Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy, whom, the New Yorker has called "a star of Dublin's active new music scene," makes his Nonesuch debut with Grá agus Bás. This ambitious set features a pair of dramatic pieces written for two very different but equally extraordinary voices - former Afro-Celt Sound system vocalist Iarla O’Lionáird and American soprano, and Nonesuch label-mate, Dawn Upshaw. Often described as a post-minimalist, Dennehy, says British music magazine The Wire, "has a sound world all his own." Here he uses elements of Irish traditional culture as a springboard to create work with no visible roots-a borderless music that is mysterious and elegiac, as deeply moving as it is utterly transfixing.
Dennehy's work has been performed at many prestigious new-music events, including Lincoln Center's Sonic Evolutions and the London Sinfonetta's State of the Nation at the South Bank Centre. He has received commissions from, among others, the BBC, Ireland's RTE, and New York's WNYC (creating a piece for the Bang On a Can All-Stars).
Grá agus Bás
That the Night Come: He wishes his Beloved were Dead
That the Night Come: The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water
That the Night Come: The White Birds
That the Night Come: These are the Clouds
That the Night Come: Her Anxiety
That the Night Come: That the Night Come
19th May 2011
“[Grá agus Bás is] a piece of startling freshness, with Ó Lionáird's voice at the centre of a seething web of instrumental lines that seems to commute freely between utterly different musical worlds without any trace of dislocation. The WB Yeats settings...[are] exquisitely shaped and perfectly conceived for Upshaw's voice.”
“[Grá agus Bás]...is a powerful symbiosis of old and new: modal inflections and reflections driven forward by muscular post-minimalist patterns and processes.”