RTÉ NSO Returns with Deirdre McKay’s ‘Meltwater’ This Friday

Deirdre McKay

RTÉ NSO Returns with Deirdre McKay’s ‘Meltwater’ This Friday

Upcoming six concerts also feature works by Joseph Boulogne, Louise Farrenc, Elaine Agnew and Ginastera.

The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will return to live performance this Friday 12 March following a postponement of its concerts in January because of the pandemic.

Chief Conductor Jaime Martín will conduct the first three of six concerts taking place between 12 March and 16 April. All concerts will be live-streamed from the National Concert Hall on www.rte.ie/culture and broadcast on RTÉ Lyric FM.

The opening concert this Friday features two works, Irish composer Deirdre McKay’s Meltwater (2008, rev. 2009) and Mendelssohn’s Symphony No. 3, ‘Scottish’. Meltwater was commissioned by the Irish Chamber Orchestra and first performed in 2009. On that occasion it was also conducted by Martín at the National Concert Hall.

Writing about the work, McKay has said, ‘The desolate beauty of our planet’s most extreme and inhospitable landscapes, like a winter freeze, took captivity of this piece. In turn, it answers to the invocation of the ice world, as pared and fragile as its pulsing meltwater edge: diaphanous shards, floating, in its cathedral spaces.’

Joseph Boulogne and Louise Farrenc
Martín will also conduct the concert on 19 March, which features Brahms’ Serenade No. 1 in D and the first symphony by the eighteenth-century Guadeloupean composer Joseph Boulogne. Boulogne, the son of a plantation owner and an African slave, was educated in France and wrote and performed as a soloist in his own violin concertos, as well as composing chamber music, operas and orchestral works.

On 26 March, Martín will conduct Variaciones concertantes (1953) by the Argentinian composer Ginastera and Symphony No. 3 in G minor by the nineteenth-century French composer Louise Farrenc. Farrenc was a concert pianist and taught at the Paris Conservatory. She wrote a range of works including symphonies, overtures and chamber music.

Robert Houlihan will conduct the orchestra in the concert of 2 April, featuring Gluck’s Orfeo ed Euridice Overture, Barber’s Adagio for Strings, and Haydn’s Symphony No. 104 in D, ‘London’.

Elaine Agnew’s work for string orchestra Strings A-stray (1994, rev. 1998), also commissioned by the Irish Chamber Orchestra, will feature in the concert of 9 April conducted by David Brophy. In addition, the performance will feature three works by Stravinsky – Eight Instrumental Miniatures, Danses Concertantes, and Dumbarton Oaks.

Finally, on 16 April, Gavin Maloney will conduct the RTÉ NSO performing Copland’s Quiet City, Barber’s Knoxville: Summer of 1915 (with soprano Rachel Croash as soloist), and John AdamsShaker Loops.

The concerts will be presented by Paul Herriott of RTÉ Lyric FM.

For more, visit https://orchestras.rte.ie/

Published on 9 March 2021

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