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Jane O'Leary (b.1946) Chamber Works, The Passing Sound of Forever / Andreja, Malr; Dermot Dunne; Elaine Clark; Paul Roe; Martin Johnson; David Bremner; Madeleine Staunton, Concorde; ConTempo Quartet

Album Summary

>O'Leary, Jane : A Way Through, for alto flute, bass clarinet & accordion
>O'Leary, Jane : No. 19, for solo violin
>O'Leary, Jane : Murmurs and Echoes, for clarinet & piano
>O'Leary, Jane : A Winter Sketchbook, for alto flute & violin
>O'Leary, Jane : ...From Hand to Hand..., for cello & harp
>O'Leary, Jane : The Passing Sound of Forever..., for string quartet
Performers Conductor Ensembles Composer

Notes & Reviews:

Sound and space are two elements that emerge at the heart of Jane O'Leary's PASSING SOUND OF FOREVER. An American-born resident of Galway, Ireland, O'Leary's music is clearly informed by her experience as a traditional Irish musician, but also engages with deeper themes of time and space. O'Leary's experience with traditional Irish music is most apparent in her string writing. Here, the clues do not lie in folksy melodies - of which there are few in PASSING SOUND OF FOREVER - but in her approach to the sound of the violin and other string instruments. Every color, from ethereal natural harmonics to frenetic bowing, emerges from the instruments' guts, their open strings, which play an enormous role in all fiddle music. O'Leary, thus, takes the sonic heart of the traditional Irish music and uses it for new, profoundly abstract purposes. In a way, O'Leary's string compositions on this album, such as Winter Sketchbook and Passing Sound of Forever, gain a soulful character from the composer's emphasis on the natural source of string instruments' sound. Winter Sketchbook, for violin and flute, is an excellent and straightforward introduction to this aspect of O'Leary's music. Here, the flute and violin play at a relatively simple dialog built around the violin's open strings and colors derived thereof. Though restrained and static, Winter Sketchbook resonates profoundly as it casts the indelible image of deep winter with its minimal instrumental forces. PASSING SOUND OF FOREVER's title track is composed for string quartet, which makes it a shining and exemplary representation of O'Leary's expressive string writing. Passing Sound of Forever, like Winter Sketchbook, almost entirely lacks melodic ideas, and those that do emerge are only fragments. With this said, the works is filled with a deep yearning, which is communicated by the accumulated gestures and sounds of the quartet's four string instruments. To this end, Passing Sound of Forever epitomizes O'Leary's deconstruction of her traditional Irish influences, as it is able to convey the emotional weight of that folk music without making any direct references. Not every work on PASSING SOUND OF FOREVER features strings, but all seem to engage with the same themes of space and sound. O'Leary's clarinet and piano duo Murmurs and Echoes, for example, creates the sense that its two instruments are communicating across great time and distance, most notably so in its last movement. When their respective gestures mirror one another's, they do so with the distortion of an echo crossing a vast space. In this way, Murmurs and Echoes reminds of Winter Sketchbook, as both works use modest forces to evoke a surprisingly resonant musical space.

Notes & Reviews:

Recording information: Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane in Dublin, Ireland (04/01/2012); St. Mary's College in Galway, Ireland (04/01/2012); The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland (04/01/2012); Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane in Dublin, Ireland (04/18/2015); St. Mary's College in Galway, Ireland (04/18/2015); The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland (04/18/2015); Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane in Dublin, Ireland (06/03/2016); St. Mary's College in Galway, Ireland (06/03/2016); The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland (06/03/2016); Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane in Dublin, Ireland (07/16/2016); St. Mary's College in Galway, Ireland (07/16/2016); The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland (07/16/2016); Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane in Dublin, Ireland (10/06/2013); St. Mary's College in Galway, Ireland (10/06/2013); The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland (10/06/2013); Dublin City Gallery: The Hugh Lane in Dublin, Ireland (11/11/2012); St. Mary's College in Galway, Ireland (11/11/2012); The National Concert Hall in Dublin, Ireland (11/11/2012).



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Works Details

>O'Leary, Jane : A Way Through, for alto flute, bass clarinet & accordion
  • Performers: Dermot Dunne (Accordion); Paul Roe (Clarinet); Madeleine Staunton (Flute)
  • Conductor: Madeleine Staunton
  • Ensemble: Concorde
  • Running Time: 10 min. 6 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Form: Chamber Music
  • Written: 2013
  • Studio/Live: Live

>O'Leary, Jane : No. 19, for solo violin
  • Performer: Elaine Clark (Violin)
  • Ensemble: ConTempo Quartet
  • Running Time: 7 min. 22 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2012
  • Studio/Live: Live

>O'Leary, Jane : Murmurs and Echoes, for clarinet & piano
  • Performers: David Bremner (Piano); Paul Roe (Clarinet)
  • Running Time: 1 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2015

>O'Leary, Jane : A Winter Sketchbook, for alto flute & violin
  • Performers: Elaine Clark (Violin); Madeleine Staunton (Flute)
  • Ensemble: Concorde
  • Running Time: 3 min. 42 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2014
  • Studio/Live: Live

>O'Leary, Jane : ...From Hand to Hand..., for cello & harp
  • Performers: Martin Johnson (Cello); Andreja Malir (Harp)
  • Running Time: 9 min. 19 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2011
  • Studio/Live: Live

>O'Leary, Jane : The Passing Sound of Forever..., for string quartet
  • Running Time: 4 min. 47 sec.
  • Period Time: Contemporary
  • Written: 2015