Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble to tour Pierrot Lunaire with Irish works

hrThe Hard Rain Soloist Ensemble, recently announced as ensemble-in-residence at the Crescent Arts Centre in Belfast, embark on their final tour of the season with a programme built around Schoenberg’s Pierrot Lunaire.

The ensemble expand their forces for the performance of the influential 1912 work, to include soprano Aoife Miskelly and conductor Sinead Hayes. Director Greg Caffrey explains the ensemble’s affinity with the work:

‘Written in in 1912, Pierrot Lunaire, Op 21. is an expressionist melodrama combining atonality with “sprechstimme”, a vocal technique somewhere between singing and speaking. The work is based on a German translation of a setting of a cycle of 21 poems by Belgian writer Albert Giraud. It is a wholly appropriate work for Hard Rain SoloistEnsemble to interpret as the instrumentation of the ensemble (flute, clarinet, violin, violoncello and piano) has only become standard since the work’s inception. As a result of the success of Pierrot Lunaire many other works now exist for this instrumentation.’

The ensemble will perform the ‘hyper-expressive’ Pierrot Lunaire four times, with differing accompanying programmes. The opening concert, as part of the Derry Walled City Music Spring Series (10 April), will feature Bartok’s Contrasts and a piano piece by Ryan Molloy, Sliabh Geal gCua (2012), based on an Irish air by Pádraig Ó Miléadha and exploring the aural tradition of Irish traditional music. The same programme will be performed at Dublin’s Hugh Lane on 12 April. In Belfast (11 April) the programme will instead feature Simon Mawhinney’s new piano solo work Haykal, performed by the composer.

  • 10 Apr, 7.30pm, Walled City Music Festival, The Great Hall, Ulster University Magee, Derry
  • 11 Apr, 7.30pm, Crescent Arts Centre, Belfast
  • 12 Apr, 3pm, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane
  • 13 Apr, 1pm, Renehan Hall, Maynooth University

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