Press Release

For press enquiries please contact matthew.trusler@orchidclassics.com. Tel: +44 7717 663481

Dathanna: Hues and Shades

Berginald Rash, clarinet
Fiona Gryson, harp

Catalogue Number: ORC100278

Release Date: 9th Feb

Click the button above to download all album assets.

“Dathanna” takes listeners on an emotional journey—a celebration of chamber music’s vulnerability and subtle beauty. It marks not just a debut, but a deliberate exploration of timbre and tonal virtuosity within the unique combination of clarinet and harp

DATHANNA: HUES AND SHADES

Gabriel Pierné (1863-1937)
1. Canzonetta, Op.19

Louis Cahuzac (1880-1960)
2. Cantilène

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Clarinet Sonata, Op.167
3. Allegretto
4. Allegro animato
5. Lento
6. Molto allegro

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
7. Pavane pour une infante défunte
8. Pièce en Forme de Habanera

Eugène Bozza (1905-1991)
9. Aria

Erik Satie (1866-1925)
Trois Gymnopédies
10. Lent et douloureux
11. Lent et triste
12. Lent et grave

Nicholas Charles Bochsa (1789-1856)
13. Thème et Variations

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
14. Petite Pièce
15. La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin

Alamiro Giampieri (1893-1963)
16. Il Carnevale di Venezia, Capriccio variato (Carnival of Venice)

 

Berginald Rash, clarinet
Fiona Gryson, harp

We began exploring this album in late 2019 when, in 2020, we were hit by the pandemic and forced to stop all of our rehearsals and recording. As the world seemingly went silent, so did our music making. To say that this album is an evolution is an understatement. It has been a beautiful and, at times, frustrating journey that began as a dream to celebrate and revel in beauty, timbre and the sublime fusion of two distinct tonal textures and became so much more – an invocation of strength, perseverance and triumph.

Dathanna, the Irish word for ‘colour,’ centres timbral hues and shades, colours of sound, phrasing, texture and virtuosity through musical expression. We have worked to present an album of intimate chamber works that showcase these tonal elements and ideas. A part of those colour elements is the breath, choreography of the fingers, shifting pedals, creaking chairs and the feeling of being enveloped by the sound of pedal harp and clarinet. This album has been recorded with these elements in mind to present a soundscape reminiscent of the warmth and setting of 19th century salon music concerts. It is a celebration of ambience, pulchritudinous fellowship and the sharing in the vulnerability and unspoken reverence of chamber music.
An album of tonal virtuosity and curiosity, Dathanna: Hues & Shades is a foray into the tonal beauty and the unique pairing of clarinet and harp.

In loving memory of Karol Kapusćiński, Reginald Rash Sr., Francis Rash, Ramses Macomb, William Philips III, Thomas and Irene Fisher, and Jeremiah Baker.

Gabriel Pierné (1863-1937)
Canzonetta, Op.19 (1888)
Born in Metz, France on 16th August 1863, composer, conductor, organist, and pianist Henri Constant Gabriel Pierné studied at the Paris Conservatoire where he gained first prize in solfège, piano, organ, counterpoint and fugue and studied with such renowned performers and composers as, among others, Jules Massenet and César Franck, whom he succeeded as organist at Sainte-Clotilde Basilica in Paris. Notably, on 25th June 1910 in Paris at the Ballets Russes, Pierné gave the world premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s ballet, The Firebird.
Canzonetta, Op.19 dedicated to French clarinettist Charles Turban, is a lilting and effervescent ternary form single-movement duo originally written for clarinet and piano. It opens with picturesque sounds of joie de vivre that is reminiscent of youthful, balloon buoyed, carefree, siciliano imbued skipping and laughter, in both the clarinet and harp. With bubble-like arabesques in the clarinet that punctuate and juxtapose the ebbing, fluid harp lines, the ‘scherzando’ in C minor then unfolds melodically in the harp into something that gently transforms into complete and utter ‘più lento’ revelry and abandonment in A-flat minor. This foreshadows the weightier, more dazzlingly romantic rubato section that soon follows only to return to the opening siciliano skipping that gently evaporates on a whispered high, altissimo F – sounding high E-flat – in the clarinet.

