Irish music has always held a special place in the hearts of Americans. The lyric melodies of its folk songs, love-songs and ballads, and the sprightly rhythms of its jigs and reels have become a part of the American culture.
In this live performance recording, Madrigalia presents a variety of Irish choral music beginning with one of the earliest composers, John Farmer (c.1570-1601) of Dublin and continuing with the part-songs of Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924) also of Dublin. Although religious music is not strongly part of Ireland’s musical heritage, two beautiful examples of hymn tunes are represented here: the hymn-tune Slane, (accompanied by hammered dulcimer) and the traditional Irish Blessing (May the road rise to meet you…).
These songs are not narrative, but rather express hope or despair in a simple, natural quality intended to amuse, to please and to soothe. RW