CHRIST CHURCH CATHEDRAL CHOIR AND ORGAN
The choir of Christ Church Cathedral Waterford held an ‘Open Day’ for prospective new members on Saturday 24th February in the cathedral at 10.30 am.
The choir performed seasonal music from Handel’s Messiah on Good Friday at 7.30 pm and Easter music from Messiah on Easter Sunday together with music from Mozart’s Coronation Mass.
The choir combined with the choirs of St Canice’s Cathedral Kilkenny and St Mary’s Cathedral Limerick for their annual Three Choir’s Concert on May 19th, this year in Limerick. Programme includes music by Charles Wood, John Goss, Mendelssohn, Handel and Brahms.
The choir gave a concert on May 24th in the cathedral to raise funds for the cathedral roof.
As part of a conference organised by the Eighteenth Century Ireland Society on 8-9 June the cathedral choir and organist gave a recital of music by Richard Woodword, Thomas Roseingrave and Ralph Roseingrave including an organ improvisation by Eric on a fugue by Thomas Roseingrave and Eric’s new edition of Richard Woodword’s anthem ‘Sing O Ye Heavens’.
Eric retired as organist and choirmaster of Christ Church Cathedral Waterford at the end of August after 27 years. However he will remain active as a recitalist and has recorded another CD of his organ music The Bright Seraphim on the Waterford organ in September which was launched at the Imagine Festival on October 27th. Eric gave a short recital of some of the recorded works as part of the CD launch.
Eric was awarded a commission, together with poet Edward Denniston, to create a new work titled Hospital Voices for Waterford Healing Arts Trust. The work was created as part of a six month residency at University Hospital, Waterford. The collaboration of composer and poet focused on the theme of the embedded memory of patients and the resulting work was premiered at University Hospital Waterford by Madrigallery chamber choir on 6th December.
Pianist Finghin Collins played Evening: the Lighthouse at Hook Head, which was commissioned for the New Ross Piano Festival in 2015, in Waterford on March 15th.
Eric adjudicated the composers’ competition in the Feis Ceol (Music Festival) in March.
Combining with poet Mark Roper, Eric gave a series of concerts of his keyboard music this year. Venues to date included Wexford Arts Centre, Tullamore Church of the Assumption, Limerick Organ Festival and Gateway Centre, Waterford.
A new recording of the Duo for Clarinet and Piano (1991) features on a CD by clarinetist John Finucane and Elisaveta Blumina, piano on the Genuin label. It was recorded in the Mendelssohnsaal, Gewandhous in Leipzig.
Two concert performances of scenes from the opera Ulysses (2015) were given in the Unitarian Church, St Stephen’s Green on June 15th and 16th (Bloomsday).
Le Cercle de Lumiere (1999) was played by the composer as part of his programme at the Limerick Pipe Organ Festival on June 20th and the Church of the Assumption Tullamore on July 17th while Gerard Gillen included it in his recital for the Dun Laoghaire summer concerts on June 24th and Simon Harden played it in St Florentin, Troyes, France on July 6th.
Three Irish Folksongs (2009) was played by the Black Angels Ensemble (Ann-Marie O’Farrell- harp, Adrian Mantu- cello and Timo Kinnunen- accordion) in Oolu, Finland on 30th August and 2nd September.
Callíno Music Publishers will publish a number of Eric’s works this year including –
- Amhairghin (1999)
- Amhrán na Gaoithe (2008)
- Cradle Song (2017)
- Psalm 23 (2017)
- There is no rose (1981)
Song (2002) performed by the Dublin Guitar Quartet was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Saturday 6th October.
Eric was external examiner for the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama organ exams in December.
Eric played continuo in a performance of Handel’s Messiah on 2nd December in St John’s Church, Waterford by the Dublin Chamber Orchestra and the Notable Voices Chorus.
A new CD ‘Contemporary Irish’ by the Dublin Guitar Quartet features Prism (2003) and Song (2002).
The Duo for Clarinet and Piano (1991) features on a new CD by clarinetist John Finucane and Elisaveta Blumina, piano.