Louis Cahuzac (1880-1960)
Cantilène
French clarinettist and composer Louis Jean Baptiste Cahuzac was born 12th July 1880 in Quarante in the south of France. Distinguished as one of the few clarinettists to carve out a solo career during the early part of the 20th century, Cahuzac studied clarinet with Felix Pagès in Toulouse and at the Paris Conservatoire with Cyrille Rose, whose clarinet pedagogy still reaches, teaches, and informs today. Cahuzac is celebrated for having made the first recording of Carl Nielsen’s Clarinet Concerto and for his great output of world-famous clarinet students.
The beautifully crafted Cantilène is a single-movement work in A-flat Major that employs a jubilant cantabile tune in the clarinet supported judiciously and lovingly in the harp that returns again and again, each time more insistently and more longingly. With cascading, effervescent scalar passages that seem to effortlessly roll off both the clarinettist and harpist’s fingers, this work is a masterclass in how one’s technique can serve the music. The short but determined closing of this returning theme seems a bit more serious, more austere allowing the harp to take centre stage while the clarinet lends its colour and voice to more supportive pursuits in the form of long, languid lines. The middle section in D-flat major takes on a slightly more pleading, more enraptured tone that pushes the clarinettist to greater, more impassioned technical heights that build and recede, only to build again, allowing the harpist to embody the quieter, more supportive languid lines heard earlier in the clarinet. A piece filled with moments of give and take for both our performers, Cantilène brings the listener full circle, closing with a smoothly ascending exhalation in A-flat major starting on a low, chalumeau E-flat in the clarinet that soars upward and fades to nothing.

Camille Saint-Saëns (1835-1921)
Clarinet Sonata, Op.167 (1921)
Much like Pierné who also features on this album, Saint-Saëns was a highly regarded Romantic era French composer, organist, conductor, and pianist. A child prodigy, Saint-Saëns entered the Paris Conservatoire in 1848 at the age of thirteen where he would later study composition with Fromental Halévy, a protégé of Cherubini. Saint-Saëns would later go on to serve as teacher to Gabriel Fauré and André Messager. Throughout his career, Saint-Saëns was both celebrated and greatly underrated. Berlioz once said about Saint-Saëns, “He knows everything, but lacks inexperience”. Known early in his career as a visionary with strong appreciation and enthusiasm for modern music of the day like that of Wagner, Schumann and Liszt, this propensity for the modern wouldn’t last as his classical instincts for form and tonality, a seemingly dated perspective regarding the changing milieu of modern French music in the way of expressionism and impressionism, would find him isolated, at odds with the works of Debussy and Schönberg. Saint-Saëns, a keen modernist in his youth once regarded for his expansive appreciation and thinking, now seen as the conservative musical reactionary, out of sympathy and out of fashion with the early 20th century Parisian musical scene because of his deep awareness and reverence for the great masters of the past.
The Clarinet Sonata, Op.167 is the second of Saint-Saëns’ three woodwind sonatas having also written in the same year a sonata for oboe (Op.166), and a sonata for bassoon (Op.168). These works are among his last works as part of an effort to expand the repertoire of seldom heard instruments. The music scholar, Jean Gallois regarded the clarinet sonata as Saint-Saëns’ most important work of the three, calling it “a masterpiece full of impishness, elegance and discreet lyricism”. Saint-Saëns dedicated the work to professor of clarinet at the Paris Conservatoire, Auguste Pèrier who’s known today for his comprehensive clarinet method books and études. A work in four movements, the first movement in E-flat major is divided into three sections. The opening section is a gentle, rocking lullaby in 12/8 that creates an undulating tension that ebbs and flows between the melody in the clarinet and the lilting tides of the accompanying harp waves. The B section stirs up the waves in what feels like a more powerfully tumultuous storm with spinning scales and driving, quasi percussive rhythms that subside, giving way to our opening berceuse. The second movement in A-flat major is fun, spritely and bouncing filled with whirls and spins in the clarinet and harp that belie the impending severity, weightiness and brutality of the forthcoming third movement threnody in E-flat minor. The third movement in two sections – the first marked fortissimo and the second pianissimo – are linked by a lush and improvisatory harp solo. It opens with block chords in the harp that are then mimicked in the clarinet offering an 18th century ground bass and 19th century classical appoggiaturas. The heavy, foreboding block chords break for a moment allowing the harp to offer the listener a moment of clarity and light only to then yield again to the block chords, this time at a quieter, more solemn dynamic level. Without pause or moment for breath, the fourth movement charges in, bringing us full circle in E-flat major requiring fleet technique in rapid scalar passages that leaves the listener breathless. A veritable romp, the fourth movement is an aural ouroboros that brings us back to the first movement thematic lilt that now gradually fades away into the distance, only lingering in the listener’s mind as a waning memory marked by refinement and sublime grace.

