“I have seldom worked on a project with this much pleasure. It was a difficult task to choose from the abundance of traditional Irish folk music. By the time I had 16 minutes of music ready, it was time to finish the work – but I had plenty of material left for a follow-up!”
This quote comes from the program notes for my piece At Kitty O'Shea's. Three years later, I happily present the follow-up: Celtic Classics, another folk song suite based on the wildly inventive, foot stomping, irrepressible genre that is Irish music. In both works I try to carry on the tradition of composers like Percy Grainger, Gustav Holst and Ralph Vaughan Williams, who all have created superb original repertoire for wind orchestra based on folk music, such as Grainger's Lincolnshire Posy, Shepherd's Hey and Molly on the Shore; Holst's Moorside Suite and Suites No. 1 and 2; and Vaughan Williams' English Folk Song Suite.
For Celtic Classics I have focused on the following songs and instrumental works:
• Down by the Sally Gardens (Gort na Saileán) – After a poem by William Butler Yeats
• Give me your hand (Tabhair Dom do Lámh)
• She Moved Through The Fair
• The Butterfly
• Temple House & The Green Gates (Irish Reels)
Johan de Meij, New York, May 2016.