Chamber Choir Ireland, Crash Ensemble/Paul Hillier: Barry Meets Beethoven album review

Stephen Richardson (bass), Chamber Choir Ireland, Crash Ensemble/Paul Hillier Barry Meets Beethoven

Barry Meets Beethoven
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Artist: Chamber Choir Ireland, Crrash Ensemble, Paul Hillier, Stephen Richardson, Gerald Barry
Genre: Classical
Label: Orchid Classics

Gerald Barry’s existing Beethoven pieces whet the appetite for the Beethoven opera he has talked about. Beethoven, setting the letter to the Immortal Beloved opens with a Stravinskian strut.

Schott & Sons, Mainz, casts letters to his publisher in a sometimes mundane, sometimes surreal light.The non-Beethoven choral pieces Oh Lord, how vain, The Coming of Winter, and Long Time, are every bit as engagingly idiosyncratic, and the vocal and choral writing (with whistling) is typically fantastical.

The string quartet First Sorrow journeys from the world of viol consorts (a private passion of the composer’s), through intense vibrato, to an otherworldly hymn, sung as well as played. Strong performances.

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan

Michael Dervan is a music critic and Irish Times contributor