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

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Smitten by Appl at Hugh Lane Gallery

I haven't been to the Hugh Lane Gallery for years and I'd forgotton what an elegant venue, the domed chamber is. Usually host to Sunday mid-day events, it was packed to capacity last night for a terrific  recital by young German baritone, Benjamin Appl and English pianist, Gary Matthewman. Appl, a BBC Young Generation Artist and an ECHO Rising Star arrived garlanded with rave reviews and I can vouch that he is superb. Appl's got it all; gorgeous tone, vivid, animated chacterisation and handsome to boot. His pianist was the equally excellent British pianist, Gary Matthewman who we heard last in Waterford with soprano Máire Flavin. Together they made up a powerful duo that wowed the gallery audience who were reluctant to let them go even after a very subsatntial and wide ranging programme that included German lied, French melodie, operatic arias, an Irish air and a show tune.
It was exciting to hear work by Waterford based composer and associate of mine, Marion Ingoldsby. Marion's new song setting of Yeat's Never give all the Heart' was a high point of the evening. Like most in the audience last night, my heart was enthralled by this smashing song team.

There are a few more dates remaining . Tipperary tonight, Cork tomorrow , Dun Laoghaire on Sunday All details here Tickets on this Music Network tour are great value around €15 mark.

Audio of Sean Rocks super interview for RTE Arena here

Des O Driscoll's interview for Irish Examiner here

Venue Notes : I loved the subdued lighting which added to the sparkle.

Robert Schumann: Widmung (Rückert) Op. 25 no 1

Francis Poulenc: L’offrande (Anonymous) FP 42 no 6

Reynaldo Hahn: À Chloris (Viau)

Edvard Grieg: Lauf der Welt (Uhland) op 48 no 3

Felix Mendelssohn: Auf Flügeln des Gesanges (Heine) op 34 no 2

Franz Schubert: Liebesbotschaft (Rellstab) D957/1
Franz Schubert: Die Taubenpost (Seidl) D957/14

Benjamin Britten: The Salley Gardens (Irish Tune)

Marian Ingoldsby: Never give all the heart (Yeats) - New commission by Music Network

Francis Poulenc: La maîtresse volage (Anonymous) FP 42 no 1

Hugo Wolf: Hoffärtig seid ihr schönes Kind (Heyse)
Hugo Wolf: Wir haben beide lange Zeit geschwiegen (Heyse)

Franz Schubert: Der Tod und das Mädchen (Claudius) D531

Richard Strauss: Allerseelen (Gilm) op 10 no 8
Labours of the Heart

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Fin ch’han dal vino (Don Giovanni’s aria from Don Giovanni KV 527)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Deh vieni alla finestra (Don Giovanni’s aria from Don Giovanni KV 527)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Madamina, il catalogo è questo (Leporello’s aria from Don Giovanni KV 527)

Richard Strauss: Lieben, Hassen, Hoffen Zagen (Harlekin’s aria from Ariadne auf Naxos op 60)
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Papagena, Papagena! (Papageno’s aria from Die Zauberflöte KV 620)

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart: Hai gia vinta la causa… Vedro mentr’io sospiro (Count Almaviva’s aria from Le Nozze di Figaro KV 492)
Benjamin Britten: Within this frail crucible of light (Tarquinius’ aria from The Rape of Lucretia op 37)

Sweet Romance
Richard Wagner: Wie Todesahnung… O du, mein holder Abendstern (Wolfram’s aria from Tannhäuser)
Frederick Loewe: On the street where you live (Freddy’s aria from My Fair Lady)

Encores Schubert Die Forelle Schumann Du Bist die eine Blume

Sunday, November 15, 2015

All Beethoven Night at SCOW

I am just in from a wonderful night of orchestral music in Waterford courtesy of Symphony Club of Waterford. The Hibernian Orchestra is a Dublin based ensemble  that straddles the amateur and professional sphere. It is a voluntary group but skill levels are high and most of these players could sit in comfortably to a  pro orchestra desk/

The all Beethoven programme featured a Leonora Overture, the relatively sunny second symphony and a mighty performance by Helena Wood of the Violin Concerto. I can't imagine hearing a better rendition of this work . Ms Wood's performance was full of vim and vigour but with plenty of sweetness and delicacy to make you swoon too. Leader of the NSO, she is superb and clearly a great asset to the Irish  scene. The orchestra under conductor John Finucane coped very well with the washy acoustic keeping everything short  and scaling back the pianissimos to  'barely there' to allow the soloist to shine. The Larghetto augmented by the counterpoint of  a natural sound effect of a whistling wind was sublime.

The team of volunteers at Symphony Club of Waterford under administrator Liam Daly  do a terrific job of bringing large scale ensembles to Waterford.  SCOW has just announced five attractive events for 2016 featuring some of  the very best  ensembles in Ireland. Details are posted below.  I was disappointed tonight not to see many fellow musicians in the audience. Waterford has umpteen choirs, several brass bands , several orchestras, music schools  and a third level degree music programme, none of whom were well represented this evening. Where was everybody? The standard of music making deserved a bigger audience cohort than the sub 100 gathered in Parnell Street for a remarkable musical evening, surely a highlight of the 2015 season.The evening started with silence as we remembered the many in Paris who just like us had set out to enjoy a night's entertainment in their city.  If the audience was meagre, they did not lack enthusiasm and I am happy to report that there was a standing ovation following the final triumphant bars of the concerto. Bravo tutti!

The Hibernian Orchestra repeat the programme on November 28th Christchurch Cathedral Dublin

SCOW 2016 Season 

Camerata Ireland with Barry Douglas (piano) Friday 12th The Large Room

Itish Chamber Orchestra Thursday 19th May St John's Church

RTE NSO July Date Venue tbc

Irish Symphonic Wind Orchestra Sunday 11th September  WIT Sports Hall

Irish Baoque Orchestra Friday 11th November St John's Church