Wild Atlantic airs in Westport: This week’s classical highlights

Westport Chamber Music Festival is back; plus Monteverdi’s ‘The Return of Ulysses’

David Adams

St Michael's Church, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin Sunday September 2nd 8pm €12 087-9048190

David Adams is not just a staple of the annual organ recital series on the Rieger organ of St Michael's Church, Dún Laoghaire. He's the man who regularly gives the closing recital, and he often chooses programmes that are utterly unlike anyone else's. This year he leaps from the late 19th-century showmanship of Widor's Marche pontificale to Alberto Ginastera's 1980 virtuosic treatment of a fifth-century musical fragment, Variazioni e Toccata sopra Aurora lucis rutilat. That's followed by Mauricio Kagel's Rrrrrrr . . ., a set of pieces from 1980-81 all bearing titles starting with the letter "r", and Andrew Johnstone's arrangement of Astor Piazzolla's 1962 La Muerte del Angel. You get the idea. There's no predicting where Adams's fancy will take him. Works by Enrico Bossi (1861-1925), Girolamo Frescobaldi (1583-1643) and Henri Mulet (1878-1967) complete the evening.

The Return of Ulysses

Pavilion Theatre, Dún Laoghaire, Co Dublin Friday September 7th/Saturday September 8th 7.30pm €30/€33 paviliontheatre.ie

Claudio Monteverdi, the earliest great opera composer, had to wait a long time for the revival of his stage works. There was a gap of over 250 years from the last 17th-century performance of one of his operas to the first 20th-century concert performance of his Orfeo in 1904. Orfeo didn't make it to Ireland until 1973, when Eric Sweeney conducted a production for the Dublin Theatre Festival, and performances have not exactly been frequent since then. So if you don't catch the last two performances of Patrick Mason's Opera Collective Ireland production of The Return of Ulysses with the Akademie für Alte Musik Berlin under Christian Curnyn, you might have to wait a decade or more before the next Monteverdi production comes along. The title role is taken by Gyula Nagy, with Raphaela Mangan as his long-suffering wife, Penelope.


Westport Chamber Music Festival

Various venues, Westport, Co Mayo Friday September 7th to Sunday September 9th westportchambermusic.ie

The big attraction at this year's Westport Chamber Music Festival is the tenor Robin Tritschler. He's going to be heard in works familiar (Schumann's Dichterliebe with Michael McHale) and unfamiliar (Milhaud's Chants populaires hébraïques and Honegger's Petite Cours de morale with Diana Ketler, and Lowell Liebermann's Yeats setting, A Poet to his Beloved, with the Heath Quartet, flautist William Dowdall and pianist Hugh Tinney). Other notable guests include cellist Natalie Clein (playing Shostakovich with Ketler and Fauré's Piano Quartet in G minor with McHale, violinist Giovanni Guzzo and viola player Eivind Holtsmark Ringstad). This year's Next Generation Artist Concert brings together cellist Killian White and pianist Gary Beecher for works by Beethoven, Debussy and Schumann.