Minister of State for the Gaeltacht, Dinny McGinley T.D. launched a new collection of Irish choral music at the Arts Council on 18 October 2012, one of the events marking the Arts Council’s 60th Anniversary.
Speaking at the launch, the Minister said “the repertoire reproduced here is of varying degrees of difficulty, it gives community choirs access to contemporary Irish works, while also offering more challenging pieces to choirs with more developed technical and musical abilities. It is envisaged that the anthology will promote the careers of Irish composers as well as broaden audiences for choral music.”
Orlaith McBride, Director of the Arts Council said, “The Arts Council is delighted to mark its 60th anniversary with the realisation of this publication of an anthology of contemporary Irish choral music accompanied by a recording of the featured works. The Irish Choral Music Anthology is a highly important initiative in the context of the Council’s commitment to achieving objectives set out in the choral policy document Raising Your Voice. ”
Three key Arts Council funded music organisations formed a partnership to deliver this initiative: the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, the Contemporary Music Centre and the Association of Irish Choirs. The publication,Choirland: An Anthology of Irish Choral Music, is a collection of 15 pieces by Irish composers for unaccompanied mixed choir.
The music ranges in difficulty from the simple to perform, to the more challenging. From arrangements of traditional melodies, new settings of familiar texts and strikingly original works, the selection encompasses a wide array of styles, which illustrate the diversity and vibrancy of Irish choral music. Each piece is presented with performance notes designed to aid conductors and singers alike, and the book includes a CD recording of the music by the National Chamber Choir of Ireland conducted by Artistic Director, Paul Hillier.
Representatives from all three organisations were present at the launch and the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, under Artistic Director Paul Hillier performed works by Ben Hanlon, Colin Mawby and David Fennessy, all of which are included in Choirland.
Choirland is available to purchase from www.cmc.ie
Gerald Barry (b.1952) – Long time (2011)
Enda Bates (b.1979) – Pauper’s Lament (2010)
Seóirse Bodley (b.1933) – I will walk with my love (1981)
Brian Boydell (1917–2000) – Come Sleep (1964)
Rhona Clarke (b.1958) – Regina Coeli (from Two Marian Anthems) (2007)
Frank Corcoran (b.1944) – Caoine (1975)
Séamas De Barra (b.1955) – Ave Maria (1985)
David Fennessy (b.1976) – chOirland (2002)
Aloys Fleischmann (1910–1922) – Na Trí Captaení Loinge (1956)
Ben Hanlon (b.1952) – Molaimis go léir an tAon-Mhac Críost (2008)
Colin Mawby (b.1936) – Alleluia, Christus Resurrexit (1986)
Fiontán Ó Cearbhaill (1922–1981) – Suantraí ár Slánaitheora (1979)
Éamonn Ó Gallchobhair (1900–1982) – An Teitheadh go hÉigipt (1975)
Eric Sweeney (b.1948) – There is no rose (1981)
Gerard Victory (1921–1995) – Sliabh Geal gCua (1982)
Performance notes by Anne Barry and Alan Leech.
CD recording by the National Chamber Choir of Ireland, conductor Paul Hillier.