14th session: Friday 20th May

Today we returned to my DunLaoghaire Harbour-inspired composition Light and Depth which we haven’t looked at for a while. It was lovely to revisit it, it sounds better than I remember! (Partly because we improved it today…)Dun-Laoghaire-aerial-photo               [where’s the Lexicon?! an old photo]

We spent a good while too on Roseingrave’s Sonata 12, which also sounds better having left it alone for a bit (funny how that happens) and put some shape on the continuo and finessed the tempi etc. We have added a Siciliana movement to the end, which is from the 11th sonata; many of them end with a Siciliana and we missed it here, so pinched this one that is in the right key.

The other thing we worked on was a Minuet by Matthew Dubourg 1703-1767, a fiddler who spent most of his life in Ireland and was famously the leader of the orchestra for Handel’s Messiah premiere here. (At the time he was “Chief Composer and Master of the Music attending His Majesty’s State in Ireland” at Dublin Castle.) It’s a curious little piece with a melody that spans 2 octaves – great for a viol with its 6 strings! Certainly not a tune for dancing to, we are giving it a lyrical rather than a rhythmic thrust. In this way it fits well between two O’Carolan pieces, his Farewell which is even more rhapsodic and his Si Beag Si Mor which – in our version – takes up where the Dubourg leaves off emotionally and brings us to a rousing conclusion. A nice “Irish” set.

  • Malachy 20/5/16
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