• Donnacha Dennehy
  • Her Wits (About Him) (2017)

  • G Schirmer Inc (World)

Commissioned by Nonesuch Records for Bob Hurwitz.

  • piano
  • 4 min 30 s
    • 29th April 2020, Carnegie Hall, New York
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Programme Note

Composer note:
It's a strange time to be a new(ish) immigrant in America, and I've no idea at the time of writing how the next four years are going to turn out. I first came to America as a grad student at the urging of my principal professor at Trinity College Dublin, who was simply mad about America and American culture. This deeply encouraging, erudite, kindly, intellectual professor, with a greater passion for American ideals than anyone I have ever known, came from Iran. Anyway, he was right. America inspired — and inspires — me like nowhere else. So much so that I'm back again, now living here after spending a considerable amount of intervening time in Europe, mainly in my native Dublin. When I think of what makes America such a vital and inspiring place, I think of people like Bob Hurwitz, someone who follows his instincts and passions, someone who is deeply curious about not only the massive variety of music, but also the whole world of culture around him. I hope we'll all be fine in the end because of this spirit, as long as we keep our wits about us, and confront broad slogans with detail. Well, I dread to think of other possible outcomes, and in truth, my heart goes out especially to immigrants in much less fortunate positions than I'm in. This little piece in honor of Bob is a kind of twinkling paean to detail. I hope that I've not made it too difficult for him to play it one day himself, and I'm deeply thankful to Timo Andres for playing it in its premiere performance at BAM.

— Donnacha Dennehy, February 2017