Irish Chamber Orchestra ignites The Stones of Life

Mezzo Soprano and ICO Artist in Residence, Sharon Carty.

DEIRDRE Gribbin’s The Stones of Life is a unique song cycle featuring fantastical lyrics written by her son Ethan Stein, a young poet with Down Syndrome.  Ethan explores the world around him using imagistic words and phrases, outside the norm of description, much like poets do.   He plays with words and their construction to describe landscape. Gribbin’s music reflects strong emotional colour as Mezzo Soprano and ICO Artist in Residence, Sharon Carty uses timbre to create the narrative which links every poem. Sharon also sings Ich bin der Welt abhanden gekommen, a beautiful song by Mahler.

The title The Stones of Life inspired by the standing stones of the Isles of Lewis and Harris in the Outer Hebrides is where Ethan finds his true sense of self. These poems will sweep audiences on a journey from London through visions of a wider world responding to climate change, to love, to inner struggles and to finding resolve and joy.

Bookending this amazing song cycle are two symphonic masterworks.  Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony is a miniature marvel brimming with vitality and humour. Mozart’s thrilling Symphony No. 41 Jupiter provides a sense of something greater than the sum of its parts, a profound masterpiece that grips from start to finish.    

The concert opens with Prokofiev’s Classical Symphony, a delightful miniature marvel infused with the composer’s whimsical humour. From the spirited Allegro to the melodic Larghetto, the courtly Gavotte, and the lively Molto vivace finale, this symphony promises a thrilling and engaging experience, captivating audiences from start to finish.

The grand finale of the evening is a journey into the sublime and beautiful realm of Mozart’s Symphony No. 41 (Jupiter). A testament to Mozart’s invincible spirit and determination against all odds, the symphony’s Olympian character and monumental finale promise an unparalleled range of emotions, offering the audience an exhilarating masterpiece that transcends time and space.

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Embark on a captivating journey of boundless imagination with the Irish Chamber Orchestra’s inaugural concert of the Spring Season, set to unfold at the University Concert Hall on Friday, February 9.