22 RTE television feature a live broadcast of Morning Prayer with the choir of Christ Church Cathedral Waterford, directed by Eric Sweeney, with music by Rimsky-Korsakov, Elgar, Mozart and Stanford.
3 John Finucane, clarinet and Elisaveta Blumina, piano, play Duo for Clarinet and Piano (1991) in the Kevin Barry Room at the National Concert Hall, Dublin
4 Duo for Soprano Saxophone and Piano (1991) played by Gerard McChrystal sax and Katherine Page piano broadcast RTE Lyric FM.
5 Swedish organist Mikael Wahlin plays The Widening Gyre (2003) in Engelbrekt’s church, Stockholm.
The second opera by Eric and writer Mark Roper The Green One (2015) was performed as part of the Imagine Festival in Waterford in October 2016.
The Green One SYNOPSIS
Ishtar was a Babylonian goddess, the Queen of Heaven. She loved Tammuz, God of Fertility and Harvest. There are many versions of the story, but the one I’m using here is a simplified one. Essentially, Ishtar sends Tammuz down to the Earth to ensure better conditions for its inhabitants. He does this so effectively that she becomes jealous and has him killed. The Earth then begins to die. Ishtar responds to the desperate pleas of its inhabitants by agreeing to descend to the Underworld, to get Tammuz back. To enter the Underworld, she must pass through its seven gates, which she manages to do. Her hated sister Allatu rules the Underworld. At last Ishtar manages to secure the release of Tammuz, but only on condition that he returns to the Underworld for 6 months every year. They return to the earth, to the great joy of all. From now on, the Earth will experience a cycle of Summer and Winter (Mark Roper).
Eric has received commissions from Waterford Institute of Technology’s Choral Programme for a new work for massed choirs to be performed in May, and from the West Wales Arts Centre to write a work illustrating the Fishguard Tapestry as well as from the Imagine Festival for a new opera The Green One, a collaboration with the writer Mark Roper.
24 Swedish organist Mikael Wahlin plays The Widening Gyre (2003) in Gustav Vasa Church, Stockholm.
6 My true love has my heart (2011) for a capella SATB sung by The Edge Chamber Choir, conducted by Ros Crouch, United Reform Church in Church Stretton, Shropshire UK
13 My true love has my heart (2011) for a capella SATB sung by The Edge Chamber Choir, conducted by Ros Crouch, St Laurence’s Church, Ludlow, Shropshire UK
14 Swedish organist Mikael Wahlin plays The Widening Gyre (2003) in Masthuggskyrkan church, Gothenberg.
10 Abendlied (2006) performed by Catriona Grimes, piano, Nadia Grimes, flute and Alma Grimes, cello at the Dublin Feis Ceoil (Irish Music Festival)
17 Max O’Neil and Donnacha O’Driscoll, members of the Piccolo Lasso choir, won gold medals in the Dublin Feis Ceol for their performance of the Gloria from the Missa Brevis (1995).
20 RTE Lyric FM broadcast Ceol Rince Ros Mhic Threoin (New Ross Dance Music), (2009)
18/20 Eric gives a talk on Evening: the Lighthouse at Hook Head (2015) and Ceol Rince Ros Mhic Threoin (New Ross Dance Music), both written for the New Ross Piano Festival, at the West Wales Arts Centre in Fishguard as part of a seminar on commissioned music.
25 Good Friday Rachmaninov’s Vespers performed by candlelight by the cathedral choir at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, director Eric Sweeney.
27 Easter Sunday The cathedral choir will sing Schubert’s Mass in G as part of the eucharist and the Easter Music from Cavalleria Rusticana by Mascagni.
9 Swedish organist Mikael Wahlin plays The Widening Gyre (2003) in Kalmar, Sweden.
23 First rehearsal of the opera The Green One (2015)
28 Eric plays Three Pieces from the Mass of St Patrick (2006) at St Patrick’s Cathedral, Dublin
5 Elspeth Hayes (mezzo soprano) Mary Scarlett (piano) and Shane Kendrick (clarinet) perform The Moon Cradle (1995) at the Peppercannister church in Dublin.
