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Paul Hillier premières Fennessy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 28 April 2017

 Cork International Choral FestivalDavid Fennessy’s Ne Reminiscaris – ‘part 2’ to Fennessy’s Letter to Michael – will receive its world première tonight at the Chamber Choir Ireland’s Gala Concert of the Cork International Choral Festival.

Paul Hillier conducts the Chamber Choir Ireland at the St Fin Barre’s Cathedral in Cork.

View the full programme

Hirta Rounds in South America

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 April 2017

MKO (c) Sammy Hart

In 2015 David Fennessy composed Hirta Rounds – a “chamber music for sixteen individual players” – for the Münchener Kammerorchester with the stipulation that it be unconducted.

At the end of April, the Münchener Kammerorchester will be playing the piece in South America: on 24 April at the Teatro Colón in Buenos Aires, on 25 April at the Teatro Solis in Montevideo and on 28 April at the Auditorio Santa Ursula in Lima.

View the full score of Hirta Rounds

 

David Fennessy receives Scottish Award for New Music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 09 March 2017

Scottish Award for New Music by Elaine Henderson (c) David FennessyPanopticon continues a line of enquiry present in pieces of mine beginning with graft (1999) for string quartet through to Hauptstimme (2013) for solo viola and ensemble, and Hirta Rounds (2015) for sixteen unconducted strings – namely the role of the individual within a larger, group setting and particularly, the functions of leaders and followers. (David Fennessy)

Congratulations to David Fennessy! This is how Scottish Award for New Music looks like, which the composer has received for his work Panopticon. The award ceremony took place yesterday, on 8 March.

The bowl was made by Elaine Henderson and was cast in black porcelain – and it is engraved with a unique sound print taken from an extract of Fennessy’s music.

Fennessy’s Panopticon shortlisted for Scottish Awards for New Music

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 January 2017

David Fennessy

Panopticon continues a line of enquiry present in pieces of mine beginning with graft (1999) for string quartet through to Hauptstimme (2013) for solo viola and ensemble, and Hirta Rounds (2015) for sixteen unconducted strings – namely the role of the individual within a larger, group setting and particularly, the functions of leaders and followers. (David Fennessy)

The shortlist for the first Scottish Awards for New Music has been announced! Congratulations to David Fennessy whose work Panopticon for string sextet and cimbalom has been nominated for the Dorico Award for Small/medium Scale Work.

Find out more

RTÉ Contempo Quartet tours Fennessy’s bow your head

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 November 2016

 Bartók Project

David Fennessy (c) Tanya KiangThere’s something uniquely sensual and physical about string music that attracts me as a composer. […] It’s not just about pitches and rhythms – there’s also something in the quality of the sound, something about the effort it takes to produce the note that gives us clues as to the musical meaning. It’s the massive difference between an up-bow with its build up of tension and a down-bow - the release, the out-breath. This piece is all about the right arm – the bowing arm. (David Fennessy on his string quartet bow your head)

The RTÉ Contempo Quartet will perform David Fennessy’s bow your head as part of their “Bartók Project” on 1 Dec at the Limerick City Gallery of Art, on 3 Dec at the Triskel Arts Centre in Cork and on 4 Dec at the National Concert Hall in Dublin.

Find out more

Sweetheart come – Letter to Michael in Dublin

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 15 September 2016

Emma Hauck (c) Public Domain

David Fennessy’s choir work Letter to Michael will be performed today at “Composing the Island: Choirland | 100 years of Irish Choral Music”.

View the full score

David Fennessy on the piece:

”A few years ago I came across an extraordinary piece of art by a woman named Emma Hauck. She was admitted to a German psychiatric ward about a hundred years ago diagnosed with schizophrenia. Whilst a patient there she produced pages and pages of text – thousands of lines in pencil which were addressed to her husband who had ceased to visit her. She simply wrote the words ‘Sweetheart Come’ [Herzensschatzi komm]  over and over again or sometimes just the word ‘come’. Every page is thick with overlapping text and some are so condensed as to be illegible.

I was deeply moved by these repeated pleas and feel strongly that the desperate passion that can be seen on these pages could only really be expressed with voices. I imagine a dense layering of a simple line; each voice adding to the power of the plea…”

Fennessy’s Sweat of the Sun at the Münchener Biennale

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 24 May 2016

Sweat Of The Sun (c) Florian Ganslmeier

“It seems like the further one sinks inside the text, the further one becomes removed from the particulars of the story and instead gets involved with something deeper and more ambiguous to do with the inner experiences of a protagonist who is searching for … something.”

