Lynn Cahill’s programme at Christ Church Cathedral has been of great benefit to a city somewhat deprived of events this year. The coffee concerts at noon on most second Sundays, have developed a tidy audience who appreciate great music.
The recent Mark Keane (organ) and Sandra Murphy (soprano) was one such gem. Both play significant roles in Galway and their Handel and Mendelssohn programme provided much enjoyment.
Opening with Handel’s Allegro from Organ Concerto in B, this was a lively familiar piece that moved into Sandra Murphy singing four belcanto style baroque pieces. Jubal’s Lyre was all trills and scales but I felt the light clarity of her voice was not best served by placing her in the organ loft, so close to major pipes. I was enthralled by How Beautiful Are The Feet and loved the rounded opening for Ombra Mai Fu and Rejoice Greatly was typical trills with a survival after battle theme.
Mark Keane revved up the pace with Mendelssohn’s Prelude in D with its great swirls of night like an intro to horror movies. The war theme returned with a triumphalist Sonata in A major that rattled the chandeliers.
Sandra Murphy charmed the audience with a light but summery O For The Wings Of A Dove and a most ethereal O Rest In The Lord, like a war requiem after battle and burial.
Then Keane got all movies and rock’n roll with War March Of The Priests, a favourite of G. B. Shaw and the opening passage was used in The Abominable Dr. Phibes.