Volume 7 of the Composers of Ireland series funded by RTÉ and the Arts Council. Stephen Gardner joins John Kinsella, Gerald Barry, Raymond Deane, Seóirse Bodley, Deirdre Gribbin and Ian Wilson on this landmark project promoting the orchestral works of Irish composers.
The Irish Times described Never...Never...Never..., the opening work on Stephen Gardner: Hallelujah as “... a colossal work. The music's staggeringly relentless rhetoric still packs a fearsome punch.” This phrase points clearly to the way Gardner’s music has always resonated beyond the concert halls, whether the original influence for the work is from the political sphere, or something purely personal. The title Never...Never...Never... comes from a speech Paisley made against the Anglo-Irish Agreement of 1985.
The second work on the CD Lament is both tender and anguished, and was written in response to the death of Gardner’s niece. The image on the cover Stephen Gardner: Hallelujah echoes the motivation for the title track which he composed in response to the invasion of Iraq in 2003. It is a detail from Simon Norfolk's photograph The ministry of planning, Baghdad and its use ironically juxtaposes the brutality of war with the allusion to God in the title Hallelujah.
Stephen Gardner: Hallelujah