The best classical music to see this week
Listen to The Seven Ages of Man by Paul Hilliard or Andrew Zolinsky’s Resound Series
Kenneth Montgomery, the doyen of Irish conductors
What? No women? You might wonder why, as Chamber Choir Ireland and its conductor Paul Hilliard present a concert titled The Seven Ages of Man at the Hugh Lane Gallery’s free Sundays at Noon series. It seems strange in these days when gender balance issues are to the fore to present a programme that has the creative voices of women completely missing. The repertoire ranges across seven centuries and the composers included are Robert Fayrfax, Stephen McNeff, Howard Skempton, Heinrich Isaac, Alfonso Ferrabosco, David Fennessy and Erik Bergman.
It’s very odd. Pianist Andrew Zolinsky’s programme as part of the Resound Series of music by women promoted by the National Concert Hall and Sounding the Feminists does not make it into the list of November highlights circulated by the hall itself in the middle of October. But Zolinsky’s programme is actually one of the most wide-ranging the series has yet presented. It reaches back as far as the harpsichord music of Élisabeth Jacquet de la Guerre, and runs through works by Judith Weir, Deirdre McKay, Betsy Jolas, Katheine Norman, Amy Beach, Linda Catlin Smith, Ruth Crawford Seeger and Unsuk Chin.
RTÉ can hardly have known when scheduling Elgar’s Dream of Gerontius for early November that John Henry Newman, whose poem provided Elgar’s text, would be canonised by Pope Francis a month before the performance. Kenneth Montgomery, the doyen of Irish conductors, replaces the originally announced Robert Trevino. And the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Choir are joined by soloists Catherine Wyn-Rogers (mezzo-soprano), Norbert Ernst (tenor), and Johan Wàllberg (bass). The concert starts at 7.30pm