21 Mass of St Patrick (2006) performed by the Edge Chamber Choir, conducted by Ros Crouch, organist Eric Sweeney, together with the Durufle Requiem, St Laurence’s Ludlow, Shropshire UK. Eric also plays organ music by Stanford and Guilmant.
26 Waterford Institute of Technology’s Choral Programme will premiere Two Songs for massed choirs, conducted by Niall Crowley as part of its concert at the College Street Campus. The programme also includes There is no Rose (1981) sung by the Waterford Youth Choir.
28 The cathedral choir of Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, director Eric Sweeney participate in a Three Choir’s Concert at St Mary’s Cathedral, Limerick together with the cathedral choirs of St Canice’s, Kilkenny and St Mary’s, Limerick. Programme to include Schubert’s Mass in G and Parry’s ‘I was Glad’.
10 Katy Hyland, flute, and Fiona Gryson, harp, play Walk, Don’t Walk (2002) at the International Association of Music Information Centre (IAMIC) Conference 2016 in Galway City Museum
12 Eric plays organ in the performance of Gounod’s Messe Solonnelle and Mozart’s Laudate Dominum and Exsultate, jubilate with the New Ross Singers and the I Musici, Ireland orchestra conducted by Connie Tantrum.
16 Four scenes from Eric’s new opera Ulysses (2015), adapted by writer Andrew Basquille, will be performed by members of the Opera Department of the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, directed by Andrea Basquille and conducted by David Bremner, at the various locations around Dublin where they are set, as part of Bloomsday.
10 am Telemachus – Martello Tower, Sandycove
11am Nestor – Harold Boys’ School, Dalkey
5 pm Sirens – Sin E Bar, Ormond Quay
6 pm Oxen of the sun -National Maternity Hospital, Holles Street
7 Bratislava Youth Music Festival There is no Rose (1981) sung by the Waterford Youth Choir, conducted by Niall Crowley at St Martin’s Cathedral.
2 Eric adjudicates the Young Composers’ Competition at the National Concert Hall, Dublin.
4-14 The Moon Cradle (1995) will be performed as part of a tour in China and Korea by Virginia Kerr and Paul Roe.
16 As part of Culture Night 2016 the cast of The Green One, a new opera by Mark Roper and Eric Sweeney, will perform and discuss excerpts from the opera in Christ Church cathedral at 8.pm (duration 30 – 40 minutes). Admission is free. The full opera will be performed as part of the Imagine Festival in Waterford on 27, 28 and 29 October. The cast includes several singers who appeared in Mark and Eric’s highly acclaimed first opera The Invader which won a number of awards in 2014 including Outstanding Performance of the Year in the Waterford News and Star as well as Best Musical Director, Best Director in an Opera and Best Choreographer.
17 RTE Lyric FM Evening: the Lighthouse at Hook Head (2015) played by German pianist Olga Scheps
17 8pm National Concert Hall, Dublin ‘Strings in the earth and air’ (1988) played by Concorde members, Elaine and Adele Johnson (violin and cello) as part of the festival ‘Composing the Island.’
24 RTE Radio 1John Feely, guitar, plays An Cailin Alainn (2003)
24 National Concert Hall. John Feely, guitar, plays An Cailin Alainn (2003) as part of the festival ‘Composing the Island.’
19 There is no Rose (1981) sung by UCD Choral Scholars in St. Bartholomew’s Church, Dublin, conducted by Des Earley.
23 Grow HQ Waterford. 12.00 Excerpts from The Green One (2015) introduced by librettist Mark Roper and performed by Eoin Power baritone and Elspeth Hayes mezzo soprano accompanied by the composer.
25 Interview and excerpts from The Green One (2015) Arena arts programme, RTE Radio 1.
27 Three pieces for saxophone, piano and strings (1999) will be performed by Gavin Brennan sax, Aileen Cahill piano and members of the Con Tempo Quartet at the Lutheran Hall Dublin.
28 Premiere of the opera The Green One (2015) at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, Imagine Festival.
29 The Green One (2015) at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, Imagine Festival.
30 The Green One (2015) at Christ Church Cathedral, Waterford, Imagine Festival