Classics & Premieres with Peter Regan, pianist & composers Bianca Gannon, Peter Leavy and Fiona Linnane
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The 2023 Commission marks the third in a series of music commissions by Roscommon County Council, in celebration of the grand piano at King House. Three composers were commissioned to write a 6-minute piano solo each which responds to a literary text with a local theme. Roscommon pianist, Peter Regan, described as a “major talent” will premiere these new works as part of a concert at this year’s BAF. Other works being performed as part of this concert are:
Liszt, Sonetti del Petrarca Nos. 47, 104 and 123
Chopin, Ballade No. 4 in F minor
Chopin, Andante Spianato and Grande Polonaise Brilliante
Fiona Linnane: Mrs Cousins (née Gillespie) Event and Prelude
Fiona is a composer, based in the West of Ireland, specialising in opera & vocal music and Director of Limerick New Music Ensemble.
Peter Leavy: The Last Flame.
The piece was inspired by an eye-witness account of the fire that destroyed Rockingham House in 1957. This dramatic testimony was written by Boyle historian and watchmaker, Richard McGee (1930-2016), and was published in the Moylurg Writers second local history collection, Boyle, Vol. 2 (1993, Moylurg Writers). While The Last Flame is far from a moment-to-moment musical retelling of the text, its shifting mood does follow the overall three-part structure of the writing. A veiled reference to the Westminster Chimes in the form of a ubiquitous four note motif pays homage to the craft of the author himself.
Bianca will create a bespoke work responding to the mythology and landscape of Lough Key, where she holidayed as a child. The solo piano work Loch Cé will take its inspiration from the section on Lough Key from Lady Gregory’s book Gods and Fighting Men. Loch Cé, a rhythmic, nostalgic and lush programmatic solo piano work, brings the listener on the thrilling mythological journey of the druid Cé in the creation story of local landmark Lough Key.
The commission is funded by the Arts Office of Roscommon County Council together with the Arts Council of Ireland, in collaboration with Boyle Arts Festival and in association with the Contemporary Music Centre.