Music and Reviews from Clare, Limerick, Waterford and sometimes further afield

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Chamber Music at Termonfeckin:




I spent the weekend at An Grianánm, the ICA HQ  in Termonfeckin where the Dublin Chamber Music Group were holding one of their twice yearly chamber music courses. It is always reassuring to return after a gap of many years to find a place and event unchanged and just as good as you remember it. Here is an extract from  Kevin Myers' Irishman's diary  on  the event  in 1998. 

'Twice a year, the DCMG and friends go on sabbatical weekends to An Grianan in Termonfeckin, and the venue alone would justify the journey. Termonfeckin is one of the most beautiful little villages in all of Leinster, and it is one of the oldest too - it has a richly decorated high cross from the ninth century and it was the home of the great James Ussher, the prelate of Meath and later Armagh, whose modest little library once included the Book of Kells and who was once world-famous for his calculations that that the world began at 4004 BC (though even he never had the temerity to declare the date on which God invented chamber music).
Ham salad
The DCMG weekend breaks consist of musical sessions over the two days under the watchful eyes and attentive ears of tutors Constantin Zanidache, Helmut Seeber and Adele O'Dwyer, concluding with a quite lovely afternoon concert in which everyone who wants pitches in. It is very informal, but still serious: it is music played as music should be, out of love. That is followed by an old-fashioned and now sadly unfashionable Sunday evening meal from one's childhood: ham salad, with thinly sliced buttered bread, fruitcake and scalding tea out of great big pots. The tea alone is enough to make you take up the viola and conquer the Everest that is Gluck, or at least, bring back Dev - the kind of tea once served to visitors by convents; it is shiveringly delicious.   Kevin Myers : An Irishman's Diary 1998



Hear hear to all that. The  tutors on this occasion were the complete ConTempo string quartet who were between OTC Rigoletto engagements. On Saturday night, there was an open rehearsal and we heard a performance of Haydn String Quartet, Opus 76, no 2  and Beethoven.   My group for our Sunday afternoon concert performance of Mozart's Kegelstatt Trio consisted of Karen Ni Bhroin and Ronán Conroy. You can hear my interview with Karen here. We were tutored by Andrea Balencu,. You can hear Ronán read his poem, A Muse is a Terrible Thing   inspired  by Andrea's wondertfully animated coaching  here. 




A performance of the work here with Maxim Rysanal viola Martin Frost Clarinet. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=g_cfok4QxdU

The next weekend is the October Bank Holiday. All musicians are welcome. As My Myers said 'they are enormously enjoyable, civilised and enjoyable. 



 Cost of participation, accommodation and meals is €250: enquiries to Brian McBryan at 01-288 3627.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Amateur Orchestral Manoeuvres: Dublin Orchestral Players Gala and City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra

Surveying the classical music scene, the limelight  naturally falls  on the professional orchestras and ensembles practicing their craft in the grander concert halls. Two  RTE orchestras  provide rich big band experiences for music lovers in the capital. It was encouraging to see the RTE NSO move  out of their comfort zone and play to packed houses in Cork and Waterford recently.
  Limerick is fortunate to have the splendid  Irish Chamber Orchestra as  residents. In the vanguard of new music, The Crash Ensemble have garnered much praise internationally for exposing the new and the Irish Baroque Orchestra  have kept the muted glow of the past burning with elan.  But beyond this harmonious inner sphere is a broader circle of enterprise drawing on dedicated amateurs that fill the ranks of choirs and orchestras to create a panoply of events that immeasurably illuminate the Irish cultural landscape. Many of these probably won't be recorded in  national press reports for future historians to mull over  In Dublin this weekend, I was fortunate to catch two thrilling events from this end of the spectrum.

