German Premiere of As An Nós by Donnacha Dennehy

German Premiere of As An Nós by Donnacha Dennehy
© Britt Olsen-Ecker

On November 16, the German premiere of the ensemble work As An Nós by Donnacha Dennehy will take place - the Ensemble S c o p e will play at the Kunstverein Freiburg. As An Nós was commissioned by the San Francisco Contemporary Music Players, with funding from the Arts Council of Ireland.

The Irish composer Donnacha Dennehy is enjoying growing recognition; his Violin Concerto for Augustin Hadelich was recently premiered by the Philharmonie Zuidnederland and in October his opera The First Child premiered with Irish National Opera as part of the Dublin Theater Festival. 

In the middle ages, whole philosophies developed out of the opposition between levity and gravity. In the ensemble work As An Nós the gravity of the initial material is set in place by repeating notes (like dots in a Seurat painting), that in spite of any larger pitch or dynamic patterns, are constantly arranged in groups that forever decay into silence. The piece is a poetic attempt to maintain and yet escape (maybe even transcend) its own habit. Some of its patterns are influenced by ornamentation patterns in traditional Irish music.

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