This year is Benjamin Britten’s centenary and the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra is celebrating in some style with the second in a series entitled Big on Britten. Born in the fishing port of Lowestoft in Suffolk, on England’s east coast, the sea always had a strong pull on Britten and the Four Sea Interludes is the the most outstanding example of this influence. Composed as orchestral pieces to divide the opera Peter Grimes: Dawn; Sunday Morning; Moonlight and Storm capture the North Sea in all its moods. Britten spent the early part of the Second World War in America and the concert reflects this with Bernstein’s On the Town (Three Dance Episodes) and Copland’s ballet score Appalachian Spring. Britten’s Serenade for Tenor, Horn and Strings, based on a selection of six nocturnal poems by, among others, Blake, Jonson and Keats also features.
Artbeat’s Des FitzGerald spoke with Declan McGovern, RTÉ NSO General Manager (and programmer of the Big on Britten season) about the composer and his work. Listen back to the interview here.
Big On Britten: Britten & America
RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra
Friday 18 October at 8pm
National Concert Hall
Prices: €35, €30, €24, €18, €10
Box office: 01 417 0000
East Clare fiddler Martin Hayes is widely recognised as one of Ireland’s finest traditional musicians. His musical compass stretches far beyond these shores however, and this concert – curated by Hayes – illustrates this philosophy perfectly. This special doubleheader event, (Hayes performing with Triúr) brings the Catalan early music violist Jordi Savall to the National Concert Hall. His justly famous playing on the soundtrack to the film ‘Tous les Matins du Monde’ explored the world of Sainte-Colombe, a celebrated 17th Century French master of the viola da gamba. Savall has been one of the leading lights in the early music movement since the 1970s. Exploring the rich traditions of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque music, it was perhaps inevitable that Savall would turn to music from Ireland and Scotland, which features in this concert.
Jordi Savall / Triúr
Sunday 25 August
National Concert Hall
Listen back to this edition of Artbeat here.
Photographer Aga Maru joined Des FitzGerald in studio to talk about her new exhibition ‘Sunday Utopia’. From the press release: “While most of Dublin’s residents are relaxing in their homes eating Sunday lunch and reading the papers, Maru finds herself wandering through empty streets observing the other side of the Sunday Utopia. The sedate atmosphere cherished by most, for Aga as an adoptive citizen, it feels strangely intimidating. What on another day might feel like a new home, stripped of its midweek bustle and vigour, seems foreign and desolate to Maru.”
Sunday Utopia runs from July 31 – August 4 at 33 Mill Street. Visit agamaruphotography.com for more on Aga’s work.
Organised by artist and curator Aine Macken, Art Clash is one of the latest creative initiatives on the Dublin art scene, aiming to fuse night classes with night life. By merging workshops facilitated by Irish based working artists with a clubby, social side – Art Clash aims to sensually please. These non-average classes provide enthusiastic participants with a multitude of disciplines such as – Film, Performance Art, Illustration, Animation, Fashion and Street Art. Artbeat’s Adrian Colwell caught up recently with Aine to talk about the initiative.
Listen back to this week’s programme here.
With four performances only the world renowned Birmingham Royal Ballet returns to Dublin’s Bord Gáis Energy Theatre from tomorrow, Thursday 4 to Saturday 6 July. The company is bringing its renowned production of Giselle marking Birmingham Royal Ballet’s return to Dublin following the celebrated performances of Coppélia in July 2011. Des FitzGerald talked to Ballet Mistress Marion Tait from Birmingham Royal Ballet who’s been with the company since she was fifteen.
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Grand Canal Square, Docklands, Dublin 2
Tickets: Priced from €25.00
Thursday 4 July 2013 7:30 pm; Friday 5 July 2013 7:30 pm;
Saturday 6 July 2013 2:30 pm and 7:30 pm
Ticketmaster: 0818 719 377
The Ten Days in Dublin Festival kicks off tomorrow and among the many offerings is a new play Scabs about the Lockout in 1913. The play’s writer and director Naomi Elster joined Des live from a technical rehearsal (with apologies for the sound quality). The interview also features an extract from the production with actors Robert Harrington and Áine de Siún.
