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Residency: Co. Clare
Monday 22–Friday 26 October 2007
with James Cavanagh & Gavin Maloney, conductors
The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra takes up residence in Co. Clare from Monday, 22 October to Friday, 26 October for a week of music-making and educational work. The residency programme, presented in association with Glór and Clare County Council Arts Office, encompasses workshops for primary school students, concerts for secondary school students and public concerts in Kilkee and Ennis with master piper Liam O’Flynn. An estimated six thousand people will hear the musicians of the orchestra perform in the course of the week.
To prepare the ground James Cavanagh ran a training session for teachers in Glór in September and RTÉ NSO musicians are carrying out advance educational work in the schools. Members of the orchestra will also contribute their own informal voluntary element to the residency week with outreach activities including performances in local nursing homes.
This is the sixth such residency by the RTÉ NSO, with enthusiastic responses in past years from schools and public audiences alike in Kerry, Donegal, Cork, Mayo/Galway and Laois. Nuala Kelly of the Laois School of Music described last year’s residency as ‘undoubtedly the highlight of the musical calendar in Laois to date…If we could make it an annual event we would!'
Young people’s spontaneous and
joyful response to music is always a source of great enjoyment for the
orchestra on these residencies. Under conductors James Cavanagh and Gavin
Maloney, there will be twelve workshops for primary school students –
with classes from Junior Infants upwards taking part – and two concerts
for secondary level students in bases in Kilrush, Ennistymon, Scarriff,
Ennis and Shannon.
Common to both concerts is Shaun Davey’s atmospheric and powerfully moving The Brendan Voyage. This music drama tells the heroic story of St Brendan’s epic journey in a leather boat from the south-west coast of Ireland via the Hebrides, the Faroes, Iceland and Greenland to the coast of the New World. The tiny boat is represented by the uilleann pipes, pitted against the massive forces of sea and storm, ice and monsters as depicted by the huge orchestra. Joining the RTÉ NSO for this Irish classic is the wonderful piper Liam O’Flynn, of whom the Guardian wrote, ‘music of pure soul flows from his fingers’.
Each concert also features a celebrated symphony, Dvorák’s ‘New World’ Symphony in Kilkee and Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony in Ennis.
Dvorák’s ‘New World’ Symphony has proved one of the most popular pieces of the past century. A recording of the piece was brought to the moon in 1969 by Neil Armstrong as he himself sought out a new world. The yearning slow movement melody may also be known to people as Goin’ Home or remembered from the nostalgic 1970s Hovis commercial where the delivery boy pushes his bicycle up a steep, cobbled street.
Beethoven’s dramatic, eternally appealing Fifth Symphony is a testament to the composer’s struggle with adversity. The famous opening is often interpreted as ‘Fate knocking at the door’, and during World War II its suggestion of Morse Code became the powerful symbol of ‘V for Victory’. The compressed energy of the first movement, the lyrical ease of the Andante, the haunting Scherzo leading to the blazing splendour of the Finale all show why this symphony has been described as ‘the most sublime noise that has ever penetrated into the ear of man’ (E.M. Forster, Howards End).
Tickets at €22 (€14 conc./€6 children) are available from the Glór Box Office 065-6843103 and €1 from each ticket sold will be donated to Clare Crusaders.
For further information please contact
Monday, 22 October
Tuesday, 23 October
Wednesday, 24 October
Thursday, 25 October
Friday, 26 October