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Donnacha Dennehy

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Grá agus Bás (2007)
Text Writer
G Schirmer Inc
Soloist(s) and Large Ensemble (7 or more players)
Sub Category
Year Composed
28 Minutes
Programme Note
Donnacha Dennehy Grá agus Bás (2007)

Crash Ensemble and Iarla O Lionaird (excerpt)
Composer Note:
Written especially for Iarla O’ Lionáird and the Crash Ensemble, and commissioned by Trinity College, Grá agus Bás is inspired by the moments of ecstasy (both luscious and dark) within a number of particular Sean Nós songs, but especially Aisling Gheal, and uses these as a collective point of departure for a journey exploring the themes of love and death in a non-narrative context. Technically, it may be of interest to know that the treatment of pitches (and harmony) in this piece oscillates between an equal tempered and a quasi just-tuned spectral approach. Basically it is usually equal tempered when it is harmonically mobile, and just-tuned when it is harmonically static.

Special thanks are due to Michael Taylor, head of the School of Music at Trinity College, for organizing a commission for what was essentially a labour of love, to Kate Ellis, our cellist, for so patiently coaching me on the various gymnastic patterns of harmonics I wanted to use, and to Iarla for his talent, his enthusiasm and his open-minded assistance throughout.

— Donnacha Dennehy

  • Ensemble
    Crash Ensemble
    Dawn Upshaw and Iarla O'Lionáird
    Alan Pierson
    Nonesuch Records:
  • Ensemble
    Crash Ensemble
    Dawn Upshaw, Iarla O Lionáird
    Alan Pierson
    Nonesuch Records:
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