Music in Monkstown is delighted to present its first choir concert, performed by the boys of the venerable Palestrina Choir.
The Boys of the Palestrina Choir
Director: Blánaid Murphy
Accompanist: Siobhán Kilkelly
Panis Angelicus - Charpentier
A Íosa, glan mo chroíse - arr. Mooney
Ave Verum Corpus – Gregorian Chant
Ave Verum Corpus – Elgar
Tantum Ergo - Andriessen
Sanctus and Benedictus from Missa Brevis - Britten
Ave Maria – Gregorian Chant
Ave Maria – Cousins
Maria Mater Gratiae -Fauré
The Bells of the Angelus – arr. Mooney
Pie Jesu – Fauré
Agnus Dei – Selmeczi
Ut Flos, Ut Rosa – Crivelli
Gaudent in Coelis - Dering
Deus Meus Adiuva Me – arr. Mooney
Haec Dies - Mawby
The Palestrina was established in 1902 by Edward Martyn, a prominent landowner whose runaway philanthropy would eventually lead to bankruptcy (he subsequently helped set up the Abbey Theatre with WB Yeats and Lady Gregory). In the 1890s, he had embarked on a grand tour of Europe's cathedrals and was entranced by the wonderful choral music he heard.
"He went to places such as Ravensburg and was eager to bring the same thing for the Pro-Cathedral," recounts Music Director Blanaid Murphy. "Back in Dublin he discovered a boys' choir singing Palestrina's Missa Papae Marcelli at St Teresa's Carmelite Church in Clarendon Street and knew that was what he wanted. That is why it is called the Palestrina Choir. He donated the equivalent of €1m to set it up. The money was only for male singers - I don't think it ever occurred to him that the choir director could be a woman, which is why he didn't stipulate against it." Across the next century, the Palestrina would become one of Dublin's great music institutions. Past members include historian Diarmaid Ferriter and respected tenor soloist Emmanuel Lawler.
The choir has twice been asked to the Vatican in the past three years. The boys sang for the outgoing Benedict XVI in 2013 and, recently, for Pope Francis. In the latter case, they had been requested to sing at a Papal Mass in St Peter's Basilica marking the 800th anniversary of the Dominican Order. On the same trip they performed Irish traditional compositions for a concert, Remembering 1916 in Song, at St Isidore's College in Rome (the invitations in both instances extended in recognition of the choir's status as among leading boy ensembles in Europe).
Full article available on Irish Independent