The Republic of Ireland, through which I made a ten days roundtrip last year, is a tremendously fascinating country. Its Celtic tradition and overwhelming nature, its folklore and music, its literature, its welcoming and hospitable people, its spirituality with age old relics of the christening era. Its marvelling Atlantic coast way, the barren Burren and Ring of Kerry. The capital of Dublin and Trinity college. Not to mention the countless jigs and reels that always bring one in an uplifting feel. And U2, Sinead O’Connor, The Corrs, Van Morrison, River Dance who does not know them? All simply unspeakably wonderful.
Moreover since it is the Fourth of Advent today and Mary is central in the liturgy, I want to present to you another Irish marvel namely Anúna. They are a choral ensemble based in Ireland. Founded in 1987 by Irish composer Michael McGlynn under the name An Uaithne, the group has recorded 17 albums, and achieved a high level of international success. Almost all of their repertoire is composed or arranged by McGlynn. In the following youtube film you will be able to listen to outstanding and pure women’s voices reminiscent of 12th century German mystic Hildegard von Bingen.
Some remarkable reviews:
“Anúna…is a stellar example of a crossover group that has avoided compromising its musical standards and has maintained a high level of involvement in the worlds of both popular and classical music…exceptionally virtuosic chamber choir, with the discipline and technique to excel in both traditional and contemporary music in the classical tradition” ~ All Music Guide
“Anúna is legitimate folklore that weaves religious and secular threads into an enchanting sonic tapestry…” ~ Billboard
“Anúna provide the sort of thrilling, life-affirming music that makes you think Ireland, indeed the world, is not such a bad place after all” ~ Independent
“With Anúna, the worlds of choral, classical and traditional music intersect with ease, a place where heaven meets the horizon in perfect coalescence” ~ Hot Press
“Michael McGlynn is a remarkable composer and leader of the choral group Anúna. Most of Michael’s pieces draw on Irish early-Christian and pre-Christian texts as well as traditional airs and lyrical themes. These sources are recast in Michael’s beautiful and startling music” ~ Elvis Costello