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NSO with FC

National Symphony Orchestra

Thursday, October 6, 2022 at 8:00 pm


National Symphony Orchestra
Kenneth Montgomery conductor
Finghin Collins piano


TCHAIKOVSKY Serenade for Strings
JANE O’LEARY unfolding soundscapes for piano and orchestra (world premiere)
BEETHOVEN Symphony No. 6 ‘Pastoral’

The National Symphony Orchestra makes a long-awaited and welcome return to Galway as part of its 2022-2023 Season. The occasion sees theexceptionally fluent, exceptionally intelligent, exceptionally sensitive’ (International Record Review) Finghin Collins joining the NSO and ‘conductor of international renown’ (Irish America) Kenneth Montgomery for music to soothe, revive and restore.

Tchaikovsky’s elegantly lush and luxurious Serenade for Strings is a melancholy-accented, musical swoon harking back to Mozart but timeless in its appeal: boasting some of his most memorable melodies, a graceful waltz laced with fairy-tale magic, an achingly beautiful elegy, and a hint of Volga boatmen at work in its feisty finale.

Commissioned by tonight’s soloist, Finghin Collins, and Music for Galway in celebration of its 40th anniversary, Jane O’Leary’s unfolding soundscapes for piano and orchestra is given its world premiere, revealing a work of ‘quiet energy’. With the piano silhouetted against a background of shimmering strings and expressive orchestral colours, it moves from dream-like anticipation to joyful rapture through three movements.

Few hymns to the natural world are as hypnotically persuasive as Beethoven’s lithe, lyrical Sixth Symphony, a thrilling blend of the sylvan and the elemental. Cinematic in scope, it invokes the aromatic freshness of the countryside, lovingly conjures rustic village life, and evokes bucolic birdsong and babbling brooks before the operatic immensity of a thunderstorm gives way to the prayer-like beauty of a shepherd’s song. The promise of spring eternal offers reassurance and comfort in these dark days of winter.



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