New Dublin Voices: In Time of War
Leading chamber choir New Dublin Voices is honoured to present In Time of War, among the most important and exciting projects the choir has ever undertaken. Supported by the Arts Council, the Defence Forces, and Dublin City Council, In Time of War sees the words of Irish poets brought to new life in brilliant, specially commissioned works by an international Who’s-Who of acclaimed composers.
New Dublin Voices and its award-winning conductor Bernie Sherlock explore how the tumultuous times spanning the First World War, the Easter Rising, and the War of Independence and Civil War were witnessed and captured in verse by Eva Gore-Booth, Francis Ledwidge, William Orpen, and Katharine Tynan.
In a highly ambitious project almost two years in the making, poems by these poets were matched with outstanding choral composers from Poland, the United States, Latvia and Belgium, as well as from Ireland. The Arts Council provided full funding for the commissioning of five new works, with a sixth funded by Dublin City Council, and all receiving their world premieres at the concert on Remembrance Sunday, November 10.
The project has also attracted the generous support of the Defence Forces who have provided The Church of the Defence Forces at Arbour Hill for the concert. In this way, the setting itself makes a unique contribution to what will be a most memorable occasion and a beautiful and fitting memorial to all who suffered or lost their lives in those terrible times.
‘We are really looking forward to bringing these pieces to the public,’ said conductor Bernie Sherlock. ‘Every one of them is brilliant. They are poignant and moving. And so different from each other. Each composer uniquely picks out things to emphasise, or something to focus on for how they respond in music. And they all communicate so well and so deeply, each in their own way. We really believe that with these poems and these compositions, and sitting in Arbour Hill, absolutely anyone – even if they’ve never been to a choir concert in their life – will be moved by these words and this music.’
The concert’s programme will be completed with music around the theme of remembrance, some of it well known such as Barber’s ‘Agnus Dei’, but also including beautiful settings of Paula Meehan’s ‘The Graves at Arbour Hill’ and of ‘Fornocht do chonac thú’ (‘Naked I see thee’) by Pádraig Pearse who is buried there.