Top 10 classical recordings with Irish connections

Gramophone Fri 17th March 2017

From Thomas Roseingrave to Gerald Barry, this selection of recordings shows the diversity of music-making in Ireland

No 1

Roseingrave Keyboard Works

Paul Nicholson hpd/org

(Hyperion)

'He shapes the lines with a naturalness which comes from instinct rather than conscious deliberation, and ornamentation blends in so well that you hardly know it's there' Read review

No 2

Field Piano Works

Míceál O’Rourke pf

(Chandos)

'Nationally coloured Irish, Scottish and Polish dances, plus a Triumphal March and the spirited concluding A flat major Rondo, in their turn set your feet tapping' Read review

No 3

Balfe Falstaff

Sols; National Chamber Choir of Ireland; RTÉ Concert Orchestra / Marco Zambelli

(RTÉ Lyric FM)

'From the joyous overture onwards, it’s also a score full of skilfully worked numbers, several of which enjoyed favour on both sides of the English Channel for some years afterwards.' Read review

No 4

Stanford Irish Rhapsodies

Ulster Orchestra / Vernon Handley

(Chandos)

'I've always had a soft spot for the First and Fourth Rhapsodies, Raphael Wallfisch and Lydia Mordkovitch shine in the concertante Third and Sixth respectively. Glowing sound complements Handley's understanding advocacy.' Read review

No 5

Harty The Children of Lir

Ulster Orchestra / Bryden Thomson

(Chandos)

'Chandos have always done the Ulster Orchestra proud, here with an excellent digital recording. I have enjoyed the orchestra's earlier records, though wondering if I had not slightly over-valued Harty's music. This time I am in no doubt whatever, and I had unreserved pleasure because of the quality of the music and its mastery. I most warmly commend this thrilling and exciting issue' Read review

No 6

Moeran Symphony in G minor

LPO, New Philharmonia / Adrian Boult

(Lyrita)

This recording of Moeran's Symphony, which was mostly written in County Kerry, won the Historic Reissue Award at the 2007 Gramophone Awards.

No 7

Fleischmann Orchestral Works

RTÉ National SO / Robert Houlihan

(RTÉ Lyric FM)

'Houlihan draws strongly committed performances from all his forces, making this a valuable memento of a composer virtually unknown outside Ireland, who might otherwise be forgotten.' Read review

No 8

Arnold Irish Dances

LPO / Arnold

(Lyrita)

'The new set of Irish Dances, written in 1986, opens with a rumbustious movement very much in the style of the earlier sets, with characteristic and attractive syncopations, but the other three dances are both sparer in instrumentation and darker in tone, effectively so.' Read review

No 9

Barry The Importance of Being Earnest

Soloists; BCMG / Thomas Adès

(NMC)

'Gerald Barry magnifies the fizzing quality into a relentless high-wire act that has the audience relishing the stamina of the performers, here under the needle-sharp control of ringmaster-in-chief Thomas Adès.' Read review

No 10

‘An Irish Songbook’

Ailish Tynan sop Iain Burnside pf

(Signum)

'This is far from being a conventional Irish song collection, such as John McCormack might have offered in recording’s early days' Read review

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