Ardee Dances by Rachel Holstead
For Fiddle and Baroque Strings
Premiere: 25 November 2005.
Church of St Mary, Ardee, Co. Louth.
Gerry O’Connor (fiddle), Elizabeth Wallfisch (violin)
& Irish Baroque Orchestra
Louth Co. Co. commissioned a piece of music written in the Baroque idiom which had its world premiere, performed by the Irish Baroque Orchestra with soloist Gerry O’Connor, during the Ardee Baroque Festival in late November 2005. A stipulation of the commission was that the piece should incorporate traditional Irish fiddle playing. This piece of music as part of the Per Cent for Art Scheme Relating to Sean O’Carroll Street Housing Phase II, Ardee
"The five movements of Ardee Dances follow the flow of the Ardee lanscapethrough the never ending cycle of ice-age, thaw and regrowth. Drawing on the languages of two contrasting styles of fiddling, each with it's own sense of time and place, the music moves from moments of stillness to wild dances. It's flow, like that of the landscape, is part of a larger dance which continues, unheard , long after the last note has sounded. The solo violin opens the work in a still prologue with hushed interjections from the ensemble and a tentative response from the fiddle at the close. The fiddle then leads the ensemble in the second and third movements, before the solo violin takes charge once again in the fourth. A meditative epilogue for fiddle and violin brings the work to a close." Rachel Holstead , composer of Ardee Dances
"Despite its clear-cut phrasing and the odd hint of a jig or a reel, this is essentially a cosmopolitan work that steers well clear of the portentous nationalism, derivative neo-classicalism or shallow commercialism that could so easliy have characterised it. In its slightly chromatic envoirnment both fiddler and period ensemble hold equal status as guests.... "
Andrew Johnstone, Irish Times Nov 30, 2005
Nov. 29th, 2005 Church of Ireland, Roscarberry, West Cork
IBO ensemble as above
24th March 2009 St Patrick's College , Dromcondra, Dublin
Recorded by the Contemporary Music Centre
Director Sarah Sexton & IBO
27th April, 2016, Drogheda Arts Festival Highlanes Gallery
Director Marja Gaynor Vln , Anita Vedres Vln, Aoife Ní Dhurnáin Vla, Aoife Nic Athlaoich Vcl, Malachy Robinson , Bass
4th May, 2016 The Bello, Portabello Dublin as part of re Kaleidiscope series
Ensemble as above