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IBO & Peter Whelan - Welcome home, Mr Dubourg - BBC Radio 3 'Record Review'

Now here’s a tribute to a little-known violinist and composer, Matthew Dubourg, the pupil of Geminiani who led orchestras of some of London’s best-known musicians and was employed to make music at Dublin Castle, becoming so famous over there that he features in well-known Irish ballads. He also knew Handel ,and in fact the range of Dubourg’s music is from Handelian oratorio to Irish folk as you’re about to hear.

<plays Hibernia’s Sons, Your Voices Raise & Dubourg’s Maggot>

Well that was Dubourg’s Maggot, the folk tune named for violinist and composer Matthew Dubourg and before it you heard Hibernia’s Sons, Your Voices Raise, a chorus from one of Dubourg’s several odes for Dublin Castle in the 1730s to 50s. And the way Dubourg’s music’s been brought back to life here by the Irish Baroque Orchestra and chorus directed by Peter Whelan with violinist Sophie Gent to the fore in quite a few pieces, is colourful and effective you feel the Handelian nobility of the odes and they’ve managed to reconstruct a whole one for this recording. The last track has Sophie Gent recreating a famous anecdote about Dubourg, who on one of Handel’s visits to Dublin, improvised at such length in one piece and through so many remote keys that when he made it back to the coda Handel cried out “Welcome home, Mr Dubourg!” which is exactly what you hear them do on the last track and it’s also the title of the album, just released on Linn Records. I’ve really enjoyed it.

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BBC Radio 3 ‘Record Review’
04 May 2019