Dublin Orchestral Players
As the  National Concert Hall prepared to welcome the great Russian violinist, Maxim Vengerov  to join the  NSO  to celebrate the 150th anniversary of music making within it's grand portals, an amteur ensemble slipped onto the patform  ahead  of the posse. On Saturday night , 150 years after the opening of the hall, I was in the packed house to hear the Dublin Orchestral Players celebrate their own 75th anniversary with a gala concert. It is hard to imagaine that as the Allies and German forces battled in the turmoil of  Dunkirk, players  were rosining their bows in St Andrew's Church Hall in Suffolk St at the very first rehearsal of a new amateur orchestra. Members were asked to contrinbute 3 pennies  at the door. Sufficient thruppeny bits were collected to present a concert in the Abbey Lecture Hall on June 5, 1940 conducted by Havelock Nelson and Constance Harding. Over the years, the orchestra has delighted audiences, encouraged young soloists and conductors, given a platform to new music by  Irish composers and a creative outlet for the talents of their members, most of whom who have day jobs in other areas. I am proud to have been a member myself in the early 80's. In a detailed history essay, I note ,the contribution of Anew McMaster as narrator.

Rising star, Nadene Fiorentini sparkled in Grieg's concerto. The programme notes informed us that Valerie Walker was the soloist when the ensemble first performed the work in 1952 in the Abbey Lecture Hall .  Ms Walker was a guest at the gala on Saturday.  As  a bonus Tristan Russcher  pulled out the stops on the NCH organ in Albinoni's  Adagio- a rare treat. The orchestra was joined by not one but two choirs, local AIB Choir and  St George's Singers from Belfast imbueing the event with a cross border element. If the skill level was more uneven than a mainstream professional event, the sense of occasion and rapport with the audience was at the top of the scale. A spirit  of gala glee mingled with pride fuelled the post show buzz in the foyers and the audience  lingered long after the final notes to savour the atmosphere of the occasion.  (One minute of undiluted post show  buzz in the audioboo)





On Sunday, while Vengerov was rosining his bow at the NCH, Belfast pianist, MichaelMcHale was flexing his fingers  in the hallowed crypt at Christchurch as he prepared  to join the City of Dublin Chamber Orchestra under Gavin Moloney. Under mellow lighting and Gothic arches, McHale gave a mesmerizing performance of Chopin's Piano Concetto no 2. A poetic benediction in a magnificent sacred space.  His teenage jazz roots showed through in a unique interpretation of Danny Boy in an encore. Formed in 1966, the orchestra originally known as the Dublin Baroque Players has been rebranded to better reflect the broader range of repertoire and constitution.


Iam happy to report there were very few free seats at either venue. We send an extra round of virtual applause and a shaft of bloggersphere limelight to both these terrific ensembles. Long may they flourish and delight.us


No classical events listed in two page spread on Limerick's music scene http://cathydesmond.blogspot.ie/2012/04/letter-to-editor-irish-times.html

Friday, May 8, 2015

Rough Magic in Famished Castle

I am just in from seeing  a preview of Rough Magic's latest production.  Famished Castle, a new play by Hilary Fannin will be premiered tomorrow, Friday 8th May at the Theatre Royal  Waterford.  

 The play takes it's title from a sean fhocal quoted by Enda Kenny in a speech delivered on the inauguration of Michael D Higgins as president. Is fearr botháin biathar ná caisleán gortach. (Better a cabin with food than a famished castle). The drama hinges on a strained  Bergmanesque family drama that fuses bitter elements of death, frailty, betrayal, bleakness and insanity, laced with enough tongue-in-cheek humour to make the bitter cocktail palatable. Through this prism, characters offer sharp observations and wry commentary on the changes in post Celtic Tiger Irish society. 'A flawed family in a flawed country' as observed by Ciaran O'Neill in his programme note.  I was reminded of the returned emigrants from European countries that I met living in a country village that had been rapidly transformed to suburban Dublin, Baffled by the Ireland they met ,  several  returned to Europe as soon as they could. 

