Saturday, March 31, 2012

More Hugh Lane

Some more great free music at the Hugh Lane Gallery, with an extra treat for the next 3 Saturdays (1.05pm) when the 3 Irish pianists selected to participate in the 2012 Dublin International Piano Competition (which runs from May 4-15) showcase their programmes. On Sat 31 you can hear Ben Shaffrey play Beethoven, Brahms and Liszt; on Sat 7 April Nadene Fiorentini plays Berg, Ravel, Granados and Chopin; and on Sat 14 Marie Carroll plays Ravel, Messiaen and Chopin. Meanwhile back in the Sundays @ Noon slot Duos for Harp and Cello sees NSO veterans Andreja Malir and Martin Johnson team up for works by Ravi Shankar, Jane O’Leary and Tedeschi, while on Sun 8 pianist Peter Tuite continues his joint survey of the Complete Haydn Piano Sonatas. A concert featuring contemporary composers Jennifer Walshe and Alessandro Bosetti on Sun 15 promises to be something quite different: ‘both local artists and composers that have been exploring the uncharted territory between music, speech and noise in a variety of forms ranging from experimental radio play, opera, instrumental music and performance, making use of an extremely broad palette of unconventional sounds. Alessandro Bosetti's approach is close to sound anthropology and incorporates social, behavioral and sociological aspects while in Jennifer Walshe's work a big role is played by text, narratives and mischievous humor.' And on Sun 22 Paul Hillier conducts the National Chamber Choir in An Irish Colloquy, including Tarik O’Regan’s The Spring, Arvo Pärt’s The Deer’s Cry, Nicholas Maw’s Five Irish Songs, excerpts from Piers Hellawell’s Isabella’s Banquet and works by Enda Bates, David Fennessy and Frank

More Musical

Next up is Alice in Funderland, brainchild of the ever-energetic thisispopbaby, which has just begun previews at the Abbey and opens on Wed 4 April. Directed by Wayne Jordan, the first musical to be produced at the Abbey in over 20 years is a big show fielding a 15-strong cast, with book and lyrics by Phillip McMahon, music by Raymond Scannell, and choreography by Liz Roche’. Inspired by both the Lewis Carroll classic and the cadence and rhythm of Irish city life, this combination of biting social and sexual satire, contemporary musical numbers, rich language, high design and a philosophy of hope and courage is a modern day fairy tale for a tender and bruised nation: ‘Unlucky in love, Corkonian Alice is all set for her sister’s wedding when a chance encounter with delivery boy Warren sends her spiralling through the Dublin night. In an epic pursuit for meaning on the strangest night of her life, Alice tumbles through the broken city, bombarded by grinning politicians, pyjama-clad bowsies, egg heads on the edge, twisted scissor sisters, and Delores – The Queen of Hartstown.’
And there's something really special at the Abbey on Mon 9 April when legendary artists Patti Smith and Sam Shepard get together for an intimate evening of readings and music.

Friday, March 16, 2012


So what’s in the air theatre-wise these days? Music, that’s what, with not one but two Irish musicals taking to the stage. Rough Magic revive their delightful show Improbable Frequency at the Gaiety until 24 Mar. An unlikely (improbable?) hit when first staged back in 2004, this delicious satire on our beloved neutrality from writer Arthur Riordan and composers Bell Helicopter is set in Dublin during the Second World War. Teaming with intrigue and subterfuge, and performed almost entirely in rhyming couplets, the terrific cast of six sing and dance their way through a storyline that brings together John Betjeman, Myles na gCopaleen, Schrodinger, the Hun-loving IRA and a couple of cruciverbalist spies.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Sundays@ Noon

Lots of good stuff in the Hugh Lane’s Sundays@ Noon series. On Sun 10 a Words & Music session with clarinetist Paul Roe and actor/storyteller Nuala Hayes includes Tom Johnson’s Bedtime Stories as Gaeilge and the intriguing prospect of a new work by Stephen Gardner, Quiet, based on a verbal exchange in the Dail between John O'Donohoe and Michael Ring. Music for Mandolin and Guitar on Sun 18 features Italian duo Roberto Bascia & Giovanni Calo in a journey through the Italian musical tradition, with works by everyone from Vivaldi to Morricone. Ensemble Avalon on Sun 25 play piano trios by Haydn and Laoibhse Griffin and Ravel’s Sonata for Violin and Cello.


Haven't been here for a while, so the easiest thing is just to jump right in. So in no particular order, ie whatever comes to hand first, here's some stuff worth checking out. The AML are keeping up the good work with a visit from the celebrated Czech string quartet the Prazak Quartet on Sun 25 March @3.15 in George's Hall Dublin Castle. It's the Prazak's 27th visit since 1982 and their programme this time around includes Mozart's Hunt Quartet, Janacek's 'Initmate Letters' and Schubert's fab 'Death and the Maiden'.
A fundraising Tsunami Anniversary Concert at the Peppercannister on Sun 11 @3.30 features rising Japanese soprano Mari Moriya, pianist Takeshi Moriuchi and counter-tenor Daichi Fujiki.
Pipeworks team up with the RTE NSO and the NCH for a free organ recital on Fri 16 March @6.15. As a precursor to the NSO’s 8pm programme (Wagner, Bruckner’s 7th Symphony, R Strauss’ Horn Concerto) David Adams plays Langlais’ apocolyptical ‘La cinquieme trompette’ and Reger’s monumental 2nd Sonata op 60.
Note Productions present leading young jazz pianist Michael Wollny in a solo recital at the NCH John Field Room on Wed 14 March. Classically trained, his influences range from Bach, Schubert and Messiaen to Bjork, Keith Jarrett and Ligeti. Sounds good.