Frank Corcoran

irish composer

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INCONTRI EUROPEI CON LA MUSICA

I was there. As it happened in Bergamo.
It was my 1994 ICE-ETCHINGS NR. 1 for, as it happened to happen, 9 wind-instruments. Later, I will release THAT letter which will tell all….

FOUR CONCERTINI OF ICE ( 1993 ) , being a predecessor , was subtly different. For the Düsseldorfer Sinfoniker, Cond. Mark-Andreas Schlingensiepen, I had to grapple,as it happened ( – it happened ! ) with the weighing-in of his following : Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn, Violin, Violin, Violoncello, Double-bass, Percussion. See ? ( – Whereas my newest, sweetest ” QUASI UNA SARABANDA” ( 2009 . 11´. ) for the Swiss Ensemble ” Antipodes” is, yes, a dream : Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon , String Quintet.

2009 will also see the birth of my new ” Quasi Un Preludio” for Solo Violin ; also, I announce it here, of my “Quasi Una Sarabanda” ( – see above ) , but , then, also of hotly baked VIOLIN CONCERTO Nr. 1. for Orchestra and Solo Violin.

HÖRPROBEN – neue CDs 3. 3. 2000 / Michael Trapp WDR 3

WDR 3 Hörproben 3.3.2000

Frank Corcoran´s Sinfonien Nr. 2,3 und 4. National Symphony Orchestra of Ireland / Colman Pearce
Marco Polo 8.225107 ( LC 9158 )

includes Frank Corcoran´s : ” Ich kam erst spät zur Kunstmusik. Die Klanglandschaft meiner Kindheit lebt weiter in mir…. ” Also: ” Der Komponist, geboren 1944 im County Tipperary, ist ein sehr gebildeter Mann… And, as they say, so on.

CORCORAN : Families of this name may, I dare say, be descended either from the ´O Corcráin sept whose homeland was around Lough Erne in Co. Fermanagh, or the Mac Corcráin sept which belonged to Co. Offaly. I see also Corkerry, Corkery, ´O Corcra, Corcair, Composer etc.

Yep, it was Lothar Zagrosek who conducted the O.R.F.Symphony Orchestra ( Premiere : 10 November 1981 . Vienna ) in my Symphony Nr. 1 , ” SYMPHONIES OF SYMPHONIES OF WIND INSTRUMENTS”.

Hear, altogether other: NDR, WDR, HS, Radio Bremen, SFB, BR, ORF, RTE, BBC, CONCERTZENDER,
LYRIC FM, RTE, DLRBerlin, RAI TRE, RIAS, ORF, Croatian, National Public Radio USA, CDC, Spanish Radio, Belgian etc. etc.

NEWS GOOD GOOD NEWS

February 9 2009 Czech Radio : Frank Corcoran ” Quasi Una Missa” ( WDR commission 1999 , it won
the Swedish EMS Prize 2004 ) and ” Sweeney´s Vision” ( WDR commission 1997,
it won the Bourges Festival premier prix 1999 ) .

February 22. NDR Choir and Ms. I. Psarewa : Frank Corcoran´s ” 9 Aspects Of An Irish Poem”
for Large Choir and Violin Solo .

Frank Corcoran was a member of the International Composers´ Jury Valentino Bucchi Prize, Rome, the Composition , Citta`di Trieste ( several times ) and also of the 2005 World Music Days / ISCM
hosted by CANTUS , Zagreb, Croatia.

INTERNATIONAL HAIKU

In the October 2008 World Haiku Review Vol. 6, Issue 4, this, my little Pratoleva pearl miniature,

was awarded an ” Honourable Mention”:

Season of mellow

Yellow fruit; ripeness is all

Too tired to die

( Frank Corcoran 2008 )

SUMER IS ICUMEN IN

The Swiss octet , “Antipodes”, with Egidius Streiffzug , violin, will premiere my new ” QUASI UNA
SARABANDA” for Clarinet, Horn, Bassoon and String Quintet ( 2007 ) on June 19 – 21 in Bern, Zürich and Basle.

HUMBLE DECEMBER HAIKUS FROM HUMBLE HAMBURG ! RECITE OUT LOUD !