The high point of the drama is a flashback to a fraught family gathering  where a young couple Nat (Ray Scannell) and Angie( Aislin McGuckian)  are out to dinner with Nat's parents Tom (Vinnie McCabe), a garrulous property developer and his acerbic wife, Trixie whom Tom dubs the Mother Teresa of Sauvignon. Later Nat is forced to revisit his past when compelled to return from abroad to care for Tom  and witnesses how society has changed .  There are strong convincing  performances from the quatet. I particularly enjoyed Trixie's (Eleanor Mentven's) withering retorts, sharply written and crisply delivered.  Staging was simple but effective. The lighting design produced some dramatic effects on  a diaphanous curtain backdrop. (At the preview, Angie seemed a little under-dressed for the occasion)

Original music and sound design  by Denis Clohessy made much use of marimba type percussion and created a dream-like  ephemeral soundscape .

Following the performance, there was a Q&A with director and author chaired by Una Healy. The author's links with Red Kettle was explored. They  spoke about  the creative process and the emergence  of Rough Magic  in the 80's  in a wave of new independent theatre groups in Temple Bar.  They expressed genuine delight in the venue, the bijou Theatre Royal itself. 

The quality of writing in the dialogue, the sharp observation and the convincing portrayal of well drawn characters with  an original score made this an engaging  theatrical experience

****







Thursday, May 7, 2015

Emma Nash Gears Up for Gilda



Emma and Suzanne 
Rising star on the Irish Opera scene, Emma Nash has been  very busy in the last year. I enjoyed her performances in the IYO production of the Rape of Lucretia and in the Der Vampyr at the Everyman, Cork She plays lead role of the ill-fated Gilda in OTC's Rigoletto currently in rehearsal.  My preview appears in today's Irish Examiner. You can read that here http://www.irishexaminer.com/lifestyle/artsfilmtv/putting-a-fresh-twist-on-rigoletto-329065.html 


 I include below some additional  insights into Emma's path to the opera stage that emerged in the interview 
Watch out for her at Wexford, later this year. I hear she is to appear as lead in one of the short works, Hansel and Gretel





Where did you grow up.? Can you tell me a little about your early music training- your first music lessons. 
I grew up in Douglas in Cork and I don't come from a particularly musical family. I remember attending theory lessons from a young age at The Cork School of Music and singing in the junior choir there. It was my mum who first introduced me to theatre and performing, enrolling me in CADA Performing Arts when I was very young. I was bitten by the bug, appearing in Pantomimes and various shows over the years. When I was 17 I was encouraged by my music teacher Alison Johnston in Scoil Mhuire to audition for the Irish Youth Choir. I spent a summer singing with other talented young singers and I was inspired to begin training my voice more seriously. 

 I only began getting my voice trained quite late. I think I always wanted to sing but I didn't know opera would be the path I took. I initially intended to study drama and theatre studies at UCC but when I was offered a joint honours option with music the singing training took over completely. Opera was a way to combine my two great passions; singing and acting to the highest level. 

What was your first experience of opera. 

 My dad actually introduced me to opera. He has a great love for the classics; Tosca, La Traviata, La Bohème etc. I have a very vivid memory of him taking me to see Madam Butterfly at The Cork Opera House and I was enthralled. Prior to this I believed opera singers were simply born with those incredible voices but as soon as I found out that it was possible to train your voice to sing like that I was on a mission! 

 Is Gilda your first  Verdi role?  Looking at your biography, you seem to have sung  lots of contemporary  opera. ! Yes that is true although my first professional engagement after the opera course at The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama was a romantic opera; Der Vampyr by Marschner with The Everyman and The Cork Operatic Society. Then in December I sang with Wide Open Opera in their new commission The Oldest Woman in Limerick by Brian Irvine and John McllDuff. Before that I sang the role of Lucia in Irish Youth Opera’s inaugural production of The Rape of Lucretia  conducted by Stephen Barlow and directed by Michael Barker Caven. I'm looking forward to returning to some of the theatres; The Limetree Theatre in Limerick, An Táin Arts Centre in Dundalk, The O’ Reilly Theatre in Dublin and Wexford Opera House on the Rigoletto tour. Gilda is my first full Verdi role although I've done some Verdi scenes and arias before. Gilda is one of those bucket list roles and I'm really looking forward to singing it with Opera Theatre Company alongside this exciting cast.  