Maurice Ravel (1875-1937)
Pavane pour une infante défunte (1899)
Pièce en Forme de Habanera (1907)
French composer, pianist and conductor, Joseph Maurice Ravel was born in Ciboure in the Basque region of France on 7th March 1875 and went on to study at the Paris Conservatoire. Though not well regarded by the conservatoire’s conservative establishment, he went on to develop a compositional style that truly set him apart, incorporating elements of modernism, baroque, neoclassicism, and jazz. A master of orchestration, Ravel is renowned for the tonal colours, hues, and shades he was able to elicit from a musical score and set for orchestral instruments. His music is influenced by the work of such French composers as Couperin, Rameau, Fauré, Satie, and Debussy as well as non-French composers like Mozart, Schubert, Liszt and Chopin. Though he considered himself a classicist in many ways, during his lifetime and beyond, he, along with Debussy, came to be thought of as impressionistic composers – a label he himself rejected. Ravel celebrated melody and employed few leading tones in his musical offerings. He revelled in using chords of the ninth and eleventh and unresolved appoggiaturas, harkening back to the classical period, as well as dance forms like the bolero, pavane, habanera, and more. Fully aware of national and regional cultural importance his works are imbued with Hebraic, Greek, Hungarian and Romani themes.
Written for solo piano in 1899 while Ravel was a student under Gabriel Fauré at the Paris Conservatoire, Pavane pour une infante défunte or ‘Pavane for a Dead Princess’ is a solemn and evocative single movement dance that Ravel later orchestrated for two flutes, oboe, two clarinets, two bassoons, two horns, harp, and strings. This piece emotes a yearning and exuberance for Spanish traditions and affections, nostalgic and homeward looking. Ravel dedicated this work to his patron, the Princesse Edmond de Polignac, daughter of famous sewing machine manufacturer, Isaac Singer, and stated that the piece, despite its name was not a funeral lament but “rather an evocation of the pavane as it would be danced by an Infanta found in a Diego Velázquez painting”. Here, interpreted by clarinet and harp, this work in ternary form shimmers with colour and nuance, grace and delicacy with its long, lush lines, richly emotive chords, and delicately placed dance gestures.
Pièce en Forme de Habanera was originally composed in 1907 as a ‘Vocalise Etude en Forme de Habanera for Bass voice and piano’. Ravel, inspired by this wordless song form, used the Spanish habanera and its embodiment of the ponderous and sultry to challenge the bass voice with dizzyingly virtuosic technique. Here the clarinet and harp rise to the challenge bringing the heat and passion of the habanera to life with pluckish zeal, tenacity and sensuality that lures listeners, conjures images of the Andalucian coast, and seduces in plain sight and sound.

Eugène Bozza (1905-1991)
Aria (1936)
One of the most prolific composers of wind chamber music, Eugène Bozza was a French composer and violinist born in Nice, France on 4th April 1905. Early on, he studied violin with his father, Umberto Bozza, an Italian violinist who made his living performing in French casinos along the coast of the Mediterranean. After returning to Italy with his father, Eugène studied violin, piano, and solfège at the Accademia Nazionale di Santa Cecilia in Rome. After graduating in 1919, he returned to France where he then studied violin with Édouard Nadaud, later conducting with Henri Rabaud, and then composition with Henri Büsser all at the Paris Conservatoire and winning Premier Prix in all three areas. As a composer, Bozza’s work is said to be both accessible to the listener in its interest and melodic and tonal familiarity while being sublimely written for the instrument, providing enjoyment and a bit of a challenge to the performer.
Bozza’s Aria, originally written for alto saxophone and piano in 1936, was dedicated to French saxophonist Marcel Mule and remains one of the composer’s most performed solo works. A lyrical ‘song without words’, Aria opens unceremoniously with a gently throbbing piano pulse that gives way to the soulful, warm and profoundly romantic sound of the clarinet that shimmers in at the softest pianissimo. A work virtuosic in phrasing, breathing, and embouchure dexterity, it pushes the clarinettist to the far reaches of their musical and pulmonary capacity offering few moments of respite to breathe, regroup, and regain stamina. It is a musical tour de force in lyricism and control that is supported with suppleness and careful attention in the harp line that beats consistently and continuously despite the imperceptible and unavoidable exhaustion and strain inherent in the wind part.

