Online from Claregalway Castle
Wednesday 16 December, 8pm UTC
(available to 26 December)

The Gregory Walkers with Róisín O’Grady

Róisín O’Grady (soprano), Laoise O’Brien (recorders),  Malachy Robinson (Violone/Voice), Eamon Sweeney (Early Guitars/Lute/Bandora)

In the midst of winter, I found there was, within me, an invincible summer. And that makes me happy. For it says that no matter how hard the world pushes against me, within me, there’s something stronger – something better, pushing right back. (Albert Camus)

The Gregory Walkers in the Glucksman, UCC. Photo By Tomas Tyner, UCC.

Christmas-time is one of the few festivals of modern times that continues to nurture a distinct musical tradition. Some of the most evocative Christmas music dates from the Renaissance and Baroque eras. Often the text of the carols date from even earlier (with the regard to ‘The Wexford Carol’  and ‘Adeste Fideles’ possibly as early as the 13th century). Christmas celebrations were curtailed in England while under Cromwellian rule during the mid-seventeenth but returned in earnest on the restoration of King Charles II in 1660. The human urge to engage in festivities during the darkest days of Winter pre-dates Christianity and, no doubt, plays a role in our abilty to survive the challenging solstice nights. As the light fades to its faintest, so it signals the beginning of the year’s re-birth and renewal.

The programme will include seasonal tunes for voice, lute, recorder and viol from William Byrd, the Irish Tradition, Thomas Holborne, Mateo Flecha, and that most prolific of composers – Anonymous.

At Christmas play and make good cheer, for Christmas comes but once a year.’ (Thomas Tusser, c.1515-1580)

The Gregory Walkers brings together three respected Irish musicians, Laoise O’Brien (recorders), Eamon Sweeney (lute and guitars), Malachy Robinson (viols, voice). Individually the
 group’s members perform a wide variety of music while in The Gregory Walkers they combine their diverse experiences and talents to present an exciting and refreshing approach to the performance of old music.

For this concert they are joined by award-wining Irish soprano, Róisín O’Grady, for a programme of music to cheer us through the dark nights.