Lunchtime Recital: Saturday, 18 May | 12.30pm

All are invited to a lunchtime recital at Saint Bartholomew’s on Saturday, 18 May given by baritone Padraig O’Rourke and pianist Michael Grant.  The programme features Copland’s Old American Songs and Beethoven’s An die ferne Geliebte.

The Old American Songs were written in the 1950s and comprised two sets.  The first was premiered by Peter Pears and Benjamin Britten; the second by William Warfield.  They are an expression of Copland’s modernism and his distinctly American style, which utilised simple harmonies, folk melodies, and a lucid orchestration.

An die ferne Geliebte (To The Distant Beloved) was written in 1816 and was Beethoven’s only song cycle.  Its text was written by an Austrian doctor and writer named Alois Isidor Jeitteles, possibly at Beethoven’s request.  The composition’s theme is that of intense and painful longing, likely a reflection of the failed romance with the “Immortal Beloved” of Beethoven’s famous 1812 letter.

Padraig and Michael’s musical collaboration spans more than fifty years.  Their talents have seen them feature in a large number of concerts, operas, and recitals worldwide.  Both have also enjoyed extensive careers as broadcasters, with Padraig’s Music Choice classical music programme being a Sunday morning staple of RTÉ’s Radio 1 for twenty-three years.  Michael’s annual series of lectures for Dublin City Libraries is widely acclaimed and regarded as a highlight of the library service.

This recital is free of charge, but donations to the organ restoration fund will be most gratefully received.