Donnacha Dennehy composed his new Violin Concerto for star soloist Augustin Hadelich who premieres the piece with the philharmonie zuidnederland (South Netherlands Philharmonic) on October 22, 2021, in Maastricht and in Eindhoven on October 23. Claus Peter Flor conducts these concerts which also feature Dmitri Shostakovich’s Symphony No. 5. This concerto is Dennehy’s second world premiere this month — only a few weeks after the premiere of The First Child, his latest opera, premiered on October 2 at the Dublin Theatre Festival.
Dennehy’s first multi-movement concerto was co-commissioned for Hadelich by the Oregon Symphony, the Aspen Music Festival and School, and the philharmonie zuidnederland. The performances by the Oregon Symphony will be at a future date. Aspen’s performances will be during its 2023 festival.
Dennehy describes its three movements: “The first movement especially zooms in and out of various perspectives. I think of this aerial zooming as being essential to its nature. The second movement feels redolent of the sea to me. The sea always emerges in my music, it seems. Maybe it has to do with growing up in Ireland, surrounded by water on all sides. There is a real feeling of yearning to this movement. It was written during the first lockdown of the pandemic, and I feel that a kind of desire to transcend the conditions of everyday life permeates this movement. The final movement is more earthy and cheeky. A strange, splintered, fierce jig eventually appears and then abstractions of that start to eat away at the very fabric of the music, when the violin threatens to spiral everything out of control leading to a fierce conclusion on the very edge of what is possible!”
Hadelich was in regular dialogue with Dennehy during its composition. He comments: “Collaborating with Donnacha Dennehy in the creation of this new violin concerto has been a very exciting process. We started with long conversations about what the genre of the violin concerto is and could be, and then over the next year talked frequently, going over the solo violin part as the piece took shape. It was a fun and meaningful experience for me to contribute to the piece with my suggestions. I can’t wait to play it with orchestra!”
October 22, Theater aan het Vrijthof, Maastricht, Netherlands
October 23, Muziekgebouw, Eindhoven, Netherlands
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