Wednesday 2nd May
1 Portobello Harbour, D8.
The featured artist of the Kaleidoscope series’ 2017/18 season, soprano, Deirdre Moynihan guest-curates the penultimate event of that season. This will be her third and final appearance of the season and with a programme called “Beauty- like a dial-hand” that explores a theme of transience and an association with nature/the seasons, Deirdre has crafted cornucopia of musical genres, styles and colours.
Coming from a hugely musical background (in Cork), the evening is also very much a family affair with no less than five of the Moynihan family appearing on the night- flautist Kieran, pianist Fionnuala, piper Diarmaid, guitarist Donncha and, of course, Deirdre herself, featuring both as fiddler and soprano. With seven more of Ireland’s leading live performers joining the Moynihan quintet in various guises, this promises to be an eclectic and electric night of live music not to be missed.
GF Handel HWV 189 and 192 Duets
The Italian tradition of the “duetto da camera” (chamber duet) was well established by the time Handel put his pen to his HWV 189 and 192 duets, where his contrapuntal skills shine par excellence. Completed in July 1741, these two duets “No, di voi non vo’ fidarmi” and “Quel fior che all’alba ride” present music that is today familiar to us as a number of 4-part choruses from the Messiah, the libretto for which Handel received around the same time and began work on in late August that year. Well-loved choruses such as “For Unto Us a Child is Born” and “All We Like Sheep”, “His Yoke is Easy” and “And He Shall Purify” all derive from the splendid writings of these two duets. For a closer look at these mini-Messiah teasers, Deirdre Moynihan will be joined by soprano Helen Hassett, cellist Norah O Leary and harpsichordist David Adams.
Seven years before Handel’s death in 1759, Muzio Clementi was born in Italy and followed in the England-bound steps of his predecessor, where he garnered great renown as a pianist and as a composer for the piano. Indeed he was one of the first to compose specifically for the capabilities of the piano, for which he has been called “Father of the Piano”. Beethoven was a great admirer of his technical abilities and often prescribed Clementi sonatas to his students, saying “they who thoroughly study Clementi, at the same time make themselves acquainted with Mozart and other composers; but the converse is not the fact”. Of Clementi’s chamber music, we know and hear little these day, but flautist Kieran Moynihan and pianist Fionnuala Moynihan will share with us the 1785 sonata Op. 21 no. 1
Chopin: Variations on a theme by Rossini
Chopin was probably no older than 14 when he set to work on a set of variations for piano and flute. Already in love with opera, he decided on the happy- ending aria, “Non più mesta” (No longer sad) from Rossini’s opera Cinderella. It was most likely written for the composer’s father who was a capable amateur flute player but in the end, the piece was probably dedicated to Józef Cichowski, a close friend of his fathers and an amateur flautist as well. We are indeed fortunate that this early piece of Chopin juvenilia has actually survived, as Jozef Nowakowski, one of the composer’s friends, kept the single manuscript copy as a memento and the work did not appear in print until 1953. This charming and fluent set of variations presents the theme and four decorated versions of the original tune. Stylistically, there is nothing in this composition to suggest Chopin’s future hand as all the interesting bits are given to the flute, which will hear on piccolo in this May 2nd performance. In addition, it’s the only Chopin piano part that can comfortably be played by most amateurs. Clearly, the future poet of the piano had a long way to go!
Jane O’Leary: A Winter Sketchbook
Born in Connecticut, Jane O Leary has been resident in Ireland since 1972 and As artistic director and pianist of Concorde ensemble, has been nurturing the development of new music in Ireland and promoting its performance worldwide since then. She was a founding member of Music for Galway and is currently a Director of The Galway Music Residency. “A Winter Sketchbook”, for violin and alto flute, was written in 2015 and is a sublime example of O Leary’s soundworld- crystallised resonances and shimmering evocations of cold. Larissa O Grady and Kieran Moynihan will share two of the four movements of the work with us
Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco: “Sonata Canonica” Op. 196
Mario Castelnuovo Tedesco was an Italian composer and pianist and is a hero of classical guitarists, having written over 100 works for that instrument. His love for the instrument derived from a meeting with world-renowned Spanish guitarist, Andrés Segovia. Born in 1895 to a Jewish family of Spanish heritage, Castelnuovo-Tedesco was forced to emigrate to the USA after the rise of facism in Italy, even prior to which his music was banned from radio and performances of his work cancelled. It was the Russian violinist Jascha Heifetz, who actually sponsored his the necessary paperwork to get the composer out of Italy and who helped Castelnuovo Tedesco land a contract with MGM studios as a film composer. Several of the best-known film composers of today studied with him in Hollywood, including Jerry Goldsmith and John Williams. His “Sonata Canonica” Op. 196 was written in 1961 and for Kaleidoscope, will be performed by guitarists John Feeley and Alec O’Leary. We will also hear his settings of two Shakespeare sonnets “Shall I compare thee to a summer’s day?” and “To me, fair friend, you never can be old”, with Deirdre Moynihan joining Alec O’ Leary
Diarmaid + Donncha Moynihan
The Moynihan brothers, Diarmaid (uilleann pipes & whistle) and Donncha (guitar) established themselves firmly in the scene when their band, Calico exploded onto the scene in 1998 with their debut album “Celanova Square”, an album of newly composed music in the Irish and Breton traditions. Deirdre joined the band as vocalist a year later and they went on to tour Europe, USA and Canada to great acclaim. On this occasion, Deirdre will also perform on fiddle in the group and the trio will be joined by whistle player and one of Ireland’s finest musicians and musical explorers Cormac Breatnach.