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NPR Names Donnacha Dennehy's Nonesuch Debut, "Grá agus Bás," Among "50 Favorite Albums of 2011"

  • Monday, December 5, 2011
    NPR Names Donnacha Dennehy's Nonesuch Debut, "Grá agus Bás," Among "50 Favorite Albums of 2011"

    NPR Music has published the list of its 50 Favorite Albums of 2011 and included among them is Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy's Nonesuch debut album, Grá agus Bás. The varied list of the year's favorites features "the albums that opened our ears to something new," says NPR, "ones that we enjoyed from beginning to end, ones that challenged us, ones we fought over and treasured quietly. Most of all, they’re the albums that made us hand our headphones over a cubicle wall and say, 'You have to listen to this.'”

    Dennehy's album Grá agus Bás includes the title piece, which was inspired by sean-nós "old style" Irish vocal music, as well as the composer’s song cycle That the Night Come, comprising six settings of poems by W.B. Yeats. The Dublin–based Crash Ensemble performs both works, with Irish singer Iarla O’Lionáird as the soloist for Grá agus Bás and Dawn Upshaw on That the Night Come.

    "Dennehy infuses hallowed Irish texts, from the esoteric sean-nós vocal tradition to the plaintive poetry of fellow countryman W.B. Yeats, with a shimmering and kaleidoscopic array of minimalist colorations," writes Alex Ambrose of Q2 Music, the online new-music wing of New York's classical station WQXR. "The result, masterfully performed by Crash Ensemble under Alan Pierson and featuring vocalists Iarla Ó Lionáird and Dawn Upshaw, is a compelling, meditative walk through time and terrain. It studies an Ireland rooted in reverence for its past, but which also brims with curiosity for its future."

    Read more and hear the album track That the Night Come: "The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water" at npr.org.

    To pick up a copy of the album, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CDs are 34% off SRP as part of the fourth-anniversary store sale. As with most CDs in the Nonesuch Store, orders also include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the complete album at checkout.

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    Dennehy has composed the music for a new play, Misterman—written and directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy—which received its American premiere at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, last night and runs through December 21. The New York Times’ Ben Brantley, in a review of the production, describes the creative team, including Dennehy, as “brilliant.” To read the review, go to nytimes.com; for more information on and tickets to Misterman, visit stannswarehouse.org.

on December 5, 2011 - 11:59am
Excerpt: 

Donnacha Dennehy's Nonesuch debut album, Grá agus Bás, has made NPR Music's list of its 50 Favorite Albums of 2011. "Dennehy infuses hallowed Irish texts, from the esoteric sean-nós vocal tradition to the plaintive poetry of fellow countryman W.B. Yeats, with a shimmering and kaleidoscopic array of minimalist colorations," says NPR. "The result, masterfully performed by Crash Ensemble under Alan Pierson and featuring vocalists Iarla Ó Lionáird and Dawn Upshaw, is a compelling, meditative walk through time and terrain. It studies an Ireland rooted in reverence for its past, but which also brims with curiosity for its future."

Copy: 

NPR Music has published the list of its 50 Favorite Albums of 2011 and included among them is Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy's Nonesuch debut album, Grá agus Bás. The varied list of the year's favorites features "the albums that opened our ears to something new," says NPR, "ones that we enjoyed from beginning to end, ones that challenged us, ones we fought over and treasured quietly. Most of all, they’re the albums that made us hand our headphones over a cubicle wall and say, 'You have to listen to this.'”

Dennehy's album Grá agus Bás includes the title piece, which was inspired by sean-nós "old style" Irish vocal music, as well as the composer’s song cycle That the Night Come, comprising six settings of poems by W.B. Yeats. The Dublin–based Crash Ensemble performs both works, with Irish singer Iarla O’Lionáird as the soloist for Grá agus Bás and Dawn Upshaw on That the Night Come.

"Dennehy infuses hallowed Irish texts, from the esoteric sean-nós vocal tradition to the plaintive poetry of fellow countryman W.B. Yeats, with a shimmering and kaleidoscopic array of minimalist colorations," writes Alex Ambrose of Q2 Music, the online new-music wing of New York's classical station WQXR. "The result, masterfully performed by Crash Ensemble under Alan Pierson and featuring vocalists Iarla Ó Lionáird and Dawn Upshaw, is a compelling, meditative walk through time and terrain. It studies an Ireland rooted in reverence for its past, but which also brims with curiosity for its future."

Read more and hear the album track That the Night Come: "The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water" at npr.org.

To pick up a copy of the album, head to the Nonesuch Store, where CDs are 34% off SRP as part of the fourth-anniversary store sale. As with most CDs in the Nonesuch Store, orders also include high-quality, 320 kbps MP3s of the complete album at checkout.

---

Dennehy has composed the music for a new play, Misterman—written and directed by Enda Walsh and starring Cillian Murphy—which received its American premiere at St. Ann’s Warehouse in Brooklyn, New York, last night and runs through December 21. The New York Times’ Ben Brantley, in a review of the production, describes the creative team, including Dennehy, as “brilliant.” To read the review, go to nytimes.com; for more information on and tickets to Misterman, visit stannswarehouse.org.

Publish date: 
Monday, December 5, 2011 - 10:00
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featuredimage: 
Donnacha Dennehy: "Grá agus Bás" [cover]

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