Ros Tapestry Suite

The Ros Tapestry Suite is the most ambitious project undertaken by the New Ross Piano Festival since its inception in 2006. It represents a variegated musical response to the Ros Tapestry, an impressive fifteen-panel work of embroidery tracing the history of the Norman invasion of Ireland. The double-album edition documents fifteen works for solo piano, each commissioned from a different Irish composer by the New Ross Piano Festival, and each involved with a distinct and personal engagement with one of the tapestry panels.

The fifteen pieces were premiered by an array of Irish and international pianists, five at a time, at the three piano festivals in September 2014, 2015 and 2016. For each performance, the tapestry in question was carried up to the church from the exhibition space and displayed beside the piano. The compositions are as rich and varied as the tapestry is colourful and engrossing: from Gerald Barry’s poised and minimal evocation of the moments before the Norman landing at Bannow Strand, to Linda Buckley’s introspective musical portrait of the Anglo-Norman nobleman William Marshal; to Sebastian Adams’ abstraction of the Siege of Wexford, and Deirdre Gribbin’s controlled and painterly response to a stormy Medieval sea crossing.

The roll call of pianists represented here is also impressive, including the festival’s Artistic Director Finghin Collins, young stars such as Dublin International Piano Competition winner Nathalia Milstein and up-and-coming Wexford native Jonathan Morris, and also established international names such as Nicholas Angelich, Piers Lane, Lise de la Salle and Cédric Tiberghein.

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Ros Tapestry Suite CD

Track listing

Disc 1

1 The Celts, in an Island Fastness
John Kinsella 5:30 Finghin Collins, piano

2 The Abduction of Dervorgilla
Elaine Agnew 4:57 Joseph Moog, piano

3 Arrogant Trespass: The Normans Landing at Bannow Strand (“Midday”)
Gerald Barry 7:50 Finghin Collins, piano

4 The Siege of Wexford (“2014.4”)
Sebastian Adams 4:31 Beatrice Berrut, piano

5 Battles in the Kingdom of Ossory
Gerry Murphy 6:20 Lise De La Salle, piano

Evening: The Lighthouse at Hook Head
Eric Sweeney 6:08 Olga Scheps, piano

7 William Marshal: The Flower of Chivalry
Linda Buckley 5:23 Cédric Tiberghien, piano

8 The Marriage of William Marshal and Isabel de Clare (“Nesting Doll”)
Sam Perkin 7:53 Finghin Collins, piano

Disc 2

1 Ex Voto Tintern Abbey: William Marshal’s Stormy Crossing to Ireland (“Anfa Virga”)
Deirdre Gribbin 7:02 Daria Van Den Bercken, piano

2 Hunt in the Forest of Ros
Andrew Hamilton 5:20 Seán Morgan Rooney, piano

3 Gothic Glory: The Building of the Parish Church of St. Mary’s
Philip Martin 5:55 Finghin Collins, piano

4 The Thriving Port of Ros
Gráinne Mulvey 6:23 Nathalia Milstein, piano

5 The Walling of the Town of Ros: Sixteen Guilds Protect Their Town
Raymond Deane 6:02 Nicholas Angelich, piano

6 Exchange: The Irish and Normans Mingle at the Fair
Marian Ingoldsby 5:43 Jonathan Morris, piano

7 TheSheafofCorn: the Distaff Descent(“Sheaf”)
Garrett Sholdice 6:13 Piers Lane, piano