Female composers at St. Finian’s

Continuing with the varied and innovative nature of our concert programming over the last few months, the Goethe Choir will be ending the 2018/19 season with a performance of works by female composers at St. Finian’s Lutheran Church, Adelaide Road, Dublin 2.  This takes place at 8pm on Saturday 29 June 2019.

The pieces to be performed are all by female composers from various countries and periods, and include compositions from Hildegard of Bingen and Vittoria Aleotti through Clara Schumann, Lili Boulanger and others to Irish composers Ina Boyle and Mary Kelly.   The concert features a number of soloists in addition to the choir, which will be conducted by our music director John Dexter with instrumental accompaniment conducted by Werner Blau.

Entry is free but there will be a collection in aid of the church roof fund.  Go to the choir events page for more information.

Jazz in the cathedral

Following our previous three concerts which featured one of JS Bach’s sacred choral works (Christmas concert 2018), a Monteverdi opera (Monteverdi’s L’Orfeo) and John Williams’ film music (We were not alone) the Goethe Choir once again demonstrated the variety of its programming and its ability to tackle a wide range of musical styles with a performance of Will Todd’s exciting jazz-inspired Mass in Blue at St. Patrick’s Cathedral in Dublin last Saturday evening, 25 May.

This was a repeat performance of the same work given by the choir in June 2018 in St. Ann’s Church in Dawson Street in Dublin and once again featured instrumental accompaniment by the composer and his band, this time with soprano soloist Hilary Cronin, all under the expert control of the choir’s musical director and conductor for the evening, John Dexter.  While the larger-scale performance area and acoustic created a different and possibly less intimate experience than the earlier performance, Will Todd’s jazz piano playing once again exhilarated a capacity audience and inspired the choir to create another moving and memorable evening’s music making.

Here’s a very short clip of Will Todd and the choir during the concert:

If you weren’t able to be there but would like to hear the choir singing the whole of the Mass in Blue with accompaniment from Will Todd and the band, click here to hear a recording of the choir’s performance in St. Ann’s in 2018.

Mass in Blue revisited

The Goethe Choir’s next concert will be a performance of Will Todd’s Mass in Blue at 8pm on Saturday 25 May in St. Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin.   The concert will be in aid of Carmichael Ireland.    The choir will be accompanied by the Will Todd Ensemble, featuring the composer himself on piano and Hilary Cronin as soprano soloist.

This work was first sung by the choir in St. Ann’s Church, Dublin, on 2 June 2018 and was received with critical acclaim.   This is another opportunity to hear a performance in Dublin of this dynamic, uplifting, and highly popular jazz setting of the Latin mass.  Go to the Events page on the choir website for details of how to order tickets online. And to get you in the mood, you can also listen on that web page to a recording of last year’s performance of the work by the choir.

We were not alone

The choir notched up another successful appearance at the National Concert Hall in Dublin last night (Friday 3 May) when we took part with the RTE National Symphony Orchestra in a concert performance of Steven Spielberg’s 1977 film ‘Close Encounters of the Third Kind’. This involved the film being shown on a large cinema screen suspended in front of the organ and central choir stalls, with the film’s dialogue being relayed to the audience via the speaker system, and also displayed via subtitles on the film, and the accompanying soundtrack being performed by orchestra and choir, members of the choir sitting in the remaining choir stalls at either side of the screen.

While we had no difficulty with the words (chiefly because there weren’t any), fitting the oohs and aahs and various sound effects in at the right time required a great deal of concentration and counting. Fortunately we were ably assisted by the conductor Ernst van Tiel who provided the necessary direction to orchestra and choir, synchronised exactly to the action on the screen with the assistance of his own monitor. Everything worked perfectly on the night resulting in a very exciting and atmospheric performance which was hugely enjoyed by the large audience, who showed their appreciation at the end with a standing ovation.

Another of the varied musical experiences which we all enjoy as members of the Goethe Choir. Thanks to all the singers who took part in this memorable evening and a special thanks to our choir director John Dexter in successfully preparing us for this somewhat different musical assignment.


A photo taken before the event by an audience member