Friday 25 September

Duff, Ó Súilleabháin, Kinsella, Martin

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Time 7:00pm
National Concert Hall Dublin


  • David Brophy
  • Mark Redmond
    uilleann pipes / flute
  • Paul Herriott, RTÉ lyric fm
  • Arthur Duff

    Echoes of Georgian Dublin

  • Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin 

    Bean Dubh an Ghleanna

  • Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin


  • John Kinsella

    Nocturne for Strings

  • Neil Martin (arr.)

    The Fairy Queen

  • Neil Martin (arr.)

    Danny Boy

  • Neil Martin (arr.)

    The Humours of Ballyloughlin

From the streets of Georgian Dublin to the wilds of County Down, from the legendary Carolan to the magnificent Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, we salute four distinctive Irish composers whose music gloriously fuses past and present.

Arthur Duff’s delightfully romantic suite for strings, Echoes of Georgian Dublin, pays tribute to an ornate period in the capital’s history. Cast with watercolour-delicacy in a bright, buoyant form elegantly appropriated from the baroque, it’s a beguiling exercise in nostalgia full of warmth and flowing lyricism.

Strings are to the fore, too, in John Kinsella’s exquisite Nocturne where the soft baritonal voice of a weary cello sings its sorry song supported by shimmering violins. Brooding and baleful, it has a dark beauty all of its own.

Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin describes his own Oileán/Island for flute and string orchestra as ‘not so much a fusion of traditional and classical music as a conversation between the two traditions’. It’s a timeless, beautiful, reflective piece in which past and present fuse into something new and special.

It features the virtuosic Mark Redmond on flute, who also doubles on uilleann pipes in Ó Súilleabháin’s atmospheric Bean Dubh an Ghleanna, a haunting homage to a mysterious ‘dark woman of the glen’.

Finally, from the gifted composer and arranger Neil Martin, new imaginings of a trio of seminal works: the perennially popular Danny Boy and, for strings and pipes,  the legendary blind harpist-composer Turlough O’Carolan’s lilting, porcelain-delicate The Fairy Queen and the infectiously lively traditional jig, The Humours of Ballyloughlin