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RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra LIVE 

Fridays, 7pm - live from the national concert hall


The RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will return to live performance from Friday 11 September LIVE from the National Concert Hall stage in a new series of 12 concerts live-streamed worldwide in HD on RTÉ Culture and broadcast live on RTÉ lyric fm on Fridays at 7pm.

All concerts will be offered to the European Broadcasting Union for broadcasting across the European network. 

Mark Redmond

RTÉ NSO - Duff, Ó Súilleabháin, Kinsella, Martin

Friday 25th September, 7pm 
Watch Live Here

David Brophy conductor
Mark Redmond uilleann pipes / flute 
Presented by Paul Herriott, RTÉ lyric fm 
Arthur Duff Echoes of Georgian Dublin 
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin Bean Dubh an Ghleanna 
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin Oileán  
John Kinsella Nocturne for Strings 
Neil Martin (arr.) The Fairy Queen 
Neil Martin (arr.) Danny Boy 
Neil Martin (arr.) The Humours of Ballyloughlin 

From the streets of Georgian Dublin to the wilds of County Down, from the legendary Carolan to the magnificent Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin, we salute four distinctive Irish composers whose music gloriously fuses past and present. 

Arthur Duff’s delightfully romantic suite for strings, Echoes of Georgian Dublin, pays tribute to an ornate period in the capital’s history. Cast with watercolour-delicacy in a bright, buoyant form elegantly appropriated from the baroque, it’s a beguiling exercise in nostalgia full of warmth and flowing lyricism.

Strings are to the fore, too, in John Kinsella’s exquisite Nocturne. Originally the slow movement of his Second Violin Concerto, it begins and ends with the gently rocking motion of a lullaby that frames a number of intertwined themes that reach a startling moment of climax before receding into comforting calm.

Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin describes his own Oileán/Island for flute and string orchestra as ‘not so much a fusion of traditional and classical music as a conversation between the two traditions’. It’s a timeless, beautiful, reflective piece in which past and present fuse into something new and special. It features the virtuosic Mark Redmond on flute, who also doubles on uilleann pipes in Ó Súilleabháin’s atmospheric Bean Dubh an Ghleanna, a haunting homage to a mysterious ‘dark woman of the glen’.

Finally, from the gifted composer and arranger Neil Martin, new imaginings of a trio of seminal works: the perennially popular Danny Boy and, for strings and pipes,  the legendary blind harpist-composer Turlough O’Carolan’s lilting, porcelain-delicate The Fairy Queen and the infectiously lively traditional jig, The Humours of Ballyloughlin.

RTÉ NSO - Rossini, Fauré & Mozart

Friday 2nd OCtober
Watch Live Here

David Young conductor 
Presented by Paul Herriott, RTÉ lyric fm

Rossini The Silken Ladder Overture 
Fauré Suite from Masques et Bergamasques
Mozart Symphony No. 40 in G minor

As with all concerts in this series, the performance will be live-streamed worldwide in HD on RTÉ Culture and broadcast live on RTÉ lyric fm.

Composed when he was only 19, Rossini’s The Silken Ladder Overture is from a romantic farce about thwarted lovers eventually united in an obligatory happy ending. Shot through with youthful ebullience, it makes delightful use of witty strings, wistful woodwinds and Rossini’s trademark scene-stealing crescendos with all the bubbling effervescence of newly opened champagne. 

Although Masques et Bergamasques was the 74-year-old Fauré’s last orchestral composition, it carries itself with the light, balletic delicacy of touch and refined wit that had long been his signature. The four-movement suite is taken from incidental music composed for a theatrical ‘entertainment’ commissioned by Albert, Prince of Monaco. Based on the poet Paul Verlaine’s Claire de lune, it’s a work of becomingly animated elegance and beguiling atmospheres.

Mozart’s penultimate symphony, the ‘great G minor’ No. 40, may be cast in a classical style but its tangled emotions and their compulsively powerful working out are timeless. Mozart was poverty stricken, grieving from the recent death of a daughter and consumed by worry for the health of his wife at the time of its writing. The result is music that moves from agitated turbulence to humility and hope (note the beatific second movement), from wrestling with thoughts so painful and fearsome that only music could give expression to them, to a defiant attempt to bring order to inner chaos and move from wintry darkness into the light.

David Young