originally from Cnoc, Lettermullen.

Having show great promise as a musician from a tender age, she has never been as busy with music as she is at present and since she was appointed Head of Music at RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta in the spring of 2010. Her skills as a music broadcaster have been tried and tested for years and she is renowned for presenting and producing a live two-hour programme on Sunday.

'This is a great record, an example of the best that traditional Irish music has to offer, and the first to come from the steady hands of Neansaí Ní Choisdealbha' — Meaití Jó Shéamuis

"Easily one of the best CDs of Irish music I have ever heard. Lovely Connemara touches to old tunes, rhythm to die for and 21 tracks . Well done, Neansaí, and of course Michael Hynes on it is no bad thing either. Beautiful presentation and great music. I love it! — Oliver O'Connell


Taimse im' chodladh is na duistear me:

Nancy's Reel:

The Swan:

Track Listing

  1. John Brennan's/George White's Fave/The Mountain Road
  2. Tommy Mulhaire's/Condon's Frolics
  3. Maistir Chor na Ron/The Navigator
  4. Taimse im chodladh is na duistear me (air)
  5. Tim Moloney's/Christmas Eve
  6. Tongs by the Fire/Gander in the Pratie Hole.
  7. Tripping to the Well/The Kiss Behind the Door/Dark Girl Dressed in Blue
  8. The Duchess Tree (air)
  9. Lucy Farr's Barndance/The Teelin Polka
  10. Redican's Mother/Humours of Derrykissane/Sir Philip McHugh
  11. The Green Mountain/Nancy's Reel
  12. An Buachaillin Ban (air)
  13. Ballyvaughan Bay/Trasna na Tonnta
  14. John Dwyer's/The Silver Spear
  15. Currants for Cakes, Raisins for Everything/Lark on the Strand
  16. Paddy Fahy's/Lorna Hunter's Reel
  17. Scottish Lament
  18. The Swan/The Sweeps HPs.
  19. Colonel Roger's/Happy Days of Youth
  20. Patrick's Night/Inis Cealtra/Tonn Teine/Ormond Sound

Press Reviews

The Living Tradition Jan/15

Well known in lreland and beyond as a broadcaster, Nancy Costello shows herself here to be an equally ?ne fluter. In a generous 21 tracks, she covers a wide range of lrish music from session tunes to slow airs, on flutes and whistles, joined by some excellent accompanists and other musicians.

The title of this CD might translate as 'Woodwind Wizardry' and that would be no great exaggeration, although Nancy has no pretentions to be a Finnegan or McGoldrick.

She breathes life into these tunes though and it's the warmth and spirit which really comes across in her music, with enough technical skill to make her playing seem the most natural thing in the world. Most of these tunes are ones l often play myself, being a whistler, so l have to take a step back from the familiar and try to be objective.

The material here comes from the heart of the tradition, well loved but sometimes neglected melodies. John Brennan 's and George White's Favourite are great old reels, not heard so much in sessions these days. Tommy Mulhaire's Jig is another rarity, but Condon's Frolics is currently in favour. A set of polkas rolls beautifully off the fingers - no slides though. There are some exemplary hornpipes here too: The Navigator is a politically correct title and The Swan is rather less well known. Oiche Nollaig is a tune which is usually only heard for about one week a year, which is a shame. Redican's Mother; The Skylark, The Green Mountain and The Lark On The Strand are all welcome as old friends. Lorna Hunter's Reel puts a name to a tune for me, and Nancy's Reel is a composition of Michael Hynes who joins Nancy here to play it. Fiddles, button boxes, jaw harp and the pipes of Nancy's mentor, the iconic Meaiti Jo Shéamuis, provide duets and an occasional kitchen session sound, but most tracks are flute or whistle solos with deft accompaniment.

Slow airs and waltzes are plentiful, some of them true solos. Taimse im Chodhladh, An Buachaillin Ban and Ballyvaughan Bay come from the lrish repertoire, while The Duchess Tree, Westering Home and Scottish Lament have crossed the North Channel at some stage.

Alter more than an hour of fine music, Nancy launches into the pair of challenging reels, Colonel Rogers and Happy Days Of Youth, before a final house céili on four reels from Patrick's Night to Ormond Sound. Warm, spirited and inclusive: The Magic of the Flute is a charming album which will bring a smile to the face of any lrish music fan. Alex Monaghan

R2 Magazine Nov/Dec 14 * * * *

Nancy Costello is one of the foremost' broadcasters on RTE Radio na Gaeltachta, where she was appointed Head of Music in 2010.

Originally from a Gaelic-speaking part of Galway, a small locality that has always been renowned for tradition, Nancy was first encouraged to play music by her parents.

Accompanied by some excellent musicians, including Michael Hynes, Johnny Connolly and Eoin O'Neill, The Magic of the Flute is a varied collection of jigs, reels, hornpipes and airs, led by Nancy on flute and whistle. The playing and arrangements are solidly traditional.

Nancy is a very capable flautist with a rock-steady rhythm. Her version of the C reel 'Swinging On The Gate' is beautifully played, with each rolling triplet adding to the flow of the tune. Likewise, Nancy is similarly adept on the whistle, as her excellent playing of 'The Sweep's Hornpipe' demonstrates. The majestic slow air, 'Taimse lm chodladh is na duistear Mé' (I am Sleeping, do not awaken me) is, for me, a highlight of the CD. Here Nancy nicely decorates the melody and plays with true emotion.

Draiocht Na Feadoige translates as the 'Magic Of The Flute', which is a very fitting title for this lovely CD. Keith Whiddon

One of my favorites is by a terrific flute player named Nancy Costello from the Connemara in Ireland. The title: The Enchantment of the Flute on Clo Iar-Chonnacht. There are 21 cuts of fab fluting. Good heavens, this girl can play. I'm going to suggest that you get to the Clo Iar-Chonnacht website or Alan O'Leary at Copperplate Distribution in London to get this. Why? For some reason, this cd has the title, 'Draiocht Na Feadoige' by Neansai Ni Choisdealbha. Good God. That translates to Enchantment of the Flute by Nancy Costello. The title cannot possibly help sales, and that is a shame. All 21 tunes here are played impeccably in a gorgeous style. Nancy is a master musician. We will be playing this a lot on our LiveIreland show to help introduce this wonderful talent. Part of the fun will be to try to pronounce it. We can hear the purists calling in now. This is a terrific album, and qualifies Nancy for serious consideration as Female Musician of the Year. Bill Margeson

Price: £13.99

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