Head, Heart

Pepper Canister Church, Dublin

4 February 2023


Jean Sibelius (Finland, 1865-1957)Six Songs for male voices Op. 18
David Lang (USA, b.1957)love fail the selected choruses
Gavin Bryars (UK, b.1943)Glorious Hill
Jean SibeliusRakastava (The Lover)


Chamber Choir Ireland
Paul HillierConductor

An evening of choral music exploring love and freedom, choice and inevitability, the romantic and the philosophical.

Led by Paul Hillier, Chamber Choir Ireland performs songs about love, humanity, and free will, this February at the Pepper Canister Church.

Sibelius' Six Songs create a series of vignettes on life and love, telling of a fair voice silenced by sadness; a man striking out on his own as he heads to sea; and a groom building a blazing fire to tar his sled, ready to carry his new bride.

David Lang's love fail is a meditation on the timelessness of love, weaving the story of Tristan and Isolde—"the greatest love story ever"—together with more modern sources. This collection of six pieces from the original work will be the first ever performance of this particular suite, handpicked collaboratively by Paul Hillier and David Lang.

Gavin Bryars' Glorious Hill, originally composed for the Tennessee Wiliams play Summer and Smoke, juxtaposes vocal techniques of early music with those of modern composition. It takes its text from the Renaissance philosopher Pico della Mirandola's Oration on the Dignity of Man, in which God addresses Adam before the fall from grace.

Jean Sibelius' Rakastava (The Lover) is based on three pieces of Finnish-language folk poetry about the poet's beloved, the places she makes fairer with her presence, and the couple's farewell embraces.