2022 Festival Programme


We’re thrilled to have you joining us for the second Limerick Early Music Festival.

This year’s theme, At Home and Abroad, spotlights the sound-worlds of the viola da gamba, the recorder, and the human voice.

Over three days and six concerts, LEMF 2022 features a diverse lineup of local, national, and international performers who bring you music from varied styles, traditions, and time periods. Our resident artists Caranzalem, a gamba and recorder duo from Spain will open the festival with their concert Caja de música: Tales of an Imagined Journey. Saturday’s festival extravaganza features three concerts: viola da gamba duo Pilar Almalé and Sarah Groser, Bach cantatas with Limerick’s Ancór Choir, and The Dublin Viols. The festival closes with Caranzalem returning for Cantos de mujer: Music of the World’s Women, and our festival finale, Double, Double Toil and Trouble! with the Palisander Recorder quartet, featuring last year’s LEMF ambassador, Limerick native Caoimhe de Paor.

We hope you enjoy the 2022 festival,
whether from home or abroad!

Yonit Kosovske & Vlad Smishkewych,
festival directors

Please Note:
All events are GMT+0 (Dublin/London)

7pm St. Mary’s Cathedral

Caja de música: Cuentos de un viaje imaginado
(Music Box: Tales of an Imagined Journey)


Elena Escartín (recorder, voice)

Pilar Almalé (viola da gamba, voice)

“I didn’t compose Chan Chan; I dreamt it. I dream of music.
Sometimes I wake up with a melody in my head, I hear the
– Compay Segundo

Caranzalem invites us to dream by traveling, to dream of that time when the hours of the day were counted like in the verses of the Sephardic lullaby, A la una yo nací:

At one o’clock I was born, at two I grew up,
at three I had a lover, and at four I was married.

…To dream of the time when Andalusian music filled our gardens in the Alcázar of Seville. To dream of sailing through the sea that took us to Peru and through that other green sea that took us from Brazil to Caranzalem in Goa, India. In a caravan we travelled America from north to south, from south to north, singing a tango of freedom. Travelling…not only to discover new places, but to discover ourselves, to look with different eyes, to feel with a different heart, to laugh with joy, and to fall in love…

1 pm The Gallery @ The Hunt Museum

The Grand Metamorfosis of Musick: 
Music for Two Bass Viols in England and France During the 1680s

Pilar Almalé

Sarah Groser

During the 17th century, England was a great centre for viol playing and composition. Throughout the rest of Europe, the violin family had largely replaced viols, but in England it was not until the restoration of the monarchy in 1660 that the violins started to gain popularity. This popularity was largely due to the musical tastes of King Charles II. Instead of employing viol consorts at court, he favoured the French model of a band of 24 violins. The only viols employed were bass viols since they could be used as continuo instruments. This set the trend for the general population with treble and tenor viols being used less frequently, and bass viols not only playing continuo but also retaining their role as solo instruments. Players from the continent came to learn from their English counterparts, (dwindling by then), bringing with them new compositional flavours.

Meanwhile, France was in the early stages of its blossoming. Monsieur de Sainte-Colombe wrote his Concerts à deux violes esgales around 1680, followed by his pupil, Marin Marais, who in 1686 published his first book of Pièces de violes for one and two viols.

Sarah Groser and Pilar Almalé will explore this repertoire along with other music that would have been played in England around this time, including divisions by Jenkins and Simpson, as well as the “new” music being brought into the country by the likes of Gottfried Finger.

3:30pm St Joseph’s Church, O’Connell Avenue

Annunciation and Affirmation:
Cantatas and Motets by J. S. Bach

Ancór Choir

Cecilia Madden, director
Emma English, soprano
Sarah-Ellen Murphy, alto
Rory Lynch, tenor
Kevin Neville, bass

Immerse yourself in one hour of this 300-year old sacred music by Johann Sebastian Bach. These works feature unmissable musical gymnastics, deep sentiments and a glorious soundworld from choir, orchestra and soloists alike.

A composer who held a profound and lifelong faith, Bach endeavoured to communicate the Word of God to the people through his music, just as Martin Luther had exhorted his followers to do. In Cantata BWV 1 Wie schön leuchtet der Morgenstern, we encounter great festivity at the annunciation of Christ’s forthcoming birth.  Motet BWV 118 O Jesu Christ, meins Lebens Licht is a setting of a text that communicates great hope in the redemption to come in the afterlife. Cantata BWV 72 Alles nur nach Gottes Willen exhorts the faithful to entrust themselves to the will of God who will never abandon them.

7pm St Mary’s Cathedral

Do This At Home:
a Programme of 17th-century Domestic Music


Sarah Groser
Lucy Robinson
Malachy Robinson
Andrew Robinson

Jenny Robinson (recorder)

The Dublin Viols play the legacy of an extraordinary flowering of domestic music that began in the 16th century and expanded, particularly in England, through the 17th century.

Several successive monarchs kept their private bands of viol players, and one (Charles I) even took part as a player. Private citizens who could afford it also bought instruments and hired a music master who taught the family and servants to play. In some cases, they would also compose the music, made to measure. Families would acquire manuscript copies of each other’s favourite pieces. The style began as an extension of the vocal music of the church and court, and the viol consort developed a fugal genre of its own called the Fantasia, more complex than the dances and airs that made up the rest of the repertoire.

Do This At Home uses another instrument popular for domestic use, the recorder, which blends and agrees well with the viols. These instruments remained in use right through the 18th century but got the chop, along with the harpsichord and lute, around the time of the French Revolution. No doubt they were seen to be keeping the wrong company. 

2pm The Gallery @ The Hunt Museum

Cantos de mujer: músicas de mujeres del mundo
(Songs of Women: Music of the World’s Women)


Elena Escartín (recorder, voice)

Pilar Almalé (viola da gamba, voice)

Why do you cry, fair girl?
Why do you cry, pale flower?
I cry for you, my knight,
that you are departing and leaving me on my own…

– Traditional Sephardic Song

Caranzalem explores the traditional songs of women traveling through remote territories around the world: polyphonic ancestral music from Eastern Europe; African, Galician, traditional Sephardic, and Andalusian songs; songs from Finland, Latin America and Mongolia. In this trip around the globe, we meet and give voice to women of different cultures and religions: their emotions, their love stories, their heartbreak, their intimacies, their strengths, their weaknesses…in short, their music—beautiful, unique, and still unknown to many. Using the medium of the voice, recorder, and viola da gamba, along with percussion, traditional instruments such as the African kalimba and the medieval vielle, Pilar and Elena present an intimate and poignant programme that will take you on a powerful emotional journey.

7pm St Mary’s Cathedral

Double, Double Toil & Trouble!

Caoimhe de Paor
Lydia Gosnell
Miriam Monaghan
Teresa Wrann 

Throughout the ages, music and magic have been intrinsically linked. In this programme, Palisander’s members explore music’s historic relationship with the wider magical spectrum, including elements of mathematics, philosophy, nature, religion, and the occult.

The repertoire varies from traditional folk songs to Renaissance music presented in consort format and exciting new arrangements created by Palisander of composers rarely heard on the recorder, such as J.S. Bach and Tartini, as well as Sweelinck and other traditional English and Italian music.

The programme is woven together by readings from historical sources. Palisander’s imaginative staging and creative presentation, combined with atmospheric employment of extended techniques, creates a magical experience for audiences of all ages!

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