On any given Easter Sunday, I would normally gravitate to a church whether at home or abroad. I feel privileged to have experienced wonderful sacred music on travels to Europe. In recent years, Misteria Paschalia, a festival of Baroque Sacred Music in Krakow in the city's sacred spaces was a highlight. In Munich, while opera was the draw, it was the wonderful liturgical music in the Bavarian capital's churches that lives longest in my memory. This time last year, I found myself at the Basilica Notre Dame du Roncier in the picturesque Breton town, Josselin on the Nantes-Brest Canal. A little burst of the bells heard there https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jj9LatALZtY As a musician, it was wonderful to be part of the liturgical music at home be it in the parish church at Dunboyne, Ennis Cathedral and more recently at Cathedral of the Holy Trinity in the wonderful Georgian Cathedral in Waterford. This year, I couldn't quite reconcile myself to broadcasts from empty churches and contented myself with a gawk at the Archbishop of Canterbury's kitchen during his skype address on BBC TV.
For my home recording on Easter Sunday morning 2020, I looked for a suitable air and turned to no 105 in Traditional Slow Airs of Ireland .Easter Snow seemed on the face of it to be appropriate. The air, I learned was a favourite of piper Seamus Ennis, and he named his caravan home in the Naul after this air. I listened to a recording that his daughter Catherine made playing organ with piper Liam Og O Flynn. I couldn't find a vocal version that closely matched the tune in my volume of Irish Airs in Tomás O Canainn's collection. I particularly liked Hull based multi instrumentalist Wolfy O Hare's brisk version on tin whistle and at the other end of the tempo scale, Fiachra o Corragáin has a beautiful languid version on harp all available to watch on youtube. More information on the air from the Clare Library website here. http://www.clarelibrary.ie/eolas/coclare/songs/cmc/easter_snow_jlyons.htm
The title however has nothing to do with Easter but is an anglicisation of an Irish placename in Co. Roscommon. The original name Diseart Nuadhan (St. Nuadha's Hermitage) evolved through Issertnowne to Estersnowe and now quite frequently Easter Snow. Christy Moore wrote a song titled Easter Snow as a tribute to Seamus Ennis.