BILL WHELAN (b.1950): Linen and Lace for Flute and Orchestra, Inishlacken for Violin, Fiddle and Orchestra, Riverdance: A Symphonic Suite.
Catalogue Number: 06T010
Label: RTÉ Lyric fm
Description: Whelan created the music for Riverdance in 1994 as an interval act for Radio Television Eireann’s hosting of Eurovision. It was one of those seismic moments of culture in which his use of traditional idioms in a completely new composition reframed the way Irish music and dance was viewed not just by people outside of the country but also at home. The show has been seen by over 24 million people in more than 450 venues worldwide. This premiere recording of three of Whelan’s major compositions again reveals his ability to create original and accessible new music, this time in an orchestral context. He wrote Linen and Lace, as a work that musically unites his and James Galway’s respective home cities of Belfast and Limerick throught the use of tunes associated with each. Inishlacken is named after a deserted island off the Galway coast. Last is Whelan’s 38-minute symphonic setting of the music of Riverdance. He has kept the rhythmic energy and melodies that make the work so popular, presenting all the themes in a way that takes advantage of the majestic sweep of a full orchestra. James Galway (flute), Helena Wood (violin), Zoe Conway (fiddle), RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra; David Brophy.