Orpheus with Guest Director Grete Pedersen

All Hallows Chapel DCU, Drumcondra

14 May 2022


Hans Werner Henze (Germany, 1926- 2012)Orpheus Behind the Wire
Ørjan Matre (Norway, b. 1979)Orphic songs
Henry Purcell (England, 1659-1695)Music for a While


Chamber Choir Ireland
Grete PedersenGuest Director

Grete Pedersen joins Chamber Choir Ireland as Guest Director for this concert of works connected to the Ancient Greek myth of Orpheus.

Artistic Director of the Norwegian Soloists’ Choir, Grete Pedersen, joins Chamber Choir Ireland as Guest Director for this concert of works around the story of Orpheus—musician, poet, and prophet of Greek mythology, who mourns the loss of his beloved Eurydice and, with his beautiful song, moves the god of death to tears to be reunited with her.

The concert explores musical perspectives on the Orpheus myth through time:

  • Henze’s sombre, restrained Orpheus Behind the Wire (1983) is a setting of poems by Edward Bond, written to accompany his libretto for the dance drama Orpheus.
  • Ørjan Matre’s Orphic Songs (2016) deals with the centuries-old Orphic belief system, which reveres those mythological figures that could transcend death.
  • Henry Purcell’s Music for a While (1692) was composed as incidental music for the Restoration-age reworking of Sophocles' Greek tragedy, Oedipus by John Dryden and Nathaniel Lee, and was published posthumously as part of Orpheus Britannicus.

Tracing its musical responses through the centuries, we see how this story about the tremendous power of music—seemingly an endless font of inspiration—is perhaps as transcendent as Orpheus himself.

  Chamber Choir is funded by the Arts Council / An Chomhairle Ealaion and Dublin City Council, is a resident ensemble at the National Concert Hall, and associate artists at Dublin City University.