The Pearse Centre, 27 Pearse Street
July 4th–6th, 2013 @ 8:30pm
Tickets: €10/€8 concession – available on the door
The 18th Century was a period of great prosperity in Dublin. The city thrived and we are left with many beautiful squares that were home to the wealthy classes. Musical patronage became common and Dublin saw an influx of composers looking for artistic sponsorship. Francesco Geminiani, Tommaso Giordani and Matthew Dubourg (once Master and Composer of State Music in Dublin) were among the musical names now largely lost to history. The Irish Baroque Orchestra, under their director Monica Huggett, will redress the balance with this concert featuring early Irish harpist Siobhan Armstrong and soprano Roisin O’Grady. Music from Ireland’s Golden Age will including works by Handel, Geminiani, Vivaldi and Carolan. The unique Freemason’s Hall in Molesworth Street is the venue for the concert – fitting, as it’s believed Geminiani was a member himself.
Ireland’s Golden Age: a Baroque performance of music from 18th century Dublin and Cork
Irish Baroque Orchestra directed by Monica Huggett
Featuring: Siobhan Armstrong (early Irish harp), Roisin O’Grady (soprano)
Concert listing info:
Wednesday 15th May 2013, 7.30pm: Freemason’s Hall, Molesworth Street, Dublin
Tickets: 16eu (12eu concessions)
Information and ticket purchase:
Online from www.irishbaroqueorchestra.ie
or telephone the IBO at 01 – 5545 220
or book at the National Concert Hall Box Office, Tel 01-417 0000 (no booking fees)
The Norwegian vocal ensemble Trio Mediaeval could hardly have picked a more suitable venue than St. Audoen’s in Dublin last night. It’s the oldest parish church in the city and was founded right in the middle of the medieval era in 1190. Music has resonated over its stones for nearly a thousand years and it’s a special place to hear choral music of the highest calibre. Trio Mediaeval, an all female ensemble, were founded in Oslo in 1997. Since then they’ve released five critically acclaimed albums on the influential ECM label. Scholarship says that women in nunneries would have ignored St Paul’s request to keep silent in church. Luckily for us there are no obstacles to Trio Mediaeval’s repertoire. A Worcester Ladymass (England C13/14) with Credo and Benedicamus Domino written especially by Gavin Bryars, and a selection of folk songs featured on the night.
The Trio Mediaeval tour continues throughout Ireland until Monday. Details online at the Music Network website.
In recent years it’s become impossible to turn on late night eclectic radio shows without hearing Arvo Pärt’s compositions. This Estonian composer’s work has become shorthand for a sense of escape from modernity’s aural overload. Born near Tallinn in 1935 he witnessed the Soviet occupation of his country. His early work was often at odds with the Soviet system; he became the first Estonian to use Schoenberg’s famous 12 tone technique. Becoming more overtly religious in his output, Pärt retreated and developed his own version of plainsong: ’Tintinnabulation’, music based on the sound of bells, where the melody and voice are one. Passio, written after Pärt’s exodus to Berlin, is based on St John’s text. Conducted by a leading expert on Pärt’s work, Paul Hillier; the concert also features Theatre of Voices, Denmark and YXUS Ensemble, Estonia. Artbeat’s Des FitzGerald spoke with Christina Whyte of the National Chamber Choir about the upcoming performance of Passio.
Arvo Pärt’s Passio – National Chamber Choir of Ireland
Tuesday 26 March, 8pm Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin
Tickets: €20/€15 (Conc) – Bookings through the National Concert Hall Box Office: 01 417 0000 or nch.ie
10 Days in Dublin, Ireland’s only open-format festival, is back for its third year and is currently open for registration to artists of any discipline who want to take part. Joining Des on Artbeat to talk about the festival is Co-founder Robert Kearns. Registrations will remain open until April 5th and interested acts can find more information plus a registrations guide on the website.
Listen back to this programme in full here.