very grateful to Sylvester Kroyherr for this review ( Rachel Sandey )
Nollaig Casey (violin/vocals), Chris Newman (guitar/mandolin), Arty McGlynn (guitar) & Maire Ni Máire Ní Chathasaigh (Irish harp & pronounced, Moira Nee Ha-ha-sig)
To showcase the unique Quartet and St Patrick’s Day, the programme began with a flavoursome flurry of Irish dancing presented by a mixture of talented young dancers. The audience was blown away with the flair and energy of their performance that provided a mixture of tap dancing and soft shuffle in true Irish fashion.
The main straight segment, consisting of 14 items, kicked off with the lively ‘The Wild Goose Chase’ followed by some bouncy jigs and the beautifully haunting 18th century ‘The Song of the Harp’. Maintaining the tuneful variety, Chris and Arty displayed uncanny dexterity on their guitars with an Argentine waltz followed by Nollaig and Maire with the melancholy 16th century ‘Molly McAlpine’ (sung passionately by Nollaig).
The delicious Irish melodies continued to flow with some joyous dance tunes, the offbeat ‘Pheasant Feathers’ and the beautifully tuneful ‘Fort of the Fairy Queen’ by Nollaig. With the hearty involvement of the audience, two 17th century marches followed along with a brilliant song from Cork sung in Irish. To contrast with the loving melodies from Tipperary County, we were treated to a 1930s flowing swing number called ‘When I Take My Sugar To Tea’ and a 1950s number for two guitars called ‘Saturday Night Shopper’ (absolutely brilliant).
‘Flying Off The Handel’ (a reflective classical music theme) was followed by a flurry of traditional Irish reels which further reinforced the true essence and spirit of Ireland on this very special day. If this was an indicator of the Quartet’s brilliance, their 7 week world tour will not only cement for them a place amongst the greatest exponents of traditional music, but also showcase their individual and combined musical artistry and sparkle. (Follow them onwww.heartstringquartet.com)
A professionally crafted, soulful and inspiring concert!
Sylvester Kroyherr (18.3.2015) Musician/Architect