1. Great gusts of air-stream

Roughly unravel my sleeve

A last butterfly

2. My young love, Buddha,

Came to softly sleeping me

And our sap rising

3. Issa and Buddha

Were lovers; – Lawd how they did

Swoon under a pine

4. It yaws and weaves and

Tacks now in the yellow air

My last butterfly

5. ” Who has ever seen

A poem lovely as this ?

-Our Spring pine-Buddha?

6. Soon it´ll be Easter ?

The speckled bean and pine

Burst, pulse and become

7. How tall young, new pines !

His Next Coming will be thus:

Thrusting. Up. Higher.

8 Does our Buddha pine ?

For Spring´s budding pine-trees´cones ?

Come Her / His Kingdom !

9. Fair daffodils ! He

Weeps not to see fine-hued ye!

Churn-butter yellow!

SUNLIT 2009 IS JUST AROUND THE SNOWY CORNER

On February 22 2009 the North German Radio Choir under its new Chief Conductor, Philip Ahmann, will give the German premiere of Frank Corcoran´s

QUASI 9 ASPECTS OF AN IRISH POEM ( Gabriel Rosenstock ) for Solo Violin and Large Choir.

Nine times I set this little 3 -liner poem in Irish ( 1982 Migmars ed. ) which is as perfect as a 17th. c. Japanese Haiku. ( Basho “composed” his ” Winterreise” in almost Early-Irish nature-lyrics ).
“As tobar duaigh spéire / Líonann crain / A nguth. ”
My earliest Tipperary musical remembrance is of the ballad-singer, Paddy Reddan, bellowing his songs at the weekly fair-day, now long gone, in Borrisokane. Even as a child I mused over that age-old problem, what came first ? The music or the words ? Rosenstock´s poised poem both means and does not quite mean: ” From the ink-will of the sky / Trees / Fill their beaks!” Nine times I set it, I compose nine choral settings of my poet-friend´s elegant brevity; these are nine attempts to paint the vowel-colours of his gossamer syllabic construction, the solo and choral ” A” and ” As” and “Tob-” and ” -Ar”, etc. My solo violin´s prelude and interludes bow, pluck , become the choir´s colour-tones.

NOVEMBER HAS GONE TO WHERE NOW ?

How , Lawny, will I handle the “I” of this once summerly Musing ? I am afraid the play´s the thing, the confessional stool, the stool straining . To play, to weep, yes, but a tad too personal, too weepy?
Suppose that I, sorry, just suppose that ” I ” attack that World Haiku Formula Nr. B25 which states that God plus the World are utterable, are controllable, within five, then seven, then again five syllables .
Consider this Haiku, my example one:
” The silver viper / Craves my ferritinous blood / Poison to poison.”

– Whoah ! Attic, lads, it´s a very beaut !
Still, I worry about that ” I ” , as in the above: ” I am afraid the play´s the thing. ”
We will play it anyway , even if that ” I ” doesn´t want the burden of a capital letter plus twinkling inverted commas. What do ” I ” say to all this? Apparently Pythagoras and lots of other Greeks were shoving quite other tones around long before ” five-plus-seven-then-five-again”. Consider next my next Haiku:

” Not enough Sake / This baby-monkey will die / See its dead mushroom! ”

Here the ” I ” with its twin inverted commas is simply claiming that a taoscán of Sake never did any mortal creature any mortal harm, neither mortal baby-monkey – obviously still alive – nor this now dead mushroom. The aforesaid taoscán of Sake might even have enriched the accordeon-music of I, then of ” I ” and then of MY ” I ” ( -But watch all tricky sentences such as : I will in my “I” ! ) .
The three-liner corsets Corcoran doubtful Reflexivity Theorem: I = ” I ” . Where there is peace there will also have to be the seven-syllabled line in the middle; the final five is then the capstone of our syllable-edifice.
Or maybe “you” see it different ? Well, I” certainly don´t.( We´ve moved on now to Corcoran´s Doubtful Arithmetic: if I plus me = us , then ” I ” plus ” I ” = “Us”. Soon you and I and “I” and “you” will have made clumsy trouble for all our inverted commas, all once innocent pronouns . Do “you” see that ? )

Is the following an improvement? -Does it face the music of reflexivity out of which we weave? eg.