Friday, May 1, 2015

A Whirl on a Waterford Carousel


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It was marvellous to see the Theatre Royal full with an midweek audience of young and old for the inaugural production of a brand  new musical society, The Waterford Musical Society presented Carousel, a musical penned by Rogers and Hammerstein after the success of Oklahoma. A mix of emotions pervaded the atmosphere in the Viking Triangle at the eagerly anticipated debut.  Excitement, pride, nostalgia and glee and regret too made for  a bittersweet cocktail that in some ways chimed with the dark musical itself.
Carousel has a fairly  grim clunky  plot that  doesn't sit easily into the musical genre. That said, it has great gags and terrific show stopping members including the iconic Liverpool anthem. An extra round of  virtual buala bos here for these five elements I particularly loved about the production.


1 A live band in the pit!  Oh the luxury of real and not synthetic brass, reed and strings emanating from the pit under director, Wayne Browne. I've noted with apprehension, the drift towards using backing tracks for musical productions. I would prefer to listen to the rehearsal pianist live than the a sophisticated backing. I've heard perfectly acceptable solutions with two pianos. I won't fork out for a show if I know backing tracks are providing the accompaniment.

2 The Costumes. Cast and chorus look splendid in vintage costumes. In particular, we loved  the tableau of colourful circus performers in the first scene.

3The Carousel. Having a horse in a show is usually  a good thing.  Lots of pretty horses on the carousel. The on stage assembly of the carousel was super slick.  We were just sorry it didn't feature again in a later scene.

4 Super performances all round.  With an elegant stage presence and a clear strong voice, star of the show was Lupita de Bháil as Nettie Fowler, an aunt Ella type role.  At school in Presentation, I remember Lupita Sheehan creating sets for the school shows but I was unaware of her stage talents until last night. Indeed I was delighted to see at least one Pres girl of my era on stage. Lovely to see a mix of generations involved in the production

5 Best Cameo.  Des Manahan has given so much pleasure to audiences in his many comic roles for societies throughout Ireland. Dressed in silver to match his hair, Des added his own unique blend of gravitas and humour  in the cameo role of Starman.

Venue Notes: The audience in the balcony were a bit fidgety. There was a lot  of unnecessary movement that was irritating and did spoil some quieter moments such as Billy's soliliquay.  If someone does exit for whatever reason, they should not be readmitted until an interval or at least they should  only be admitted between songs and  encouraged to sit on  spare seats on the periphery rather than making their way back to middle of a row .  In this theatre, this requires other patrons to stand interrupting the proceedings for everyone in the vicinity. I was distracted when a staff member made his way through the balcony to deliver popcorn  during a song. .

Sunday, April 26, 2015

Rare sighting of Four Fagotti: Limerick Verdi Requiem



I am just back from playing for a wonderful Verdi Requiem in Limerick, closing a 49 year interval since the work was last performed there.  An impressive operation combined the forces of a terrific 100 strong  choir, four excellent soloists and a fifty strong orchestra under the  baton of Malcolm Green. It was a marvelous endeavour and wonderful to be part of it! Among the audience at the full house was Kieran O Gorman, director of the LCU from 1966-72 and who I believe was at the helm when the work was last performed by the ensemble.


