NPR names Grá agus Bás one of its Top 50 Albums of 2011

Tuesday 6th December, 2011

News excerpt from

NPR Music has published the list of its 50 Favorite Albums of 2011 and included among them is Donnacha Dennehy's Nonesuch debut album, Grá agus Bás. The varied list of the year's favorites features "the albums that opened our ears to something new," says NPR, "ones that we enjoyed from beginning to end, ones that challenged us, ones we fought over and treasured quietly. Most of all, they’re the albums that made us hand our headphones over a cubicle wall and say, 'You have to listen to this.'

”Dennehy's album Grá agus Bás includes the title piece, which was inspired by sean-nós "old style" Irish vocal music, as well as the composer’s song cycle 'That the Night Come', comprising six settings of poems by W.B. Yeats. The Dublin–based Crash Ensemble performs both works, with Irish singer Iarla O’Lionáird as the soloist for 'Grá agus Bás' and Dawn Upshaw on 'That the Night Come'.

"Dennehy infuses hallowed Irish texts, from the esoteric sean-nós vocal tradition to the plaintive poetry of fellow countryman W.B. Yeats, with a shimmering and kaleidoscopic array of minimalist colorations," writes Alex Ambrose of Q2 Music, the online new-music wing of New York's classical station WQXR.

"The result, masterfully performed by Crash Ensemble under Alan Pierson and featuring vocalists Iarla Ó Lionáird and Dawn Upshaw,is a compelling, meditative walk through time and terrain. It studies an Ireland rooted in reverence for its past, but which also brims with curiosity for its future."Read more and hear the album track 'That the Night Come': The Old Men Admiring Themselves in the Water at

Grá agus Bás is available to buy from our store at €15.00

You can download the full list of NPR's Top 50 Albums 2011 here!