Friday, 19 March 2010

Have you sipped any of the black stuff this week in celebration of St Patrick's Day?!

I will confess to a couple of pints of the Irish nectar, and it has certainly maintained the celebration firmly in my mind!  And with the wistful thoughts of the emerald isle, I've been investigating the work of some Irish composers over the past couple of days.

A major discovery has been Marco Polo's Contemporary Irish Composers series, available on The Classical Shop.  A couple of particular favourites from my exploration are Seoirse Bodley's, Ireland's eminent contemporary composer, Symphonies No.4 and 5, especially the second movement of Symphony No.4, and Gerard Victory's Ultima Rerum which features tenor, Adrian Thompson.

For me, no Irish odyssey is complete without some outing of John Field and Charles Villiers Stanford, and I always find it hard to move beyond the second movement of Field's Piano Concerto No.2, which is simply exquisite.  In the case of Stanford, it has to be Irish Rhapsody No.5, played very loudly with a measure of Redbreast to sip slowly during the performance!