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June 2019
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2006-11-19 Dalkey

reviewed by Maeve


The Celtic Tenors sang in St. Patrick's Church in Dalkey last night. This is my parish church - where I am deputy organist and sing regularly. It was absolutely wonderful. It is a small church and it can hold about 350 people. I am glad to say it was full last night.


Because it is a small church, there was no need for amplification. This was such a relief to my ears. It was wonderful to hear the pure voices blend so beautifully. I would rather pay double the price to hear them like this than to go to venue like the Gaeity or the concert hall where to my ears, they are often overamplified.

They started with a rousing version of Spanish Lady where everybody clapped along and it got the programme off to a rousing start. It was quickly followed by Wild Rover - another great clapping song.

Then a beautiful rendition of You raise me up, which Daryl dedicated to his parents.

An puc ar buile followed and then Go Lassie Go.

Then a highlight for me was In the Gloaming. This of course was a capella and it was just haunting. I forgot the mention that David Munroe played the piano during the concert and of course he was well up to his usual high standard.

Deirdre then sang She moved through the Fair. This was followed by a three part rendition of the Pearl Fishers Duet.

The next piece they sang was a premier. It was a version of Panis Angelicus which was written especially for the boys by Colin Mawby. It was hauntingly beautiful.

This was followed by The Star of the County Down. The first half was completed by Remember Me. There was a very moving connection in this song. as you know it was written about Irish Soldiers who fought in the Spanish civil was. James had seen a programme on RTE televison called Black Sheep. This programme was dedicated to Black Sheep in families. One such programme was dedicated to Robert Hilliard who fought and died in the Spanish Civil war. Robert Hilliard was the uncle of Ken Shellard who is my musical mentor and the organist of Dalkey. James dedicated the song to Ken.

After the interval there was a beautiful version of Bring Him Home. Then another personal favourite of mine, Shenandoah which was followed by a beautiful version of Still by your side.

Deirdre then invited Matthew to join her in The Prayer.

The Celtic Tenors then did a rousing version of Nessun Dorma. It was wonderful to hear them singing the true tenor repertoire. Caledonia then followed.

Next we had the hilarious version of Paddy Mc Ginty's Goat. I always loved this son and have a sheet version of it which I must have for over 30 years now as I used to sing this song as a child. The Tenors of course have made it their own. Their beautiful version of Danny boy followed. The next item was All Out of Love which was amazing. It is so difficult to sing this acoustically and it was stunning.

Then David Munroe's own composition the Bells of Peace was introduced by David himself. He explained that in Newry in the 1980's there was a huge amount of sectarian violence. They asked school children that if they could ring a bell and have any wish they wanted what would they choose. They came back 4 weeks later and each child said they would wish for PEACE. So David composed the song Bells of Peace to be sung by children and also the Tenors. The children of the local national school joined Deirdre and sang with the tenors. It was marvellous to see the children involved. They sang beautifully. Time to say goodbye followed and then the children joined the troop again and assisted in the singing of Ireland's Call. It was a rousing end to a wonderful concert.

I cannot emphasize enough how wonderful it was to hear the CTs singing without the hindrance of amplification. PLEASE, PLEASE, more of this.