The young (17 years old) Jonathan Morris was the centre-piece of a concert that celebrated youth and music. A student of Hugh Tinney, this young Wexford pianist showed why he has a fine future at his fingertips.
A slice of Scarlatti slipped into the shining water images of a dreamy Debussy as dusk fell and the yellow dome brightened in the chandelier lights as wonderful music filled the space. A strong right hand impressed with a Chopin Ballade, full of dramatic flourishes and volcanic attack. This was showy youth at its most expressive.
The RTE Cor Na nOg opened the evening at Christ Church Cathedral with beautiful, beautiful young fresh, clear voices that filled the pews with an innocence of hope. Spirituals like One Of These Fine Mornings and Battle Of Jericho, showed their class and The Water Is Wide charmed before a Hungarian arrangement of Salve Regina was like a Rachmaninov chant full of harmony and flair. This was cleverly contrasted with a clappy Hispanic Cantemos A Maria. The Castle Of Dromore was a lullaby that moved into a wonderful Lord Make Me An Instrument Of Thy Peace. Two jazzy pieces entertained and showcased the range of this young choir of 9 – 14 year olds before they swept the audience away with a stunning Aglepta, that featured the breath, the basic unit of voice, as breathes were the song, like a rush, a breeze, a full wind and ended with a sigh into silence. Wow.
Waterford Comhaltas Ceoltoiri Eireann delighted with an all too short selection featuring jigs, reels, a fine Sean Nos Song from Cathy Forristal, a glorious slow air on fiddle and a traditional set of snare drum bloc, fiddles, flutes, piano, concertina and accordion.
Jonathan Morris closed the evening with a powerful atmospheric Liszt, Ballade, that had passion, brilliance and showy technique, with a hard on the keyboards style that suited the confidence of a rising star.