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Voices from The Merry Cemetery

  • NCH Earlsfort Terrace Dublin, Dublin Ireland (map)

The altos and sopranos from Dun Laoghaire Choral Society are delighted to be part of this wonderful concert, "Voices from a Merry Cemetery."

Introduced by HE Manuela Breazu, Ambassador of Romania to Ireland, and Dorian Branea, director of the Romanian Cultural Institute in London

Opening of the Romanian Cultural Days in Dublin.

'By turns melancholy and rousing, contemplative and uplifting, the concert created what Davey called "a joyous vision of the living and the dead".' The Irish Times on Voices from a Merry Cemetery

Shaun Davey's genius for creating vivid pictures in music and his ground-breaking fusion of traditional and classical instruments have made him a cornerstone of Irish musical life. Enchanting audiences around the world, his powerful music was also used to open the Special Olympics ceremony in Croke Park in 2003, when it was performed to 80,000 people.

Davey's acclaimed Voices from the Merry Cemetery Suite was inspired by the famous Romanian cemetery in Sapânta, the lyrics adapted from epitaphs on traditionally carved wooden crosses. The music was specially composed for the Male Voice Choir of Sibiu University under the direction of Fr Sorin Dobre, combined with uilleann pipes, vocal, organ, percussion, guitar and orchestra. A 25-strong chorale of amazingly diverse range and timbre, trained in the sophisticated euphonies of the Byzantine and Orthodox musical tradition, this choir is one of the most enduring and accomplished ensembles of its kind in Romania.

Shaun Davey says: 'Voices from the Merry Cemetery would not exist without the Male Voice Choir of Sibiu University and the encouragement of Fr Sorin Dobre, and so it is wonderful to welcome them to Dublin for this performance.'

The programme also features excerpts from The Brendan Voyage, Davey's seminal suite and first major work, which marked the first time that a traditional Irish solo musician was integrated with orchestra. The uilleann pipe passages - performed by Liam O'Flynn - capture the emotion and beauty of Irish traditional music. Other highlights include the spiritual tour de force The Deer's Cry, sung by Rita Connolly with chorus.

Receiving its world première on the night is Sunt Angelis. Davey's new suite for choir and orchestra is based on another Irish-Romanian collaboration, his music for director Silviu Purcarete's version of Gulliver's Travels.

Presented by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra in partnership with the Romanian Embassy and Romanian Cultural Institute.

Conducted by David Brophy


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