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The Galway Early Music Festival

May 20th – 22nd, 2011

From the Irish harpers of the 17th century to the court musicians of Europe, with a stop in a medieval alehouse or two, the Galway Early Music Festival, May 20th-22nd, works its musical magic once again. With the old saying in mind, “He who pays the piper calls the tune”, this year’s festival touches a sensitive subject: the relationship between musician and patron. What was the social status of a medieval, renaisance or baroque musician and composer? How does musical innovation happen when a patron has to approve? And what happens when the patrons disappear?

The award-winning vocal ensemble I Fagiolini bring the spirit of the music alive for 21st century audiences with their theatrical performances of renaissance music both in concert (Patron Plaints) and on film (The Full Monteverdi). Historical harper, Siobhán Armstrong and traditional singer Éamonn Ó Breoithe look at the musical remnants of the Irish harping and singing tradition, nearly lost when the Irish aristocratic patrons fled a conquered country (After the Earls: 17th & 18th century Irish Harp & Vocal Music). The Irish Consort (The King Dances: 17th century Patronage & Politics on the Musical Stage) explores the world of the renaissance masque, a theatrical variety show in which the royal patrons also performed. Meanwhile Misericordia, the plain people’s musicians, play for pennies in the tavern and on the crossroads, meeting up with storyteller, Clive Fairweather, along the way.
Enjoy concerts, film, family and free events and workshops in the lively medieval centre of Galway, the gateway to Connemara and the Burren.

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Permalink - Posted: March 11, 2011 at 11:07 am