“There’s probably nobody, not even the most experienced connoisseur, who hasn’t benefited from a program note at some stage,” writes Michael Dervan in Wednesday’s (5/25) Irish Times (Dublin). “One of the paradoxes of the printed program is that … standard repertoire is better looked after than new music…. Part of the problem is that a high proportion of composers seem not to like having to write about their work…. The Association of Irish Composers is currently in the middle of a six-concert series exploring … music composition in Ireland…. Thursday’s instalment, curated by Gráinne Mulvey, was called Echoes and Memories [with] soprano Elizabeth Hilliard and pianist David Bremner, who was also featured as a composer. Eleven pieces were performed, more than half being heard for the first time, and a free printed program was provided. There was no word, however, either printed or spoken, on the thinking or taste behind the choices…. There were foreign-language songs for which neither texts nor translations were provided…. This strikes me as a kind of madness…. I always think of the neophyte or the listener who may be outside of their comfort zone. Surely they deserve all the help they can get.”

Posted May 25, 2016