In this, the first commercial recording of contemporary Irish Composer Mary McAuliffe’s heartfelt and moving music, Delos presents a theme album of sorts. Its two most substantial works recount the wrenching departure of untold thousands of Irish folk to America during the “Great Hunger” famine of the 1840s – and the Emerald Isle’s persistent “calling home” of her sons and daughters to the land of their forbears ever since.

Scattered among these highly emotional vocal and choral pieces are varied examples of McAuliffe’s other compositions, to include touching art songs setting the verses of W. B. Yeats, Ireland’s greatest poet; also engaging samples of her piano and chamber music and a sacred choral number.

Her affecting music is winningly performed by a variety of accomplished vocal, choral and instrumental artists, with most coming from the music department of West Virginia University. Most prominent among them are pianist (and album producer) Lucy Mauro and tenor Donald George: both widely acclaimed for their sterling performances in other Delos albums concentrating mostly on the work of women composers.

Track Listing

  1. Gloria! (6:14)
  2. West Virginia University Choir; West Virginia University Studio Orchestra; Jeffry Blake Johnson, conductor

  3. Leaving: A Famine Victim’s Cry of Desolation (9:49)
  4. Donald George, tenor; Lee Blair, narrator; The WV Studio Choir; Cynthia Babin Anderson, oboe; Mikylah Myers McTeer, violin I; Timothy Tan, violin II; Andrea Priester Houde, viola; William Skidmore, cello; Sora Lee, piano

  5. A Dawn Song (3:12)
  6. Donald George, tenor; Lucy Mauro, piano

  7. The Drifter (2:45)
  8. Mikylah Myers McTeer, violin; Lucy Mauro, piano

  9. Down by the Salley Gardens (3:38)
  10. Donald George, tenor; Lucy Mauro, piano

  11. Frolics (2:33)
  12. Lucy Mauro, piano

  13. When You Are Old (4:45)
  14. Donald George, tenor; Lucy Mauro, piano

  15. Return to Old Ireland (14:37)
  16. The Michael O’Neal Singers; Michael O’Neal, conductor