Erik Satie (1866-1925)
Trois Gymnopédies (1888)
Born Eric Alfred Leslie Satie on 17th May 1866 in Normandy, French composer and pianist Erik Satie would go on to study at the Paris Conservatoire where he’d leave no lasting impression and obtain no diploma. Most famous as a composer of works for solo piano like the Gymnopédies present here and Gnossiennes, he worked as a café-cabaret pianist in Montmartre, Paris before enrolling as a mature student at Paris’ Schola Cantorum. There he found much more success due to his originality and left-of-centre compositional style that led him to create the ballet, Parade for Serge Diaghilev after a meeting with Jean Cocteau. A who’s who among creatives, this ballet featured Satie’s music with sets and costumes by Pablo Picasso. His work would go on to influence the next generation of French composers away from impressionism and inspire composers like Ravel and Poulenc, John Cage and John Adams.
A work in three movements originally for solo piano, Trois Gymnopédies was written in 1888 and reflects Satie’s compositional dispensation for simple melodies and sparse, almost minimalist textures. The title of the work comes from the French translation/transliteration of ‘gymnopaedia’, the ancient Greek word for a celebration dance where young men danced nude. Little is known about the inspiration behind the work. Some believe it came about after the reading of Gustave Flaubert’s novel Salammbô; others suggest it was inspired by a poem by J.P. Contamine de Latour; and still others look to a symbolist painting by Pierre Puvis de Chavannes as Satie’s source of inspiration for this piece. What is known is that these three short atmospheric pieces: Lent et douloureux (slow and painful) – Lent et triste (slow and sad) – Lent et grave (slow and severe), are prime examples of mood painting where the employment of deliberate but gentle dissonances sumptuously juxtapose with the harmony delivering a mournful and dreary affect that parallels the movement titles. Erroneously attributed to Satie’s constellation of ‘furniture music’, these pieces serve as harbingers, laying the foundation for today’s ambient music.

Nicholas Charles Bochsa (1789-1856)
Thème et Variation
Born 9th August 1789 in Montmédy, France Robert Nicolas-Charles Bochsa was a harpist and composer. Bochsa, arguably a child prodigy in music, could play the flute and piano by the age of seven and went on to study at the Paris Conservatoire. As a harpist he joined the Imperial Orchestra and began writing operas for the Opéra-Comique. He later became embroiled in a counterfeiting, fraud, and forgery scandal leading him to flee Paris for London. There, in London, he helped found the Royal Academy of Music in 1821 where he taught and served as its secretary. Forced to resign after his criminal past came to light, Bochsa joined the Kings Theatre as its musical director and in 1839, after yet another scandal having run off with opera singer Anna Bishop, wife of composer Henry Bishop, was appointed as director of the Regio Teatro San Carlo in Naples.
Bochsa’s Thème et Variations opens with a light, dolce and tuneful clarinet melody in B-flat major that is supported by the harp with delicately sweet palpitations that gracefully guide the melodic line through two sets of traditionally crafted four bar phrases, antecedent and consequent. Once presented, these two sections of a larger melody are repeated, this time aching for a few embellishments and even more colour, before setting off in the first variation as a harp solo. The second variation brings back the gentle pulsations in the harp and provides the clarinet a moment to indulge itself in the rapturous melody, bringing out even more of the playful romping character that the harp introduces in the first variation while concealing the darker, more autumnal feel of the Minore section in B-flat minor yet to come. Here the harp again comes to the fore this time in a quasi dirge with deliberate dotted rhythms that’s only subtly accentuated and elongated by the clarinet countermelody. From this dirge in B-flat minor Bochsa returns us to the Majore in our optimistic key of B-flat major as a noble march in the harp and fluid lines in the clarinet that celebrate the resolve and infectious gaiety of the piece. In a triumphant cadenza the clarinet signals the end of the work that winds and unwinds like a playful spool of yarn only to angelically effervesce upwards like an angel returning to its celestial roost.