I was amazed to see lined up behind my desk, like some rare alignment of planets, four of that rare and slender reed-the bassoon, adding a double strength  darkness to the rich orchestral palette. There is nothing like bassoons to strike a mood of  'wrath, calamity and misery'. I am sending a special round of virtual applause to the fine quartet, Michael Dooley, Keith Sutherland, Arthur Fallon and Michael Sexton.   If that wasn't excitement enough, a triumph of no less than eight trumpets led by the formidable Sharon Brookes  blew the cobwebs out of the UCH rafters with a 'marvelous scattering of sound'
Bassoons warm up at LCU rehearsal






On bassoon matters, I note that one  of tonight''s quartet, Michael Dooley will feature as soloist in a Mozart Concert at the UL Summer Proms on May 9th continuing a trend of showcasing less frequently heard instruments from this ensemble conducted by Liam Daly.

http://www.limerickpost.ie/2015/04/06/five-decades-to-verdis-requiem/
Bassoon: The dark side of the wind: Michael Dooley 

Friday, April 24, 2015

Convincing Crusaders: Sidorova and Avital at Waterford City Hall

Displaying 20150423_221024.jpgThere is something so ephemeral about the notes emanating  from the instruments heard at City Hall, Waterford  last night. The diminutive  mandolin,  produces the most fragile of string timbres demanding quite furious finger plec action to keep the sound waves aloft. We don't think of the accordion as being delicate but from the first squeeze on the bellows, the sound is on a countdown to extinction. The collision of these two vaguely deliquescent musical forces is a rare enough occurrence.  The combination  mixed with  double measures of the platform charisma of Avi Avital and Ksenija Sidorova proved an explosive cocktail.

Much of the first half  presented a fresh take on familiar violin repertoire. Most of it worked brilliantly. Bartok's Romanian Dances sounded as though they might have been  original conceived for such a duo.The familiar gems of De Falla's Spanish Dances shimmered and  Kreisler's Prelude and Allegro lost some of it's pomposity- no bad thing at all. Only in a Bach Partita transcribed for solo mandolin, was I conscious of the limitations  of pizzicato strings to produce the sostenuto needed to fully express the depth of Bach's Chaconne

Ian Wilson 
Composer, Ian Wilson was in The Large Room to introduce his piece Spilliaerts Beach,   a neo- impressionistic musical response to the painting Moonlit Beach by the Belgian painter. Wilson has two pieces premiering next week, at Drogheda and Cork Choral Festival.
Schnittke sounded a bit daunting
Not a bit.
Soloists with Latvian guests
Revis Fairytale was a smashing showcase for solo accordion evoking the humour and pathos of Gogol's stories, delivered with great charm and flair by Sidirova. Then it was off to a more grown up milieu  of Buenos Aires nightlife for a slice of   Piazzola's, Tango Nuove The final concerto by 20th century composer Budashkin gave both a chance to show off their impressive virtuosity and drew the audience to their feet.  Following sustained applause there was  a Czardas lollipop before the charismatic duo  were released from the podium  to meet audience members.
 Photo Plaza Waterford Peter Crann 
With their great flair, skill and charm,  Sidirova and Avital are bright sparks on the classical music scene and  convincing crusaders for these somewhat exotic instruments.  A wonderful,  entertaining  finale to the 73rd Waterford-Music season.

Related Posts Preview Cathy's Reviews http://cathydesmond.blogspot.ie/2015/04/accordion-and-mandolin-globe-trotters.html

 several radio interviews  Marty /Arena




Béla Bartók (1881- 1945)
Romanian Folk Dances
Jocul cu Bâtă | Brâul | Pe Loc | Buciumeana | Poarga Românească | Mărunţel


Manuel de Falla (1876–1946)
From “Siete Canzoni Popolari Spagnole”
6 Canzoni Popolari Spagnole
El Paño Moruno | Asturiana | Jota | Nana | Canción | Polo


J. S. Bach (1685 - 1750)
Partita BWV 1004 in D minor / Chaconne
Fritz Kreisler (1875 - 1962)
Prelude and Allegro
Ian Wilson
Spilliaert's Beach

Alfred Schnittke (1934-1998)
Revis Fairytale
1. Chichikov’s Childhood 2. Officials 3. Waltz 4. Polka

Astor Piazzolla (1921-1992)
Histoire du Tango
Café 1930 | Night-club 1960

Nikolai Budashkin (1910-1988)