Rehearsals for David Fennessy’s Sweat Of the Sun are underway – the music theatre, which is based on German director Werner Herzog’s Conquest of the Useless, will be premièred by the Münchener Kammerorchester on 28 May at the Münchener Biennale.

David Fennessy on Sweat of the Sun

David Fennessy on his Werner Herzog-inspired piece Caruso (Gold is the sweat of the sun)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 29 October 2015

David Fennessy

You get a piece that is always in climax. […] It’s a piece about obsession. Or maybe it is actually just obsessive. (David Fennessy, Herald Scotland, 28 October 2015)

The Herald Scotland recently interviewed David Fennessy, who will be performing his 20-minute piece Caruso (Gold is the sweat of the sun) at the Sonica festival in Glasgow on 7 November.

In the interview, Fennessy talks about the Werner Herzog diaries Conquest of the Useless, which inspired him for composing the piece, and his beginnings as composer.

Read the full article

Fennessy’s Hirta Rounds in Munich

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 July 2015

David Fennessy (c) Tanya KiangKomponist und Musiker agieren auf Augenhöhe. (Rita Argauer, Süddeutsche Zeitung, 30 June 2015)

The Süddeutsche Zeitung has published a preview for tonight’s world première of Hirta Rounds by David Fennessy at the Prinzregententheater. The piece was written for the Münchener Kammerorchester with the stipulation that it be unconducted.

Read the full preview

View the full score of Hirta Rounds:

Irish première of Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon)

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 26 June 2015

Tonight sees the Irish première of David Fennessy’s Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon) at the National Concert Hall in Dublin. The work is part of a trilogy that was inspired by Werner Herzog’s Conquest of the Useless.

Watch an interview with the composer:

View the full study score and listen to an audio excerpt.

David Fennessy on James Joyce and sounds

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 16 June 2015

Happy Bloomsday everyone!

We’ve prepared a short interview with David Fennessy on James Joyce, sounds and serendipity. Watch it here:

Serbian première of Fennessy’s PPP

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 07 April 2015

David Fennessy

PPP is a piece about pianos (or, the pianos in my life).
It’s a piece about tuning (or rather, being out of tune).
It’s about memory (or, more accurately, remembering).
It’s about personal connections with instruments (and the people who play them); their history (and mine) and their imperfections.

The Serbian première of David Fennessy’s PPP for ensemble and electronics will be performed tonight with the composer himself performing on electric guitar at Studio M in Novi Sad. Also on the programme: Palais de mari by Morton Feldman.

Find out more.

David Fennessy on PPP

Bedford and Fennessy shortlisted for the British Composer Awards

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 21 October 2014

British Composer Awards

Congratulations to Luke Bedford, David Fennessy and Harrison Birtwistle, who have all been shortlisted for the 2014 British Composer Awards.

Bedford’s shortlisted single-movement work Renewal was premièred on 22 May at the Queen Elizabeth Hall. Sian Edwards conducted the London Sinfonietta.

The composer on Renewal:

“Renewal is about creating something new from the rubble of each previous section. The piece is a celebration of renewal and regrowth, written in the full knowledge of its impermanence.”

Read the full text and listen to an audio excerpt of Renewal.

Fennessy’s Hauptstimme for amplified solo viola and ensemble was first performed in Huddersfield by violist Garth Knox and the Red Note Ensemble (cond. Garry Walker).

Read a work introduction by Fennessy and listen to an audio excerpt of Hauptstimme.

Luke Bedford: Renewal
View the full score of

Renewal

David Fennessy: Hauptstimme
View the full score of

Hauptstimme

Happy Birthday David Fennessy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 23 July 2014

David Fennessy (c) Universal Edition, Eric Marinitsch

I think each piece has its own individual technique but what people hear is something much deeper and profound and long lasting. It’s the thing they recognise as a composer’s voice. Of course it does manifest itself in technical things like intervals, but there’s some kind of bedrock on which your voice is built.

Happy Birthday David Fennessy!

Listen to an interview with David Fennessy on I’ll cadence when I die!

 

ICWID! interview with David Fennessy

Posted by Johannes Feigl on 02 July 2014

David Fennessy at the rehearsals for Hauptstimme (c) Richard Greer

Photo (c) Richard Greer

Thomas Butler of I’ll Cadence When I Die has recently invited David Fennessy to talk about the composer’s latest works, including Hauptstimme and Prologue (Silver are the tears of the moon).

Listen to the full interview on ICWID!