Tenor, Robin Tritschler with pianist, Graham Johnson, gave the concluding recital in the Festival of Great Music in Irish Houses yesterday. The event was part of a day of musical events under the general title, The Dublin Musical Saunter. The title suggests an element of nonchalance but there was nothing casual about this duo's programme of Schubert Lieder and songs associated with Shakespeare. With it's eye watering, creamy stone and mahogany interior and perfect acoustic, the bijou Chapel Royal was a spectacular space in which to see and hear every nuance and crisply enunciated syllable from this exceptional duo.
The second half was a compendium of song associated with Shakespeare plays, most were by 20th century composers. Here Tritschler's showed a surprising versatility of voice and gesture in all sorts of characterizations. I loved his gravely Caliban and cynical grave digger in settings by Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco. I can't have been the only audience member who had to restrain myself from hooping and cheering throughout the Shakespearian selection, specially after the merrily raucous, Jog on from Winter's Tale . The Chapel Royal is a very fine venue but not one to hoop and holler in.
Solo recital of the year so far. For a combination of exceptional performers, sunning architecture and rare programming, I can't imagine it being surpassed. Sending virtual applause and a hoop and a holler to the artists and programmers.
“@GreatMusicIrl: The magnificent Chapel Royal of @opwireland Dublin Castle scene of two of our concerts today! pic.twitter.com/1ajDMMSpa2”— Fidleir (@fidleir) June 12, 2016
Earlier in the afternoon, I was was at the General Post Office for the National Chamber Choir. I can now say that I was in the GPO in 2016. There was a sense of occasion in the iconic space, at the heart of the site of the Rising with composer Stephen McNeff was in attendance to hear the premier of his 1916 themed work, A Half Darkness. In the washy acoustic though, the programme was heavy going. Of the varied works, I most enjoyed Samuel Webbes witches songs from Macbeth and the final two contrasting works by Finnish composer, Jaakko Mantyjaarvi.
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My wrap up piece on the festival will be in tomorrow's Irish Examiner