Claude Debussy (1862-1918)
Petite Pièce (1910)
La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin (1909-1910)
One of the most influential composers of the late 19th and early 20th centuries and considered to be the first impressionist composer despite his healthy objection to the term, Achille Claude Debussy was born 22nd August 1862 in Saint-Germain-en-Laye located in the north-west part of Paris. At the age of ten Debussy was admitted to the Paris Conservatoire where he originally studied piano but discovered a fondness and curiosity for composition. Over some twenty plus years, Debussy would develop his innovative compositional style, allowing it to mature before reaching international acclaim in 1902 with his only opera Pelléas et Mélisande. In much the same way as Satie’s work serves as a counterbalance to Wagner’s, Debussy’s work can be seen as a reaction against Wagner and the prevailing Germanic musical tradition. He believed the classical symphony in its structure and form had outlived its purpose and was indeed obsolete and searched for new, alternative options in his symphonic works like La mer. Debussy was greatly influenced by the symbolist poetic movement of the late 19th century and wrote ‘mélodies’ based on various poems, including his own poetry. By drawing from Russian and Eastern musics as well as works by Chopin, Debussy was able to develop his own, unique approach to harmony, counterpoint, orchestration and the use of the orchestra as a painter’s palette, all of which was ill regarded and resisted, though unsuccessfully, by much of the musical establishment of the period. An inspiration to many other composers, Debussy’s work would go on to influence and live on in the musical outputs of such composers as Bartók and Messiaen.
Initially given the lugubrious and ponderous title of ‘Morceau à déchiffrer pour le concours de clarinette de 1910,’ Petite Pièce is a short, two-minute work – charming in its simplicity – whose writing style for both the clarinet and here the harp embraces key attributes of jazz. The piece opens with the clarinet playing a formally written swung, lilting rhythm, delicate and precise that, under the right conditions, communicates sensuality and subtle, jazz inflection that continues along taking all of the technical pitfalls and challenges of the instrument in steady stride – smooth, graceful and nonchalant. The harp in its supportive manner lays down richly colourful and demonstratively Debussian tones that are evocative of the blues and brings the listener from the daylight of the swung clarinet lilt to the cool, dank, and nocturnal den of the blues hall. The two voices momentarily join forces in a combined effort to subdue and intoxicate the listener only to part ways, returning to their opening dichotomies, offering the choice to follow the swaying, sultry groove of the clarinet or the swanky, imbibing cadence of the harp.
La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin or ‘Girl with the Flaxen Hair’ is the eighth piece from Debussy’s first book of Préludes for solo piano written between the latter part of 1909 and early 1910. Inspired by Leconte de Lisle’s poem of the same name, it is regarded for its departure from Debussy’s style at the time and its musical simplicity. Throughout Western art history the image of the girl with golden hair has symbolised innocence and naivety and this has led scholars to believe that Debussy chose to mirror these conjured associations in the prelude’s simplicity, specifically the harmonic and technical aspects when played on the piano which harken back to writing found in his earlier, more traditional works. However, this recording reimagines this simplicity and finds virtuosity in the simple and sublime, where the harp must delicately paint a texture beholden to innocence and naivety – pedals and all – and the clarinet, offer careful and exquisitely executed lines that test one’s command of legato and the breath.

