Category: Music

Sublime talents of John O’Conor honoured

Pat O’Kelly Since 2012 the National Concert Hall has presented an annual Lifetime Achievement Award to Irish musicians of international renown. Not confined to what can be loosely termed ‘classical artists’, the award spreads its wings across a broader spectrum of musical genres. James Galway, Veronica Dunne, Paul Brady and the Vanbrugh Quartet followed the…

Collins’ fresh focus on Chopin’s short creative life

Pat O’Kelly   Thanks to the hospitality of ambassador Marie-Claude Meylan, the Swiss Embassy was the convivial venue for a recently launched CD – Chopin Recital – featuring Dublin-born pianist Finghin Collins. On the Swiss classical label Claves, for which Collins has already recorded excellent Schumann albums, the new disc, 50-1719, is a cooperation with…

Knock’s Messiah marks 275th anniversary of première

Pat O’Kelly   History will be made this weekend with Handel’s Messiah heard for the first time in the Basilica at Knock on Saturday evening. Under Proinnsías Ó Duinn, the occasion commemorates the 275th anniversary of the oratorio’s première in Neal’s Musick Hall in Dublin’s Fishamble Street. The current event unites Our Lady’s Choral Society,…

National Concert Hall welcomes La Traviata

Pat O’ Kelly   As Wexford Festival aficionados will be enjoying the final performances of unfamiliar works by Cherubini, Foroni and Alfano at the National Opera House this weekend, the National Concert Hall is the setting, on Saturday, Sunday and Tuesday next, for something less esoteric – Lyric Opera’s production of Verdi’s La Traviata. Through…

Music: Practice makes perfect

  Fr Michael Collins   All around the country, young musicians are busy practising. Some are getting ready for their Leaving Certificate and State exams. Others are getting ready for Third Level exams. But a great number are preparing for the Feis Ceoil. Founded in 1896, the Feis Ceoil has seen several generations of musicians…

The junior tenors with superior voices

Fr Michael Collins   Last week, I was delighted to meet the three Italian teenagers who are the musical sensation, Il Volo. They were in Dublin to appear on the Late Late Show and promote their new album, Il Volo. The three singers were in Dublin for just two and a half days, staying in…

A performance of energy and zest

  Fr Michael Collins   Among the greatest of J.S. Bach’s choral works stands out the Christmas Oratorio, a collection of six individual cantatas. Each was composed for a particular day of the Christmas season, concluding with the Feast of the Epiphany. Bach used a libretto by Christian Friedrich Henrici, known by his nickname Picander,…