Sundays at Noon : Orpheus Down, Gareth Davis and Dario Calderone

  • Concerts

Sunday 14 April 2024

Admission Free, Book in advance Book

Booking available HERE from 10am Monday 8th April

Orpheus Down by Ian Wilson

Gareth Davis – bass clarinet

Dario Calderone- double bass

Composer Ian Wilson has long been fascinated by the story of Orpheus’ journey to the Underworld to bring his lover Eurydice back from the dead. When bass clarinettist Gareth Davis and double-bassist Dario Calderone suggested to Wilson that he compose a large-scale duo for their low instruments he immediately thought of using the myth, with its accompanying themes of deep and dark, as inspiration.

The resulting work Orpheus Down (2021) consists of ten movements, each relating to a specific part of Orpheus’ journey. First the opening sequence Mourning Song (Orpheus, bereft, sings snatches of a melody while the rain gently falls) – The Crossing (Charon’s oar creaking while he ferries his nervous passenger, occasionally humming to himself) – Descent (our protagonist’s fearful journey down to Hades is echoed in the double bass’s long glissando); then the succeeding group Sentinels (Orpheus must placate the fearsome, many-headed Cerberus) – At the Gates (shock and awe at the entrance to Hades) – Passing Ghosts (he encounters some of Hades’ inhabitants). Next is Entreaty (Orpheus must persuade the ruler of the Underworld through his playing to release Eurydice) followed by Towards the Light (the slow journey upwards, one behind the other); and finally The Losing Again (Orpheus replays in his mind over and over, unbelieving, his folly in looking behind) and To Sing Forever (the Maenads tear him to pieces but his head continues to sing as it floats off to Lesbos.).

The official launch of the CD recording of Orpheus Down on Farpoint Recordings will take place immediately after the concert at the Sunday at Noon series, 14th April 2024.

Ian Wilson (Belfast, 1964) has composed over 250 works in many different genres which have been performed and broadcast on six continents. He is a member of Aosdána, Ireland’s national association of creative artists, and his music is published by G. Ricordi & Co. Ltd and Universal Edition.

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