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Autumn Landscapes

category louth | arts and media | news report author Monday September 26, 2011 11:32author by Sean Crudden - imperoauthor email sean at impero dot iol dot ieauthor address Jenkinstown, Dundalk, Co Louthauthor phone 0879739945 Report this post to the editors

The National Chamber Choir of Ireland Perform in Carlinford

The performance of The National Chamber Choir of Ireland in Carlingford yesterday afternoon was an object lesson in the calm interpretation of words and music combined. A very stimulating concert free of musical bombast. And very very musical. Admission was €8 and the program which was essential reading cost €3. The theme of the recital was Autumn Landscapes. It involved roads, fields, clouds, lost love, time passing, death, lost youth. Even so it proved one thing at least. Brahms still lives.

The sun is streaming through the window here in Jenkinstown as I write. The Sweet William are still in bloom outside the front door. A dozen small steamers can be seen across Dundalk Bay dredging for cockles off Blackrock. A general air of optimism and brightness that belies the last line of the National Chamber Choir of Ireland’s concert yesterday,

“Yver, vous n’estes qu’un villain.”

Well last winter certainly was a villain but yesterday was the first day since the snow that the weather interfered with my golf and I played a lot of golf this year. My partner and I had no opposition in the cumulative fourball stableford in Greenore yesterday so we were allowed to cry off in the process avoiding some torrential rain. The other gain was that I was able instead to attend the NCCI concert “Autumn Landscapes” in Holy Trinity Church aka The Heritage Centre, Carlingford. As the concert wore on I could not believe my luck.

The reading of the songs was perfect, excellent dynamics, exemplary voice production, engaging forward motion throughout the concert (i.e. no hanging about between numbers and lovely speeds in the singing). The program of songs chosen was gripping, appealing, intelligent. Although a wide range of languages was involved; English, French, German, Latin, Estonian, Japanese; I was able to catch every syllable with the help of the very readable program which also provided translations.

Well there is no such thing as miracles in music. It’s all down to flesh and blood. You will not be surprised when I tell you that the guest conductor was Simon Carrington. The program notes tell us,

“Prior to going to the United States, he was a creative force for 25 years with The King Singers which he co-founded at Cambridge University. He gave 3,000 performances at many of the world’s most prestigious festivals and concert halls, made more than 70 recordings, and appeared on countless television and radio programs, including 9 appearances on the Tonight Show with the late Johnny Carson.

Now a Yale professor emeritus based in France and London he maintains an active schedule as a freelance conductor and choral clinician, leading workshops and master classes around the world.”

Yesterday’s concert made an interesting contrast to the operatic offering in The National Concert Hall on Saturday night. “Casta Diva” is a gripping multi media operatic production based on the life of Maria Callas. Casta Diva is a thoroughly enjoyable and very well put together show which due to public demand (Saturday’s performance was a sell-out) will be repeated sometime in November; and probably many times more in years to come all over the world because it has all the signs of being an international hit show.

Program: Sunday 25 September 2011

Autumn Landscapes

Everyone Sang
Bob Chilcott (b. 1955)
Text: Siegfried Sassoon (1886 - 1967)

Ave Maria for 8
Tomás Luis de Victoria (1548 – 1611)

Ave Maria
Franz Liszt (1811 – 1886)

Sweet Honey-Sucking Bees
John Wilbye (1574 – 1638)
Text: Anon.

With Serving Still; Hate whom Ye List
Thea Musgrave (b. 1926)
Texts by Sir Thomas Wyatt (1503 – 1552)

Verlorene Jugend; Im Herbst (Lost Youth; In Autumn)
Johannes Brahms
Texts: Josef Wenzig (1807 – 1876); Klaus Groth (1819 – 1899)

Sugismaastikud (Autumn Landscapes)
Veljo Tormis (b. 1930)
Text: Viivi Luik (b. 1946)

Ave Verum Corpus
William Byrd (1540 – 1623)
Text: Attributed to Pope Innocent VI

Whispers
Stephen Stucky (b. 1949)
Text: Walt Whitman (1819 – 1892)

Star of The County Down
Arranged: Howard Goodall (b. 1958)

Aki no ko-e (Voices of Autumn)
Jackson Hill (b. 1941)
Text: Sarumaru-dayu, 9th century

Le Temps Qui Passe
Giuseppi Mignemi (b. 1966)
Text; Giuseppi Mignemi

Yver, Vous N’estes Qu’un Villain
Claude Debussy (1862 – 1918)
Text: Charles d’Orléans (1391 – 1465)

The National Chamber Choir of Ireland

Conductor: Simon Carrington

Related Link: http://seancrudden.wordpress.com
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