Review: An Equal Stillness
My review of Francesca Kay’s An Equal Stillness, which appears in today’s Irish Times.
This year’s biennial George Hewson Memorial Recital marked a long-awaited return to Ireland by Peter Planyavsky, professor of organ and improvisation at Vienna’s University for Music and Drama. The Viennese thread running through his programme led to crannies of the repertoire that even the more intrepid of organ aficionados might not previously have explored. (more…)
In the way of most boxing stories, Billy Roche’s new play features strutting contenders, washed-up coaches and injured kids with something to prove. Set in the early 1960s, but located less specifically “somewhere in Ireland”, it retains Roche’s warm, gently forlorn depictions of small-town lovers, dreamers and losers, but loosens his usually rooted sense of place and sets the characters adrift as members of a travelling roadshow. (more…)
In Dublin, and perhaps elsewhere, nobody produces the Gilbert and Sullivan canon as splendidly as the Rathmines and Rathgar Musical Society. A sweeping endorsement, of course, but the evidence is to hand in the version of Iolanthe now gracing the NCH stage. It is altogether delicious. (more…)
Scratch the Surface is a contemporary music ensemble founded in 2006. The programming for its recent Music Network tour was based on the premise that the old boundaries which once designated sounds as either musical or non-musical no longer exist. (more…)
He croons more credibly than most, his phrasing is impeccable and his occasional dance routines impinge minimally on his big band sound. Tony Christie is engaged in the kind of reincarnation that invigorated the flagging careers of everyone from Joe Dolan to Rod Stewart and Tom Jones. (more…)
Taking an evening out from its annual festival at Ardee, the Irish Baroque Orchestra came to Dublin with a selection from its two festival concerts. Its programme, Baroque A-Z, yielded a musical lexicon encompassing composers from Albinoni to Zelenka, with Handel, Mondonville, Purcell and Vivaldi included along the way. (more…)
Smetana – Vltava. Dvorák – Violin Concerto. Tchaikovsky – Symphony No 6.
A packed house for this concert by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra attested to the enduring appeal of a mainstream programme. On offer were a tone-poem, a concerto and a symphony, all dating from the last three decades of the 19th century. (more…)
Mendelssohn – Hebrides Overture.
Beethoven – Piano Concerto No 2.
John Tavener – The Protecting Veil.
Sophie Cashell, the young Irish pianist who won last year’s BBC2 Classical Star contest, joined the Orchestra of St Cecilia at the National Concert Hall for Beethoven’s Piano Concerto in B flat (the second to be published, but the first to be written). She played with youthful brio and seemed particularly at home in the effervescence of the finale. (more…)
Benjamin Britten wrote his Midsummer Night’s Dream for the Aldeburgh Festival of 1960. It was presented in the town’s Jubilee Hall, then newly rebuilt and extended. The hall’s capacity was – and still is – very small, accommodating an audience of just over 300. Britten took this into account by limiting the demands of staging and keeping the size of the orchestra to just 30. (more…)