Today is St. Patrick's Day, a day to celebrate the historic and cultural contributions of Irish Americans. While Irish composers are relatively marginalized in the classical concert hall, the influence of Irish folk music in American concert music is undeniable. Also, a deeper look into lesser known works by some of history's most famous composers will also uncover Ireland's hidden influence on classical music.
Here is a list of 4 works to enjoy while celebrating St. Patrick's Day.
CONCERTO FOR FIDDLE, VIOLIN AND ORCHESTRA
Composed by Evan Chambers and recorded by David Alan Miller and the Albany Symphony, the Concerto for Fiddle, Violin and Orchestra, features two soloists playing the same instrument in different styles. Throughout the work you will hear melodies often heard in traditional Irish jigs and reels.
TIME FOR THREE: WYOMING 307
Classical, Bluegrass, Jazz, Indie-Rock, Time for Three exists outside of the box. For those who attended Time for Three's Albany Symphony debut performance on April 18, 2015, you are familiar with their genre-bending virtuosity and showmanship. Wyoming 307 is an original piece by Time for Three that "evolves into a bluegrass barnburner."
Why does this bluegrass tune make the St. Patrick's Day playlist? Well, Bluegrass is a form or American roots music from Appalachia with a rich Irish heritage. Bluegrass eventually made its way to Wyoming as many Irish American's moved west to work on the railroad.
THE PULSE OF AN IRISHMAN
Beethoven composed more than stunning piano concertos, string quartets, and iconic symphonies. Classical listeners may be surprised to know that Beethoven composed far more folk settings than any other type of composition and within that body of work he arranged more traditional airs from Ireland than any other country.
For those with a more traditional palette, the Baltimore Consort offers listeners the opportunity to listen to 16th century instrumental works on period instruments. A jig is a lively folk dance most associated with Irish dance music and Scottish country music. Developed during the 16th century, the jig was quickly adopted by Baroque composers to become the final movement of the more cosmopolitan Baroque Dance Suite.