Twelve centuries of Ireland's vocal tradition are explored by the chorale ensemble, Anuna. Best-known for their performance in Riverdance, the group combines songs in middle English, Scots Gaelic, Irish, Breton, Medieval Irish, Latin, and Greek in their examination of ancient and contemporary Irish music. In addition to performing and recording on their own, the group has worked with Sinéad O'Connor, the Chieftains, Sting, Maire Brennan, and Elvis Costello. According to the Belfast Times, "Anuna's live performances of medieval Celtic music have to be seen to be believed.....breathtaking...magnificent." Le Monde observed that "using crystal-clear and thunderous sounds, playing with shadows and light, the ensemble creates an atmosphere of fervent richness." Originally named An Uaithne, Anuna was formed by Dublin-based composer Michael McGlynn in 1987. Initially concentrating on performing at choral festivals and churches, they released their self-titled debut album shortly after assuming their current name and began to incorporate movement and special staging effects in 1992. Although more than 100 singers have performed with the group, Anuna usually features a lineup of ten to 17 young Irish singers. Anuna received a National Endowment award in the classical music category in 1994. The group's third album, Omnis, was released only in Ireland the following year. The album was completely re-recorded and bonus tracks added for international release in 1997. Anuna's greatest success has come through their involvement with Riverdance. In May 1994, they released Riverdance -- The Single. Recorded with the RTE Concert Orchestra, the single spent 18 weeks at the top of the Irish music charts and became a Top Ten hit in the U.K. The group was featured on four tracks of Riverdance -- The Album. Released in 1995, the album sold over a million copies and received a Grammy award in 1997. The band took time between projects, letting the intense exposure they had experience dissipate. 2000's Cynara was their first record in four years, a return that delivered more of their distinct Irish choral magic. Two years later, the holiday themed Winter Songs was released. ~ Craig HarrisPortions of Content Provided by Rovi Corporation.
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