Schweckendieck, Stein and Sweeney in New Chamber Choir Ireland Season

‘Visions’ Guest Director Nils Schweckendiek

Schweckendieck, Stein and Sweeney in New Chamber Choir Ireland Season

Several performances and music development projects taking place between September and December.

Chamber Choir Ireland – whose recent projects have been described as ‘sonically and musically adventurous’ in a Journal of Music review by Anna Murray – have announced their autumn/winter season. Between September and December, CCI will undertake several performances as well as music development projects.

Guest Director Nils Schweckendieck
On 21 September there will be a workshop of rehearsed readings of two works from Choral Sketches, a collaboration between Chamber Choir Ireland and the Contemporary Music Centre that saw three composers – Amanda Feery, Michael Gallen and Seán Doherty – mentored by composer Tarik O’Regan in the creation of sketches for a new choral work.

The concert season will be launched on Culture Night the following evening, 22 September, with a free concert at St Ann’s Church in Dublin conducted by guest director Nils Schweckendieck. The programme, titled ‘Visions’, explores imagination, surrealism and prophecy, with works by Messian, Rautavaara, Per Nørgård and Beat Furrer. 

Celebrating Gertrude Stein
In November, the Choir will visit Dublin and Belfast with a programme celebrating the American poet Gertrude Stein. At the centre of ‘Pigeons on the Grass Alas’ is a setting of the opera Four Saints in Three Acts, with a libretto by Stein and music by Virgil Thompson, as well as settings of Stein texts by conductor and director Paul Hillier and John Cage.

Also on the programme are works by Howard Skempton and Gavin Bryars. ‘Pigeons on the Grass Alas’ will be performed in Belfast on 4 November and on 5 November as part of the Sundays @ Noon series at the Hugh Lane Gallery in Dublin. 

Contemporary Irish Carols
This autumn, the Choir continue their ten-year association with Axis Ballymun, with 60 members of a community choir working with CCI over a number of months to present Sing!, a Gala concert on 7 December. This will be followed by an early Christmas programme, ‘An Irish Carol, Christmas Trees and a Rose’, in Kilkenny on 8 December and Dublin on 9 December.

Predominantly a programme of contemporary carols by Irish composers, the concert features works by Gerald Barry, Rhona Clarke, Eric Sweeney, Eoghan Desmond and Frank Corcoran, alongside twentieth-century German composer Hugo Distler’s Christmas Story.

See below for full details of the Chamber Choir Ireland autumn/winter season. For more information, visit

6.30pm 22 September, St Ann’s Church, Dublin

Messaien – Cinq rechants
Beat Furrer – Enigmas I-IV and VI
Per Nørgård – Wie ein kind
Rautavaara – Lorca Suite

Pigeons on the Grass Alas
7.30pm 4 November, St Thomas’ Parish Church, Belfast
12.00pm 5 November, Dublin City Gallery The Hugh Lane, Dublin

Thompson (text Stein) – Four Saints in Three Acts
Paul Hillier (text Stein) – Tea Time
Howard Skempton – The Durham Strike
Cage (text Stein) – Story
Howard Skempton – Three Piano Pieces
Gavin Bryars – And so ended Kant’s travelling in this world
Thompson (text Stein) – Four Saints in Three Acts 

An Irish Carol, Christmas Trees and a Rose
7.30pm 8 December, St Canice’s Church, Kilkenny
8.00pm 9 December, Christ Church Cathedral, Dublin

Gerald Barry – O Tannenbaum
Rhona Clarke – Lullay My Liking; Make We Merry
Eric Sweeney – When Christ was Born of Mary Free
Eoghan Desmond – Coventry Carol; A Babe is Born
Frank Corcoran – An Irish Carol
Hugo Distler – The Christmas Story

Published on 11 September 2017

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