Lalla Rookh and Feramorz in the Vale of Cashmere
Image courtesy of Special Collections and Archives, Queen’s University Belfast
A collection of no fewer than forty-one sound files from three performance events, promoted by and supported by project ERIN, will be made available soon through our project website. The first was a Lalla Rookh bi-cententary concert performed (and also recorded) by year 3 students in the BMus of Queen’s University Belfast, which took place in the Harty Room on 11 May 2017. We re-told the story of Lalla Rookh through a selection of songs and pieces taken from larger works inspired by, or based on, Moore’s oriental romance. The selected recording is an arrangement of the ‘Slow March’ from Frederic Clay’s 1877 cantata Lalla Rookh, performed here by flautists Ciara Jackson and Poppy Wheeler, violinist Linzi Jones, and clarinettist Gerard Mullay. The recording engineer is Jason Jackson.
Further audio files from this concert feature the music of Félicien David, Robert Schumann, Thomas Attwood, Charles Villiers Stanford, and Sir John Stevenson, among others.
The second sound file is taken from the second concert to mark the bi-centenary of Lalla Rookh, at the Sonic Lab in SARC, Queen’s University Belfast, on 17 June 2017. Performers Helen Aiken (mezzo), Martha O’Brien (mezzo), and Aoife O’Sullivan (piano) performed music by Schumann, Stanford, John Francis Barnett and George Kiallmark, among others. Fiddle player Conor Caldwell provided a medley of his own arrangements and those of Tommy Potts to tunes associated with Thomas Moore. In the sample provided here, Helen Aiken and Aoife O’Sullivan (as recorded by David Bird) perform Danish composer George Gerson’s “Tell me not of joys above”. The lyrics are derived from an episode near the end of Thomas Moore’s Lalla Rookh: the princess and her beloved poet are estranged; he sings this touching song to her whilst hidden in a tree.
Over thirty additional tracks — many of music that is rarely heard — will be available on the project website soon. We will also offer some recordings of favorite Irish Melodies in distinct settings or editions.