Ros Tapestry Suite – Piano music by John Kinsella, Elaine Agnew, Gerald Barry, Sebastian Adams, Gerry Murphy, Eric Sweeney, Linda Buckley, Sam Perkin, Deirdre Gribbin, Andrew Hamilton, Philip Martin, Grainne Mulvey, Raymond Deane, Marian Ingoldsby, Garrett Sholdice

Reviewed on Fri 30 Nov, 2018

Finghin Collins’s vividly nuanced account of John Kinsella’s The Celts, in an Island Fastness oscillates from drama to poetry and back again with surges of liquid immediacy.

Founded in 2006 by Finghin Collins, the New Ross Piano Festival in Ireland’s County Wexford has become an increasingly essential fixture for pianophiles. Inspired by a new 15-panel tapestry mirroring Bayeux’s famous embroidery, the 15 first recordings here were commissioned from Irish composers and feature an impressive array of Irish and international pianists. With something of interest in every piece, Collins’s vividly nuanced account of John Kinsella’s The Celts, in an Island Fastness oscillates from drama to poetry and back again with surges of liquid immediacy. Such contrasts are found throughout, Gerald Barry’s Arrogant Trespass poised, playful and pensive, the steely stillness of Linda Buckley’s William Marshall overtaken by dyspeptic agitation (described with subtle sureness by Cédric Tiberghien), Gráinne Mulvey’s multi-faceted The Thriving Port of Ros richly realised by Nathalia Milstein. Notable contributions from Raymond Deane, Sam Perkin and Garrett Sholdice – eloquently championed by Nicholas Angelich, Collins and Piers Lane – alongside much else in beautifully produced recordings point to considerable richness and variety in contemporary Irish piano writing.
–Michael Quinn