” That monkey´s sake / Would yet waken a dead snake / Near this poisoned child. ”

Or would this one ?

” Give no child sake! / It´s poison´s more potent than / A viper´s tongued hiss. ”

Or:

” Sake for the child/ Bitten by that viper´s tooth / No more he´ll hear us!”

Also consider this last one:

“If I could be “I” , / The Sake firmly re-corked, / “I´d” face “my” music”.

November 27. 2008

PIANO TRIO . It was thirty years ago, my break-through year. I wrote that opening page for piano solo with bleeding fingers; it had to re-invent rhythm, to fight against 0ur Western tyranny of the period. I succeeded. Then comes the cello with its own tempo , gestures and persona. The violin is a different actor again. I had invented – for me – macrocounterpoint, no longer note against note, but layer or musical flow against layer or flow. ( I don´t necessarily ” like” the sound of the classical piano trio, the two strings having to compromise with the tempered tuning of their a powerful piano – only with this hard-won freedom of MY layered approach could I , I felt, accept the sonorities of this deeply compromised mini-orchestra ). Out of the boiling miasma erupted bits of that Brahms theme. Yet, before it takes over too powerfully, it´s gone again- quasi una visione . This early work of mine I love for its poised layers and polytemporal richness of sonorities and gestures and lines.

QUASI UNA MISSA , after ” Balthazar´s Dream ( Berlin 1980 ) and the Bourgs Festival Premier Prix-winning ” Sweeney´s Vision” ( West German Radio commission of 1997 ) , was my third electro-acoustic composition ( Commissioned by West German Radio 1999. It won the 2002 Swedish E.M.S. Prize ) . Like all my ” quasi- ” works of the late nineties and since, it is a composition of this composer who is musically no longer innocent; I know – sadly – too much world-music, too much music of our Western polyphonic tradition.
I wanted to use – for my four movements – ( – but they´re only ” Quasi” KYRIE, GLORIA – CREDO , SANCTUS, AGNUS DEI ! ) as my building-blocks two thousand years of Irish God-utterances from our Irish island , bits of texts from the Celtic god, Aimhirgín, up through Eriugena and Mac Giolla Bríde and Berkeley to Beckett and Joyce and God-only-knows what else, an Irish stew of Irish theology, a musical archaeology of 2000 yeras of religious tradition. My ” KYRIE” ( – abbreviated commas, please ! ) is my homage to Palestrina and to our Western chanted counterpoint, as my sacred syllables fugue towards magic ” Amen!” St. Patrick beats with bony wrist St. Patrick´s Bell. Quasi- GLORIA has the Wake´s Thunder-word and Glendalough bird-song ( – yes, authentic recordings ! Here , fetishism is all ! ) and a total theophantic eruption, Bronze Age Irish horns from the National Museum, halo and awe.
My Quasi- SANCTUS cooks a heady mix of 20th. c. God-statements plus 7th. c. St. Columbanus´s Latin ” Heia! ” – Chorus , his monks rowing backwards up the mighty Rhine from Cologne ( beside whose great Gothic cathedral I mixed my music ) .
Quasi- AGNUS DEI sums up : Irish sorrow, joy, the nunc stans, lullaby and dance and Aran Island keening old women , port- a-bh̩il , in short my Irish Circus ( РCiao ! John Cage ! No ! ! ! ) Quasi.

QUASI UNA PERLA is just that, my newly honed pearl 2008 for double-bass and piano, for that unique Basso Moderno
combination, Allan von Schenkel and his Kerstin in Washington. Three minutes . Fully packed fun and tragedy and yell and scream and prayer and vision, the whole lot; it flashes by in only three minutes. Allan and Kerstin have just played for the Pope at the United Nations plus a thousand other concerts in the Eastern States of the U.S. They have awakened many composers from South and North America to this, their rare combination ( – again, it is a mini-orchestra ! ) of piano and bass – with Allan´s unique tuning , all strings a fourth higher , capturing a totally new world of sonic possibilities.

November 15. 2008

N.D.R. Kultur broadcasts my Radiophonic Analysis of Beethoven´s Seventh Symphony.

” ” my Irische Mikrokosmoi for String Orchestra.

” ” my Second Symphony for Large Orchestra.