Entitled The Way We Are, the 90 minute work is part of Derek Ball’s triptych of works commemorating the soprano Eileen Donlon.
The cycle consists of 16 songs, each one a villanelle setting, which is a 19-line form with a pair of alternating refrain lines. The poems are by 7 contemporary poets known to the composer, most of them Irish: Maurice Harmon, Anne Makower, Neil Colyer, Paddy Bushe, Gregory Rosenstock, Mary O’Donnell, and Richard Berengarten.
The performance features Elizabeth Hilliard (soprano) and David Bremner (piano), and takes place at the Katherine Brennan Hall of the Royal Irish Academy of Music at 6.30pm on 26 June.
Here’s an interview recorded recently with Derek Ball about the song cycle, and his career as a composer.