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Donnacha Dennehy

Publisher: G. Schirmer

Crane Version II (shorter) (2009)
Publisher
G Schirmer Inc
Category
Orchestra
Year Composed
2009
Duration
17 Minutes
Programme Note
Donnacha Dennehy Crane Version II (shorter) (2009)

Listen on Spotify
Related Works:
   Crane
   Crane Version II (shorter)

Composer Note:
The creative spark for Crane was an ambitious collaborative concept, entitled Crane Ballet — an urban/industrial ballet, to involve a live orchestral performance and the choreographed movement of cranes located at various building sites across Dublin skyline during the apex of Dublin's construction boom. Although the costs and practicalities of the choreography eventually proved insurmountable, it happily set the conditions for the birth of this stand-alone piece.

A lot has changed in the meantime. Liberated from the potential restrictions of such an involved collaboration, the music itself is significantly more ambitious and far-reaching than anything I first imagined. All the same, many of the monolithic gestures it contains are bound up with my poetic thinking about cranes (I was obsessed for about a year). I have acknowledged that debt in the title of what is now essentially an abstract piece of music.

One connection between the early vision and the final piece is, for me, particularly poignant. During research for the original concept, I visited a school for Crane operators in Blanchardstown, on the outskirts of Dublin, accompanied by the wonderful Indian/English choreographer Shobana Jeyasingh, who was to choreograph the crane movements. There we meta crane operator who was a fascinating character. Something he said never left me. I asked him what he enjoyed about being a crane operator and he said it was that when he ascended the massive collection of ladders to reach his cabin high up in the sky, he left all the worries and troubles of his life down on the ground and could “watch the whole world go by.” The gentle crux of this often extremely energetic, intense piece, at the very end, is a kind of a musical translation of such an oasis in the sky.

Special thanks are due to Jonathan Reekie and Cerys Shepherd of Aldeburgh Music for lending me a house to work in during my hour of need in the summer of 2008.

— Donnacha Dennehy 2010


  • Ensemble
    RTE National Symphony Orchestra
    Soloist(s)
    Chamber Choir Ireland
    Conductor
    Gavin Maloney
    RTE Lyric FM:
Performances
Date
Title
  • 17 FEB 2017
    National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland
    RTE National Symphony Orchestra
    Daniel Blendulf, conductor
  • 23 SEP 2016
    Composing the Island: A century of music in Ireland
    National Concert Hall, Dublin, Ireland
    RTE National Symphony Orchestra
    Gavin Maloney, conductor

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