Maynooth’s Creation

As it was foretold, this afternoon to the College Chapel at Maynooth, which looks like this inside:

This was in fact the first time I’ve set foot inside the Chapel. The occasion was the annual Spring Concert by Maynooth University Choral Society, accompanied by the Irish Choral Sinfonia, in a performance of Haydn’s great oratorio The Creation.

It’s worth mentioning that Haydn started preparing to write his Creation in 1796, which is just a year after St Patrick’s College in Maynooth was established (as the National Seminary of Ireland). This work was therefore was a good choice for the year in which the College celebrates the 225th year of its own creation.

Although the College Chapel is quite large it provided a very intimate setting for this great masterpiece (in that the audience was very close to the musicians and singers) and provided a very distinctive acoustic. Curiously, this was the first time I had heard this work performed in English.

The solo vocalists – Claudia Boyle (soprano), Andrew Gavin (tenor) and Simon Morgan (bass) – were all excellent, as were the choir and orchestra. All in all it was a hugely enjoyable experience, even if the wooden seats were a bit unforgiving!

After the performance there was a Buffet Supper in Pugin Hall, which I had assumed would just be sandwiches but which turned out to be a very nice meal with wine at which I got chatting to some very friendly people. Admission to the event was by invitation only, but the guest list was not restricted to folk from Maynooth University.

As the token astrophysicist present a few people asked me what was shown in the picture on the cover of the programme. Not being a proper astronomer I didn’t know but I am reliably informed that it is the Eagle Nebula (M16), though it is reversed left to right which I claim as an excuse for not recognising it…

One Response to “Maynooth’s Creation”

  1. “though it is reversed left to right which I claim as an excuse for not recognising it”

    Whether or not it is reversed depends on the telescope design. 🙂

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