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Peter Whelan champions the music of Matthew Dubourg in his recording debut as Artistic Director of the Irish Baroque Orchestra. Dubourg, a pupil of Francesco Geminiani, was a charismatic virtuoso and composer who Whelan believes deserves to be acknowledged as one of Ireland’s most influential musicians. With many of his compositions having only recently come to light, most are presented here for the very first time including the world premiere of the ode ‘Crowned with a more illustrious light’. The eclectic programme showcases a composer whose music is shot-through with humanity, charm, virtuosity and wit. The works include arrangements of Irish traditional melodies, music written for royal celebrations and virtuosic violin solos in the fashionable Italian style. A Corelli violin sonata and a violin concerto by Vivaldi paint a picture of the musical landscape in which Dubourg’s creativity flourished. This recording is an exciting rediscovery of long forgotten, but truly wonderful, music from Ireland’s past.
"... the vocal solos in the recording are also strongly delivered by soprano Anna Devin and mezzo-soprano Rachel Kelly."
The Irish Times
"The way Dubourg’s music’s been brought back to life here...is colourful and effective...I’ve really enjoyed it."
BBC Radio 3
"... this disc is a treasure trove of world premieres...as musical homecomings go, this is definitely more Prodigal Son than unwelcome guest."
"Sample Ciste nó stór, which must have been one of the first instances in which a traditional tune was arranged in this way: there are virtuoso elaborations on the limpid melody. Essential for those interested in Irish music, this is a treat for anyone."
"A forgotten British Baroque composer is given his time in the sun."
"This is a real find. Matthew Dubourg, “director of the Irish state music”, was admired by Burney and Handel, for whose Dublin Messiah he led the violins. The disc includes music by Vivaldi and Corelli associated with Dubourg, but the rest, Dubourg’s own, brilliantly performed — a concerto and excerpts from his Dublin odes — is not at all diminished by the comparison."
The Sunday Times
"It really is a delightful listen."
BBC Radio Scotland 'Classics Unwrapped', 30 September 2019