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

Saturday, March 3, 2018

On Song: Larchet and Moore remembered at NCH

Songmakers at NCH photo Dan Butler
Two interesting song projects tempted me to make a trek to Dublin recently.  Both were brought to the platform
Promoter and Painist Niall Kinsella
by the seemingly boundless energy and enthusiasm of artists who found  something new in something old. It is one thing to play well but to coordinate and manage all that needs to done in bringing an event to an audience is a big task list.  Back in January pianist Niall Kinsella presented a lovely recital of songs by John F Larchet with singers Raphaela Mangan and Gavan Ring. It seems extraordinary that these songs have not much been heard or recorded. Bernadette Greevy did include some in her repertoire but otherwise they have been little aired. The dozen or so songs were full of melody and winsome charm. I particularly enjoyed  Padraic the Fiddler. I have a copy of the sheet music with an optional  fiddle part but have never heard it performed   I gather that a recording is planned and I hope that it will include this version.  Niall Kinsella presents the next in his series on March 23rd when the theme is Songs of a Gypsy Life and features tenor Owen Gilhooly with string players, Lynda O Connor and Gerald Peregrine. The concerts take place at lunchtime in the John Field Room.

Moore Reawakened: Baritone Simon Morgan assembled a fine  roster of performers to join him on the main stage of the NCH in a programme of songs by Thomas Moore under the title Moore Reawakened We are used to hearing the songs performed with piano accompaniments as they might have been heard in the 19th century drawing rooms. Pianist Una Hunt had a big project (My Gentle Harp) using young opera singers from RIAM and DIT recently .  Here is Simon talking about his project on RTE Arena.

The Moorings merged the trad elements of Karl Nesbitt and Drazen Derek , Martin Tourish on accordion and jazz stalwarts Myles Drennan and Dave Fleming on bass. A total of 16 performers on the night  ensured there was plenty of variety. It was like a very classy sing song. The duets were some of the  highlights of the evening. Jack O Rourke sitting at the piano joined Morgan in a duet of the Last Rose of Summer and there was a lovely guitar accompaniment from John McGlynn of Silent O Moyle. Not everything worked as well as a bossa nova version of Come Oer the Sea but most of it did. Cormac de Barra's harp was somewhat submerged in the busier numbers and Eleanor McEvoy's rockabilly Oft in the Stilly Night was a bit too sassy for the gentle lyrics to bear. An album launch is due in April. I can't wait.

My Funny Valentine:Simon Morgan was in Waterford  with trumpet player,  Niall O Sullivan's band  Feb 14th. The show titled My Funny Valentine was entertaining easy listening stuff  executed with panache by the excellent band. We would have listened to Brian Connor on piano all  night. Rod Patterson on bass and Guy Rickerby on drums were admirably understated.  James Nash on guitar added a completely contrasting timbre. We  had the luxury of two vocalists and Shona Hennebry was impressive. It did have a jazz club feel to the presentation. We could have only enjoyed it more if we were sipping champagne while listening. So pour yourself a glass and  have a listen  to Shona and Niall for yourself here

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