The Irish knew how to write a song, and Mr. Grainter knew how to set it for Orchestra.
It is absolutely beautiful. The use of solo strings and bras is striking. The interplay between discrete sections of the orchestra are amazing, and pack such an emotional punch!
It is 3:30 of listening bliss. Nothing really challenging about this piece. Besides the fact that there is no way that I would be able to score something this well, there is nothing particularly challenging about listening to it. It is not trying to make a bold statement about huge ideas, or trying to thrill its audience with its size. It is simply trying to tell a beautiful story as simply and as straight forward as it deserves. There is nothing dishonest or deceiving about the way Grainger put this together. It is true, simple, and elegant in its honesty.