Music of the Americas at the National Concert Hall, May 15th 2015.
A welcome break from any Friday of budget deadlines, the National Concert Hall lunchtime concerts are guaranteed to be a break from the norm, whatever form they take. Today’s offering is a trio of guitar, flute and cello bringing a sample of Music of the Americas.
Taking their time to ease us into the atmosphere, the group begins with the simple, melodic Lis. Eilis O’Sullivan carries the tune skilfully, with gentle accompaniment underneath, but it does little to capture interest. The programme heavily features guitarist composers, and yet it takes some time for guitarist Jerry Creedon to show what he is capable of.
Jim Pennell’s arrangement of Monk’s Around Midnight is the first real taste of what the trio has to offer. A complex blend of Monk’s trademark sound with the unusual instrumentation stretches our expectations for the standard. Interweaving parts lead to a challenging interpretation with an excellent balance between parts allowing the complex cello line from Hugh McCarthy sing through. Contrasting this, Bordel 1900 with its seedy background and police-whistle opening, captures an entirely different style. More experimental and with a guitar line providing more depth for exploration for Creedon, Bordel 1900 shows both the range of each performer and sense of ensemble between them.
Saving the best for last, Transilience from Andrew York challenges the ear with its shifting pulse and meter. Guitar and cello intertwine while flute floats above in a melodious, bounding flow through the first movement, until the cello takes the lead in the largo. A simple, clean allegro brings the concert to a close.
Perhaps this hour-long recital isn’t the most experimental of programmes, or intense musical experience, but it does make for a pleasant, relaxing afternoon. The National Concert Hall’s Lunchtime Concert season always has something to offer for everyone’s taste, and is a welcome break from the normal work day.
Jerry Creedon | Guitar
Eilis O’Sullivan | Flute
Hugh McCarthy | Cello
Marco Pereira – Lis for flute, guitar and cello
Carlo Domeniconi – Sonatina Mexicana for flute and guitar
1. Allegro Moderato
3. Allegro Vivace
Theolonius Monk – Round Midnight arr. Jim Pennell
Astor Piazzolla – Bordel 1900 (from Histoire du Tango)
Jaime M. Zenamon – Reflexões No. 6 for cello and guitar
Andrew York – Transilience for guitar, flute and cello