Archbishop Eamon Martin to launch The Masses of Seán and Peadar Ó Riada: Explorations in Vernacular Chant by Dr John O’Keeffe

06 Nov 2017

You, or a representative, are invited to the launch of a new publication by Dr John O’Keeffe entitled, The Masses of Seán and Peadar Ó Riada: Explorations in Vernacular Chant.  Details:

Venue                         Pugin Hall, Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth

Time and date            6.00pm on Tuesday 7 November 2017      

In attendance             The book will be launched by Archbishop Eamon Martin, Archbishop of Armagh and Primate of All Ireland, after which the President of Saint Patrick’s College, Reverend Professor Michael Mullaney, will introduce the author Dr John O’Keeffe and this will be followed by a special concert in Maynooth College Chapel by Peadar Ó Riada and Cór Chúil Aodha in memory of Reverend Professor Pádraig Ó Fiannachta (1927 – 2016).

This book and CD launch is being hosted by Saint Patrick’s College, Maynooth, in association with Cork University Press and Maynooth University Department of Music. 


Notes for editors

Seán Ó Riada’s Mass, Ceol an Aifrinn, containing such iconic settings as Ar nAthair, Is Naofa and Ag Críost an síol, emerged at a crucial historical juncture when Irish people were, under Ó Riada’s own considerable influence, beginning to rediscover the dignity of their native musical tradition, and the Catholic Church, following Vatican II, was beginning to explore the liturgical potential of vernacular languages and cultures.  Written for the Irish-speaking community of Cúil Aodha in west Cork, it was to be the first of three Ó Riada Masses which drew on a rich oral song tradition.

John O’Keeffe’s The Masses of Seán and Peadar Ó Riada: Explorations in Vernacular Chant, published in the 50th anniversary year of the Vatican II instruction Musicam Sacram, examines in detail the contents of Ceol an Aifrinn (also approaching its 50th birthday), together with those of the composer’s Aifreann 2 (written for the Benedictines at Glenstal Abbey) and Aifreann Eoin na Croise, written by Seán’s son, Peadar Ó Riada.  The material is considered from the following perspectives: as emanating from a living culture of native traditional song; as part of a historical continuum of monophonic liturgical composition for the Roman rite; as part of a broader aesthetic context of text-music relationships found in the repertoires of plainchant, medieval song and folksong; and finally, as part of the new liturgical reality brought about by the reforms of Vatican II.

The book assesses the achievements of both composers, measuring their work against the heritage, discipline and compositional principles of western plainchant, and heralding its significance as a model for contemporary vernacular liturgical music.

For media contact: Catholic Communications Office Maynooth: Martin Long 00353 (0) 86 172 7678 and Katie Crosby 00353 (0) 86 862 3298