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

Saturday, February 13, 2016

Irish Chamber Orchestra at the Mansion House

Pergolesi Salve Regina in C minor
Haydn from The Seven Last Words of Christ Introduzione: Maestoso ed Adagio Mozart Kommet her ihr frechen Suender KV 146
Haydn from The Seven Last Words of Christ Il Terremoto (The Earthquake)
Schubert Salve Regina D676
Schubert String Quartet in D minor D810 Death and the Maiden

The Irish Chamber Orchestra tried out a new  venue for their Dublin concert this week. moving into town from their more usual base at the RDS and bypassing the salubrious portals of the  NCH where I heard them last. There was a near capacity crowd and a lively buzz at The Round Room at the Mansion House. I almost got caught with the 7.30pm  start time and soprano Ailish Tynan was just finishing her introduction as I took my seat.

The room is a very large circular, domed space  and  the orchestra were placed at floor level at one end. While the acoustic is not as good as other venues I have heard them play in, it was in many respects, a more satisfying  evening. As soon as I could, I moved to an empty seat in the front row. Not only did this dramatically improve the sound effect but it was  a joy to watch conductor Gabor Takács Nagy direct his forces and observe the  rapport between him and the excellent soloist. Ailish Tynan's performance had a chamber music  sensibility,  her glorious  voice blending  like another instrument with the strings rather than soaring above them.  Mahler's arrangement of Schubert's string quartet, Death and the Maiden was vivid and exciting.

Audience and performers mingled during the interval. We met our soloist, Ms Tynan, in an aisle cooing over a very well behaved guide dog.  Des Keogh was  there to support his daughter, Oonagh. The German ambassador was in the house and  the Lady Mayoress attended wearing  her chain of office.

As always from the ICO there was superb musicianship and clearly great empathy between conductor and ensemble and it was pleasant to be in the city centre.  I would like to see the ICO experiment with the room, perhaps placing the ensemble in the centre with the audience placed around them. I would suggest making a bee line for the seats nearest the musicians for best  acoustic experience.


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