Alamiro Giampieri (1893-1963)
Il Carnevale di Venezia, Capriccio variato (Carnival of Venice)
Italian clarinettist and composer, Alamiro Giampieri was born in 1893 in Tuscany, Italy. Little is known about the composer. What remains is his legacy of method books and studies for various woodwind instruments including bassoon, clarinet, oboe and saxophone that challenge the performer to embrace technical proficiency and virtuosity.
Il Carnevale di Venezia or ‘The Carnival of Venice’, first published in 1848, borrows the same Italian folk songs made popular by Niccolò Paginini in his early 19th century variations and sets them in a fantasia style that was du jour. At the height of the period Italian composers, like Luigi Bassi, Ernesto Cavallini – both of whom served as principal clarinet of Milan’s La Scala opera – Gioacchino Rossini, and Paginini, would take the arias from well-known operas and create vastly romantic and technically virtuosic fantasy pieces that invoked and utilised improvisation and spontaneity to recreate the excitement of the operatic work at home and highlight the technical and musical command of the performer. With opera being the height of popular music, these fantasias would often employ theme and variation as a way to establish the popular operatic melody and, through the variations, extemporise colourfully emotive, grandiose, and ornate musical pageantry. Here we can hear the frivolity, pomp, and jocularity of this 16th century Venetian Carnival, full of disguise and deception, the nobility masquerading as commoners and feteing for ten days in lavish balls and exaggerated parades. Originally written for clarinet in B-flat and piano, Il Carnevale di Venezia is a theme and variation that features no less than four variations and a fiery finale that ends in a whirling blitz of scales and arpeggios that feverishly and acrobatically run, from the lowest chalumeau up to the brilliantly high altissimo, the full and vast range of the clarinet’s limpid vocal tessitura, reminiscent, nay indicative of the great bel canto arias for coloratura soprano.

Berginald Rash, ed. Fiona Gryson and Fionnuala Gryson

 

 

“Dathanna: Hues and Shades” is the debut album from clarinetist Berginald Rash and harpist Fiona Gryson, offering late romantic and fin-de-siècle character pieces in a unique chamber setting.

Created amidst the challenges of the pandemic, this album reflects a journey of resilience and artistic exploration. It began as a dream to celebrate blends of tonal textures and evolved into a testament of strength and endurance.

The music is an intimate portrayal of tonal elements and musical expression, capturing subtle nuances, finger movements, and ambient sounds to create an atmosphere reminiscent of 19th-century salon concerts.

“Dathanna” takes listeners on an emotional journey—a celebration of chamber music’s vulnerability and subtle beauty. It marks not just a debut, but a deliberate exploration of timbre and tonal virtuosity within the unique combination of clarinet and harp.

Rash and Gryson delve into intricate tonal hues, inviting audiences to appreciate the vibrancy and depth of these much loved compositions through a fresh and intimate lens.

Dathanna

Founded in 2016 by harpist Fiona Gryson (www.fionagryson.ie) and clarinettist Berginald Rash (www.berginaldrash.com), Ireland-based Dathanna is a clarinet and harp duo forged in friendship, mutual respect and joyful musical collaborations that highlights the timbral beauty, emotive expressiveness, and unique pairing of the harp and clarinet. Both Fiona and Berginald are celebrated concert artists nationally and internationally with a wide repertoire and long history of musical success. Together, the duo has performed at the Hugh Lane ‘Sundays @ Noon’ concert series, NearTV FM, Kaleidoscope Night music series, Cornstown House ‘Music on the Farm’ concert series, the Boyne Music Festival, the Mayo Dark Sky Festival as well as the Tara Summer Festival.

 

Fiona Gryson
Harp

Award-winning harpist, Fiona Gryson enjoys a varied career as a professional, freelance harpist and teacher. She is in demand as a teacher of both Irish lever harp and concert pedal harp, running a private harp studio in Co. Dublin. A thoughtful and consummate curator, Fiona is music director of the Cornstown House ‘Music on the Farm’ concert series, a member of the Advisory Group for Cruit Éireann | Harp Ireland, director of the Fingal Harp Ensemble and co-director of the TU Dublin Conservatoire Harp Ensemble with Rachel Duffy and Clíona Doris. Alongside Rachel Duffy, Fiona was delighted to co-direct Cairde na Cruite’s An Chúirt Chruitireachta International Harp Festival 2023 which took place for its 38th year at An Grianán, Termonfeckin, Co. Louth, Ireland in June 2023.

