Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 44, Page 15

Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 44, Page 15
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periodical Publisher
Na Píobairí Uilleann
periodical Editor
Chairman, NPU
periodical Title
Píobaire, An
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15Holohan, which was premiered in Decemberof that year.Meanwhile, far away in another partof the world, not only Irish com-posers and performers wereinvolved in the recollection of these events.The New York-based Albany Symphonycommissioned composer RobinsonMcClellan to create a Concerto for UilleannPipes entitled, again, Flight of the Earls. With Ivan Goff as the soloist, this was pre-miered on September 27 in Saratoga Springs,New York. Subsequent preformances tookplace in Troy, New York, and in Pittsfield,Massachussetts. The composer describes the piece as follows:This concerto is a tone poem commemoratingthe four hundredth annniversary of the Flightof the Earls. The work is cast in two parts: Thefirst half draws from an eye-witness accountof the Flight, and depicts several episodesfrom the Earls’ journey, book-ended withsolemn string and wind passages and a sighingtheme for the whole orchestra. The secondhalf takes an episode from the Flight as itsstarting point – the unexpected appearance ofa salmon during their journey, which to theEarls represented Ireland calling them home –but rather than treating the story narratively asin the first half, this ‘salmon music’ (whichbegins with a soft repeating pizzicato-and-winds figure) grows into a meditation on theemotions and meanings in the story, culminat-ing in a renewal of hope and a joyful celebra-tion of the Irish spirit.Robinson McClellan kindly donated a copy ofthe performance score, and a recording of thefirst performance, to NPU. Further details ofthe piece can be found at his website www.robinsonmcclellan.com, where the score andrecording are available.Terry MoylanHugh O’Neill – J.B. VallelyA line from the uilleann pipes part of Robinson McClellan’s Flight of the Earls
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Píobaire, An, Volume 4, Issue 44

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