In an earlier blog post, Tríona O’Hanlon announced the immediate airing of the ERIN radio documentary “An oriental romance: Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh” on RTÉ Lyric. An icloud account for this recording is now available at:
Technician & Technical Assistant: Dr David Bird (QUB), Oisín Hughes (QUB)
Producer & Presenter: Claire Cunningham (Rockfinch Ltd.)
This documentary, which marked the 200th anniversary of the first edition, includes excerpts of rarely-heard music inspired by Thomas Moore’s ‘oriental romance’. Mezzo soprano Helen Aiken and pianist Aoife O’Sullivan perform works by Victorian composer John Francis Barnett, the American Moravian composer George Klemm, as well as from the work that launched Robert Schumann as a composer of substance – Das Paradies und die Peri (1843). The reception of the first Irish performance of this work is discussed by Anja Bunzel, a recent PhD candidate of NUI Maynooth. We hear the mezzo soprano Martha O’Brien rehearsing Mozart-student Thomas Attwood’s cantata “Her hands were clasp’d” with O’Sullivan and Sinéad Campbell-Wallace of the Dublin Institute of Technology. Martha later performs George Kiallmark’s “Farewell to thee Araby’s Daughter” from an original edition issued by Moore’s publisher James Power. BMUS students from Queen’s University of Belfast (flautists Poppy Wheeler and Ciara Jackson, accompanied by Jenny Garrett on piano) perform an arrangement of Sir John Stevenson’s tender response to Moore’s “‘Twas his own voice”- a text that marks a pivotal moment in the story of the star-crossed lovers Hinda and Hafed. Further contributions on Moore’s ‘oriental romance’ itself and its cultural context are provided by Drs Daniel Roberts, Sarah McCleave, and Tríona O’Hanlon (Queen’s University Belfast), while librarians Síobhan Fitzpatrick (Royal Irish Academy) and Gerry Long (National Library of Ireland) discuss works by Moore in their collections; the Royal Irish Academy possesses a significant portion of Moore’s own library, which is available for consultation.