Having been awarded a Government of Ireland Postgraduate Scholarship funded by the Irish Research Council, Fiona is currently pursuing PhD research in harp pedagogy in Ireland with Prof. Clíona Doris and Dr. Helen Lawlor. Her work has been presented at SMI and ICTM-IE Postgraduate Conferences and at TU Dublin Research Symposiums. She completed postgraduate harp studies in Italy at the Civica Scuola di Musica Claudio Abbado, Milan with Irina Zingg and graduated with a Master Degree in Music Performance from the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama with Denise Kelly-McDonnell, having previously graduated with a First Class Honours BMus degree in Performance and Pedagogy. Fiona is an active orchestral and chamber musician and has performed as principal harpist with all of Ireland’s major orchestras including the National Symphony Orchestra, the RTÉ Concert Orchestra, The Irish Chamber Orchestra, Lyric Orchestra and the Ulster Orchestra. She has also performed with members of the ConTempo and Vanbrugh Quartets.

Fiona enjoys going for walks with her Jack Russell, Lucy, and working on the family farm where the focus is on biodiversity, sustainability and restoring the balance of nature.

 

Berginald Rash
Clarinet

Hailed for his ‘especially stylish’ playing (The Guardian), Berginald Rash is a critically acclaimed Dublin-based American-Irish clarinettist, who received a Recital Artist Diploma from the Royal Irish Academy of Music where he was an 1848 Scholar and Teaching Fellow. He has performed with such orchestras as the National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland, the Virginia Symphony, Ulster Orchestra and Orchestra of the Swan; has been heard on BBC Radio 3’s In Tune with Sean Rafferty and performed at the BBC Proms, Lucerne Music Festival, Snape Maltings Proms, and Gent Music Festival. Berginald has collaborated with members of such orchestras as London’s Philharmonia Orchestra, Nashville Symphony Orchestra, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Frankfurt hr-Sinfonieorchester, BBC Scottish Symphony, Atlanta Symphony and with the ConTempo Quartet. He is a Devon & Burgani Artist on the Fluency series, has been featured on the cover of the International Clarinet Association’s September 2020 publication of The Clarinet, is a TEDx speaker, has been a reviewer for BBC Radio 3’s Record Review, a presenter on BBC Radio 3’s Inside Music, presented a three-part docu-series on BBC Radio 3 entitled “The American Clarinet”, and a contributor on BBC Radio 4’s How to Play. He has been featured as a performer on RTÉ lyric FM’s Full Score with Liz Nolan and in October 2022 served as the voice of RTÉ lyric FM’s Black History Month.
Berginald has been awarded both the Arts Council of Ireland’s 2020 and 2022 Music Bursary, and has been featured on the European Association of Conservatoires’ (AEC) Strengthening Music in Society podcast series. A versatile and skilled pedagogue and clinician, he has served on the PRIZM Music Camp & International Chamber Music Festival faculty and has guest lectured and/or given masterclasses at such institutions as Truman State University, University of Kansas, University of Wisconsin- Stevens Point, Millikin University and Vanderbilt University. In 2022, Berginald joined the Board of Trustees for Chamber Music Scotland, the Board of Directors for Crash Ensemble, and the faculty of the Los Angeles Philharmonic’s YOLA National Institute.

Fiona would like to thank her parents, Fionnuala and Dominic Gryson, siblings Diarmuid, Róisín and Oisín Gryson, the Somerville family, and all her supportive friends and community. Thanks also to her wonderful harp teachers and mentors, Dearbhail Finnegan, Emer Kenny, Denise Kelly-McDonnell, Irina Zingg and Clíona Doris.
Berginald would like to thank his mother, Bertha Church-Reeves and sister, Starshema Rash, his niece Stariyana Patterson, and father and stepmother, Reginald and Deborah Rash. A huge thank you to all of his supportive friends and family near and far with a special thank you to Elena Urioste, Devon & Burgani and his first clarinet teacher, F. Edward Knakal.
Thank you to An Chomhairle Ealaíon | Arts Council of Ireland for funding to support the visual components of this album.
Berginald dedicates Debussy’s Pavane pour une infante defunte to his niece, Stariyana Latazia-Lynn Patterson, who was senselessly murdered 17th May 2022, ten days before her 21st birthday. A lover of music and a clarinet player herself, she is loved and missed every day from now until eternity.

 

Click the button above to download all album assets.