The Summer Music in Galway (formerly Summer Music on the Shannon) presented a packed programme of musical goodies at Danlann an Chláir in County Clare tonight. Opening with Beethoven Leonore Overture no 3 (apparently Beethoven made several revisions of his overture to Fidelio ), we heard not one but two solo concertos. I loved David Stewart's robust Mozart Violin Concerto (number 4 in D). In the excellent accoustic of the Danlann, his violin sounded like a bell in the high register of the first movement . Stewart was for many years leader of Bergen Philharmonic in Norway. There were more bright sounds with colleague Jan Fredrik Christiansen's sparkling Haydn Trumpet concerto. Keith Pascoe of the Van Brugh String Quartet was quietly authoritive on the conductor's podium.
After the interval the orchestra was augmented to full Romantic proportions for act 2 from the opera , Hansel and Gretel which has all the best bits. The orchestra sounded lush although at times too loud for the younger cast members. Jennifer McMahon played Hansel. Elena McLeod's Gretel and Helen Houlihan the Sandman.
Earlier in the day there was charming chamber music trios at st Columba's , Ennis and a spirited account by Keith Pascoe and Brian McNamara of one of the most popular of Beethoven's violin concertos, the Spring Sonata. Bob Creech reminded us all that this summer school gave its first performance at the same venue, (St Columba's Ennis) nineteen years ago.
There will be more concerts as part of the Summer Music in Galway and Clare Galway Check out the list of performances here http://summermusicingalway.com/summer-music-brochure-2012.pdf