Concerto in A mino

Finale 

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Globe trotting Accordion and Mandolin duo stop off in Waterford

Siderova and Avital taking less travelled instrumental paths


 I was chatting to Miks Zarins, this week, the maitre d' at the Theatre Royal Café who hails from Latvia (Do pop in and sample the amazing beetroot and goats cheese quiche. ) . He tells me that you cannot get a ticket for love nor money when Ksenija Sidorova plays in Riga. Ms Sidorova plays the piano accordion. She comes to Waterford  on Thursday with mandolin player Avi Avital as part of a Music Network tour.  Even   non musicians will be aware that the accordion has not always enjoyed much of the limelight in the classical music world or indeed the traditional music world. In a recent documentary on the piper, Tomás O Canainn, I was surprised to learn that the esteemed academic had played the piano accordion until persuaded to take up the 'more suitable' uilleann pipes by Sean O Riada.

Oen Murray


One of my favourite classical performers is accordionist Dermot Dunne who came to prominence as an RTE Musician of the Future in 1996 and who has since done much to advance the status of the accordion in Ireland. Dunne went all the way to Russia to study and I assumed that Ms Sidorova also came through a Russian system. I was surprised to learn that she came to the Royal Academy in London. where she studied with Owen Murray who set up the first accordion dept in a Bristish conservatoire in 1986 .

Dermot Dunne


Though still in her twenties, Sidorova has been been blazing a trail with her accordion around the world and collaborating with the biggest stars in the classical music firmament. I enjoyed this interview with Ms Sidorova where she has interesting observations on the buttons versus key question.











http://www.strumentiemusica.comT/en/highlights/ksenija-sidorova-in-conversation-with-romano-viazzani-1st-part/


She comes to Ireland with another musician who has explored the possibilities of an unusual instrument. Avi Avital is a Grammy award winnning mandolin player who. is intent on pushing the instrument beyond it's genteel salon repertoire. Last month, for instance he was in the Wigmore Hall with counter tenor Andreas Scholl. You can read an interview with him from the Austin Chronicle here   Here is a snippet 

AC: Why do you love playing the mandolin?

'AA: I definitely find an advantage of playing a unique instrument because I always had a creative freedom with the projects I choose to do. Young pianists and violinists take the great violinists and pianists into consideration and probably choose the same repertoire for the same recital halls and competitions. For mandolin, we don't have too many masterpieces, so the excitement of my path is invented. Every project opens another door. I feel that everything is possible'.
Curiously Avital's first teacher in Israel was a Russian violinist. There was no job for a violin teacher  but there was a pile of unused mandolins and as the fingering and strings are the same, it was a manageable leap, Much of the programme is transcriptions of well known violin reperoire. I am looking forward to hear a new take on familiar pieces. 
Composer, Ian Wilson will attend the Waterford concert and introduce his piece. They will give a workshop in the afternoon at 4.00pm  for WIT students and observers are welcome.

There  won't be too many opportunities to hear either of these two unusual instruments solo let alone in tandem and by such highly rated players . This is the final recital in the 73rd season of Waterford-Music chamber series. Come early and take in the masterclass and two excellent  exhibitions nearby, Connections is  at Greyfriars Gallery and Kate Q-P Black and white images of urban New York are at Central Hall.

Bartók: Romanian Folk Dances
de Falla: 6 Canzoni Popolari Spagnole
Bach: Partita BWV 1004 in D minor / Ciaccona
Kreisler: Prelude and Allegro
Wilson: Spilliaert's Beach
Schnittke: Revis Fairytale
Piazzolla: Histoire du Tango
Budashkin: Concerto in A minor

Full details of Music Network Tour Ksenija Sidorova and Avi Avital 

More details on Waterford Music recital series celebrating 73 seasons!www.waterford-music.org







Saturday, April 18, 2015

Superb Song Duo : Flavin & Matthewman at City Hall Waterford


Máire Flavinand Gary Matthewman in the Georgian Large Room City Hall Waterford.

