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Press Releases

Mystics and Cynics

September 4, 2023 | By Eric Fraad
CEO Heresy Records

German Composer/Pianist Boris Bergmann and Irish Singer Caitríona O’Leary to Perform World Premiere of Bergmann’s Song Cycle, Taumelnd von Glut (Reeling in the Light) at Hugh Lane Gallery’s Sundays at Noon Series

The Concert Entitled MYSTICS AND CYNICS Also to Include Works by Erik Satie, Alexander Scriabin and John Cage

 On Sunday 10th September at 12:00 pm internationally acclaimed German composer/concert pianist Boris Bergmann and celebrated Irish singer Caitríona O’Leary will perform a concert titled Mystics and Cynics at Hugh Lane Gallery’s popular Sundays at Noon series. The concert includes the world premiere of Bergmann’s most recent composition, the song cycle Taumelnd von Glut (Reeling in the Light) which he wrote for O’Leary. Taumelnd von Glut features ten songs which Bergmann set to poems by the Berlin poet Otto Braun (1897 – 1918). Braun was a sensitive and prodigious talent whose life was tragically cut short in the final year of World War I. His poetry is bathed in lapidarian descriptions of natural and classical imagery and presents an uneasy and explosive mixture of self-sacrificing war heroism dialectically juxtaposed to a childlike longing for love and connection. He died on the battlefield in 1918. He was 20 years old.

 To compliment and contexualise these songs, O’Leary and Bergmann will perform works written in the years just before the world-engulfing war including cabaret songs by Erik Saite (1866-1925), which are redolent of the antebellum era, featuring displays of drollery, gaiety and irony. Bergmann will perform Alexander Scriabin’s (1872-1915) remarkable last composition, his Five Preludes, Op. 74. Also on the programme is Sonnekus2, performed by O’Leary. Composed in 1985 by John Cage (1912-2092) which is a short song cycle for solo voice full of Cageian wit and mysticism. Cage’s instructions for Sonnekus2 are that it be performed alongside Satie’s cabaret songs.

The concert was made possible in part by funding from the Fingal County Council Arts Office and the European Union/Goethe Institute.

Tickets are free to the public and reservations are available on the Hugh Lane Gallery website. https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/sundays-at-noon-caitriona-oleary-voice-boris-bergmann-piano-tickets-698461345687


"Caitríona transcends the Thou Shalt Nots." Bernard Clarke, Blue of the Night, RTÉ lyric fm, March 2021

Caitríona O’Leary is known internationally for her intense and passionate performances of Early Music and Traditional Irish song and as a composer.

Her recording, The Wexford Carols, featuring guest artists Tom Jones, Rosanne Cash, and Rhiannon Giddens, reached #1 on the Billboard and Amazon charts. Her albums with Anakronos, The Red Book of Ossory and Citadel of Song, Plague-proof Ballate from Boccaccio's Decameron, were released worldwide in 2020 and 2022 to rave reviews.

She has recorded over twenty critically acclaimed albums with her Trad band Dúlra, her Early Music performance ensemble eX & the ensembles Sequentia, The Harp Consort and Joglaresa amongst others and has worked closely with many of early music's leading artists including Christopher Hogwood, Ben Bagby, Andrew Lawrence King, Konrad Junghänel and Pedro Memelsdorff.

Caitríona is also active as a soloist in contemporary music productions and recordings and for her performances of Irish language interpretations of the songs of Kate Bush, Joni Mitchell, and Brecht/Weill for IMRAM, Féile Litríochta Gaeilge. In October 2019 she composed and performed a show based on a new Irish language version of the poetry of Sappho for IMRAM and in 2020 composed and performed the video piece StampHaikuSong.

Caitríona has toured and performed around the world, including such venues as the Royal Albert Hall, Lincoln Center, Radio City Music Hall and Cité de la Musique to name a few. Festival engagements include Halle Handel Festival, Beethovenfest Bonn, Tage Alter Musik Herne, Utrecht Early Music Festival, Tage Alter Musik Regensburg, Festival Cervantino Guanajuato, Festival Interceltique de Lorient, Zagreb Summer Evenings Festival, Split Summer Festival, Dublin Theatre Festival, Belfast Festival at Queen’s, etc.



Boris Bergmann’s odyssey as a musician has taken him full circle from classical music to punk rock, metal, techno, soundtracks and back again to world of classical music.

In 2023 his composition The Richter Scale, an hour-long virtuoso piano composition to international critical acclaim. The work was performed by Steinway artists Ji Liu who performed the it at major concert halls in China and at Steinway Hall in London. The work is part of The Richter Project which included three releases two of which featured remixes of several movements by techno producer/musician Khan of Finland. All three works have been released by Heresy Records.

While studying piano and composition, he wrote several chamber music works which were broadcast by the German radio station HR.

Boris moved to Berlin to compose music for numerous national and international film productions and television series such as Homeland and Ha°kan Nesser’s, Inspector Barbarotti, etc. Films featuring his music have won awards, including the German Film Award, Babelsberg Media Award, Cinequest Film Festival San Jose, Variety Critics Choice Karlovy Varo International Film Festival.

As a keyboard player and drummer, he toured with punk and alternative music legends including Kim Gordon, Dinosaur Jr. And Flipper.

He released three solo albums of works by Alexander Scriabin and his own piano compositions, including the Hölderlin Sonata.

He has performed at festivals and concert halls in Europe, including Sonar Festival/Barcelona, Casa da Musica/Porto, Volksbühne/Berlin amongst many others.

In 2020 Boris employed influences from classical music, punk, techno and film music to create a piano cycle entitled, SLOW - Scardanelli Lieder ohne Worte (Scardanelli Songs Without Words) to celebrate the 250th birthday of the poet philosopher, Friedrich Hölderlin. He performed SLOW in a series of concerts in France and Germany.

In collaboration with actress and director Silvina Buchbauer, he produced the Hölderlin film Wem sonst als dir (To Whom Else but You) on behalf of the CCFA Nice and the German-French houses of France. They also created a film about Alexander Scriabin in celebration of the Russian composers 150th birthday in 2022. The work was supported by the German Music Council and Neustart Kultur.




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