The last Lenten Sunday began to the temperate treacly tones of broadcaster Tim Thurston as he presented his Sunday morning radio show, Gloria Like a morningtide liturgical Whispering Bob, the LyricFM presenter shares several qualities with Bob Harris, the iconic BBC presenter of the Old Grey Whistle Test. First there is the soothing baritone voice, deep and rich like molasses mixed with double cream. Then there is his zeal for unearthing and eulogising little known work, in this case sacred choral music with a particular penchant for Renaissance composers and finally his good cheer, earnest but in a calm unruffled sort of a way rather than a happy clappy Marty fashion. Always appropriate to the liturgical calendar, Sunday's playlist included Passion chorales, Allegri's Miserere and Russian Orthodox chants .
2009 Wexford Festival Choir Excerpts Theresienmesse. marking 200th anniversary of Haydn's death
In the afternoon I joined the Limerick Baroque Players and the Mary Immaculate Choral Society for their Spring Concert, a performance of Haydn's Theresienmesse at St Mary's Cathedral, Limerick. Not as frequently performed as The Seasons or The Nelson Mass, there is plenty of melodic variety and rhythmic energy, dynamic contrasts to make it a very enjoyable work to play. and comes late in the Classical composer's canon when he was enjoying a degree of notoriety following his London symphonies. The work is apparently a named for the soprano who first sang it rather than for to wife of Haydn's patron for whom it was commissioned.
The quartet of singers delivered fine singing and there was time for some chat in the green room before the performance. Contralto, Sarah Ellen Murphy told me she had enjoyed opening the Kate O Brien weekend recently with a recital of newly composed songs by her friend Fiona Linnane.
Carmel Conway is a very versatile performer and she chatted about her experience of touring with American singer Nanci Griffith . Owen Gilhooly has been busy touring with OTC's much lauded production of The Magic Flute and can be heard again soon at the Limerick Choral Union's performance of Brahm's Requiem at the end of the month. There was a lot of interest in young Dublin based tenor, Lawrence Thackery a recent prizewinner at the Feis Ceoil . A founder member of DYOC, I met Lawrence recently in Ennis at a terrific showcase of young operatic talent in Dublin Youth Opera Company's Jukebox Opera , Thicker than Water. (My review here)
Among the large attendance were Gertie McCabe Secretary of the Irish Church Music Association and Malcolm Green, conductor of Limerick Choral Union. Great music, splendid singing. elegant venue, the company of musicians . No better way to spend a Lenten Sunday afternoon.
|Soprano Marie Therese , 1799|
|Soprano Carmel Conway 2012|
Bass Owen Gilhooly,
|Violin Duo Aine and Karen|
Tim Thurston on improvisation and musical sub genres. http://journalofmusic.com/focus/breaking-sound-barriers-why-all-musical-boxes