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Legacy - Mornington Singers Concert (Dublin)
Saturday, 19 May 2012 at 20:00 (BST)
From Bach through Mendelssohn and Brahms to three contemporary Irish composers, this performance will be a celebration of inspiration, interpretation and invention.
The concert will start off with Jesu meine Freude. One of the most popular of Bach’s six motets, Jesu meine Freude abounds with stark contrasts between images of heaven and hell, often within a single section. Bach's vivid setting of the words heightens these dramatic contrasts resulting in a motet with a wide dramatic range.
The middle section of the concert consists of three newly-composed pieces by Irish composers, which will be performed for the first time. The first piece, O Magnum Mysterium, is composed by the Mornington Singers’ Sam Kavanagh. A multi-instrumentalist and composer, Kavanagh holds a music degree from Trinity College Dublin and regularly writes music for film and stage as well as private commissions. Kavanagh’s piece is followed by Hymnus Sancti Camelaci by Paul Flynn, another music graduate of Trinity College Dublin. Flynn has had his works performed throughout Ireland and also in the UK, and some of his liturgical music is in the regular repertoire of a number of choirs. The last piece in the contemporary section is i carry your heart, a setting of the e.e. cummings poem commissioned from composer by Ian Wilson for the occasion of the wedding of the Mornington Singers’ conductor Orla Flanagan and Arthur Parkinson. Wilson, originally from Belfast, has written almost one hundred vocal and instrumental pieces and his music has been performed in such renowned venues as New York’s Carnegie Hall and London’s Royal Albert Hall.
The concert’s last section will start with Mendelssohn’s Mitten wir im Leben sind. An intense work full of raw emotion, Mendelssohn wrote in a letter to his sister that it ‘growls angrily or whistles darkly’ and that he considered it ‘one of the best works of sacred music I ever wrote.’ The legacy of Bach, whom Mendelssohn held in high esteem, is evident.
The concert will end with Brahms’ stunning masterpiece Warum ist das Licht gegeben. Both the assembly of texts and the compositional virtuosity of the piece are breathtaking. The motet, while full of romantic harmonies and sensibility, is clearly modeled on similar compositions by Bach, and Brahms’ dedication of the piece to the great Bach scholar, Philip Spitta, is highly symbolic.
J. S. Bach: Jesu meine Freude
Sam Kavanagh: O Magnum Mysterium (first performance)
Paul Flynn: Hymnus Sancti Camelaci (first performance)
Ian Wilson: i carry your heart (first performance)
Felix Mendelssohn: Mitten wir im Leben sind
Johannes Brahms: Warum ist das Licht gegeben
When & Where
Mornington Singers are an award-winning Irish chamber choir based in Dublin, directed by Róisín Blunnie