NMC NM 0185
Gribbin: Merrow Sang, Island People, Crossing the Sea, Anahorish, What the Whaleship Saw – Lore Lixenberg, Patricia Rozario, Mark O’Keeffe, Cliona Doris, RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet
This new release features the works of Deirdre Gribbin for string quartet with voice. She was born in Belfast, and her Catholic background, identification with Celtic folk tradition, fascination with myth, and love of remote landscapes have all influenced her music. The title work features the soprano Patricia Rozario – who has inspired composers including Arvo Pärt and Sir John Tavener to write for her – with the RTÉ Vanbrugh Quartet in their first recording for NMC. With the trumpeter Mark O’Keeffe they perform Island People, a song cycle setting verses by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney. This is accompanied by Crossing the Sea for mezzo-soprano – here Lore Lixenberg – and quartet, setting an extended sequence of seventh-century Chinese poems exploring the loss of war; the work was premiered at Wilton’s Music Hall, London. The recording is completed by two works for quartet alone, Merrow Sang – depicting a supernatural sea-burial – and What the Whaleship Saw, inspired by an 1820 shipwreck and its grisly aftermath.
"...Impressive playing, passionate and sensitive by turns, from RTÉ Vanburgh Quartet and informative notes from the composer enhance the attraction of a release that is cordially recommended to Gribbin admirers and newcomers alike."
Richard Whitehouse - Gramophone magazine - July 2013