It was a weekend of grey skies and floods threatened to submerge the island. On Saturday evening, amid the shuffle of falling raindrops, the elegant 18th century interior space of Christchurch Cathedral resounded with the Latin American rhythms of beguines, tangos and two steps and blue notes of jazz, (A preview of the evening here). While red shirted rugby fans mulled ruefully over sporting events in The Munster Bar, Finghin Collins gave a bravura rendition of the solo piano part of Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue with the Waterford Concert Orchestra under conductor Kevin O Carroll . At the close of the first half, audience and orchestra members rose to their feet to applaud the virtuoso pianist. I have to declare an interest, as a member of the string section. Clarinetist, Stephen Mackey shimmered in the opening opening of the emblematic work. The huge brass and wind section showed they were well able to swing it in arrangements by Bernstein, Cole Porter. Trumpet player Mitch Cuss sparkled in an homage to 'Satchmo' . Sinead O Carroll also featured as piano soloist in the opening work Danzon by Mexican composer, Marquez. Inclement weather didn't deter patrons and in many years of attending events here, I can't remember seeing it as full as it was last night with a capacity house adding to the sense of a gala occasion. I can report that both soloist and conductor wore summer white jackets. There was a very sociable buzz with much meeting and greeting during the generous interval. Among the patrons, we met composer, Gerry Murphy who tells me he is working on a commemorative piece for 1916. Secretary of Cork Operatic Society, Deirdre Long told me that work has begun on the next production Der Vampyr. A very special evening in Waterford. Great to have been there and to be a part of it!
@fidleir @ArtsCathedral thanks
and bravo to Kevin and all the members of the orchestra for fine, spirited performances!
— Finghin Collins (@FinghinCollins) February 9, 2014
|Neil Brand The Big Score|
First published 9th Feb , amended 10th Feb