Winning Song Team deliver Love in Spring at City Hall

Schumann Widnung; Die Lotusblume; Du bist wie eine Blume; Fruhlinghshnacht
Wolf Er ist’s; Im Fruhling; An eine Aolsharfe; Zitronenefalter
Strauss Allerseelen; O Susser Mai; Fruhlingsgedrange; Morgen
Chausson; Le temps de Lilas; Les Papillons; Le Callibri
Reynaldo Hahn Le Rossignol des Lilas; Ah Chloris; Printemps
WV Wallace: Sweet Spirit, o hear my prayer, Say my heart can this be love; Orange Flowers
Encore Gershwin  Summertime

There was a great sense of occasion in City Hall as Máire Flavin made her debut in Waterford, the birthplace of her parents. The recital, part of the Waterford-Music series was dedicated to Elizabeth Downey, founder member of the chamber music society celebrating 73 years of activity. Taking her cue from the April date, the soprano built a programme around lieder and chanson dedicated to Love and Spring with a soupçon of American Summer for an encore.

Opening with  Widnung, Schumann’s passionate dedication to his bride Clara, Flavin from the off displayed the vocal fire power and stage artistry that propelled her to the finalist rostrum at the 2011 Cardiff Singer of the World and on to international opera stages. A rich and full bodied voice with her pleasant stage manner and range of dramatic expression made for an intense and  enthralling performance.  From ‘light touch' Schumann she moved to 'angsty Wolf’. In An eine Aolsharfe, the superb pianism of Gary Matthewman in creating an almost orchestral palette of sound was astonishing. A ravishing postlude to Morgen, a wedding present by Richard Strauss to his wife  closed the first half in a mood blissful rapture.
Birds , butterflys and flowers proliferated in the second half chansons by Chausson and Hahn. The most familiar of which was Ah Chloris with resonance in Bach’s air. In a nice touch,  the lilac theme was picked up in the platform display of purple blooms.. Finally by request we heard a set of charming Victorian ballads by local  favourite WV Wallace which suited the drawing room ambience of the splendid chamber. Beautifully dressed in fuschia gown with lace detail and formal tails, the pair looked as though they could have stepped off the set of Downton Abbey where indeed, Matthewman has done some service. 
 This was a thrilling performance from an exciting singer, all the greater for the superb artistry of  Matthewman whose vivid  piano colours and breath-taking timing  created the enchantment around  Flavin's  magical vocal encounters. A night to treasure  from a winning song team! I don’t expect to hear a finer collaboration any time soon.

Among the distinguished guests were members of the Downey family and Jim and Moira Flavin.


Related Posts

Interview Maire Flavin http://cathydesmond.blogspot.ie/2015/04/maire-flavin-to-make-waterford-debut.html

Remembering Elizabeth Downey  http://cathydesmond.blogspot.ie/2015/04/remembering-elizabeth-downey.html




  


Friday, April 17, 2015

Joining the dots at Greyfriars

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The Waterford Municipal Collection has many very fine works. Connections is an exhibition that seeks to explore the links between works from various periods from 1860 to the present.  The exhibition opened officially tonight at Greyfriars Municipal Art Gallery.  I spoke to curator, Ruth Brennan at the launch. You can hear that interview here. 






There was a pleasant ambience in the former ecclesiastical space and plenty of interest in the 30 selected works. I liked the Card Players by Eileen Murray which has been moved from it's usual spot in the Theatre Royal for the exhibition.


The exhibition also includes some of the most prominent pieces from the Municipal Collection, including While Grass Grow (1936) by Jack B. Yeats, curator Ruth Brennan's favourite painting.


Ruth refers to Donald Teskey described in notes provided as a living contemporary 'Expressionist landscape painter'


Admission to Greyfriars Municipal Art Gallery is free. Opening hours: 10am – 5pm Tuesday – Saturday (including lunchtimes). Connections runs until Sunday, 10th May.





Les Retrouvés Danny Lartigue