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

Monday, March 7, 2016

Vivre Musicale: Schumann Song Studio at RIAM

Mezzo Eimear McCarthy Luddy

On Wednesday, Vivre Musicale a collective of singers and musicians attached to the Royal Irish Academy of Music presented an evening of work by Clara and Robert Schumann. I regret I missed songs by Clara but there was enough of a feast in two song cycles from Robert's Liederjahr from two excellent young singers and a Fantasiestucke on clarinet from Berginald Rash. Baritone, Sean Boylan was an animated lovelorn protagonist in a rendition of Heine's texts  Liederkreis op 24. Boylan's ability to get to the heart of a text was apparent when I hear him in Ennis at a recital in 2014. My, Irish Examiner  review here. Sean tells me he is off to London to study at the Guildhall and we wish him well.

  Eimear McCarthy Luddy was a new name to me. The mezzo-soprano gave a moving and vivid rendition of Frauenliebe und Leben, composed shortly before his wedding to Clara. The eight texts tell the tale of  a woman's heart from the headiness of new love,  the joy of motherhood and a poignantly prescient final text on the pain of widowhood. We were reminded what a remarkable woman, Clara was to maintain a career as a concert pianist and support her eight children, the eldest who was in his early teens when Robert died. McCarthy Luddy's programme note concluded with this quote from Clara 'What have I possessed and lost! And yet how long have I gone on living and working. Where does one ...find the strength? I found it in my children and in art-they have sustained me by their love and art too has never played me false.

But back to our soloist ,  McCarthy-Luddy had a lovely purity of tone with an elegant  platform presence wearing a floor length, black and ivory gown.  Reading her biography, I note that she began formal training with Eimear Quinn and is currently working towards a Masters in performance with Owen Gilhooly.I am looking forward to hearing her again.

All were well served by Seho Lee on piano- Accompaniment Teaching Fellow at RIAM

Both singers, I believe are involved in Drums and Guns at The Lir Weds 9th March.

 The next Vivre Musicale  presentation is an Opera Gala Thurs March 24th 7pm Organ Room Tickets €10/5

For mother's day here are a few of the lines of Schumann's Woman's Heart, text 7 on the joys of a baby at the breast

Du lieber , lieber engel du,
Du Schauest  mich an und lachelst dazu
An meinen Herzen, an meiner Brust,
Du meine Wonne, du meine lust


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