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Fenian Tales, Op. 82 (2017)

A Song Cycle for Three Musicians

Recording:

MIDI Realization

Duration: 22'

  1. I. Prologue - The Fianna Eirann
  2. II. The Salmon of Knowledge
  3. III. The Great Fair
  4. IV. Samhain Eve
  5. V. The Temptation of Sabd
  6. VI. Hostel of the Quicken Trees
  7. VII. The Flight of Diarmait and Grainne
  8. VIII. Epilogue - The Battle of Gabhra

Instrumentation:

  • Part I: Soprano, Harp
  • Part II: Alto, Soprano Recorder, Large Frame Drum, Tambourine
  • Part III: Tenor, Violin, Horn

Program Notes:

In the fall of 2016, Charlie Ellars approached me and asked me to write a piece for his children, possibly with Gaelic influences or themes. After a bit of cursory research, I came upon the four great cycles of Irish mythology - the Mythological, Ulster, Fenian, and Historical. The Fenian seemed the most appropriate on which to base a song cycle, and so that was what I decided to do.

Life got in the way, as it has a tendency to do, and so I did not get to write the work until the summer of 2017. Each song presents a different tale from the Fenian Cycle, some narrated as an historical epic while others are presented dramatically in first person.