Frank Corcoran

irish composer

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Hot June horse-manure

Binds human flesh with humus

Too tired to die ?


Hot June moon, moan.

Sappho´s thighs dancing like that ?

Steps hot, music light.


Skellig Rock´s weak monks

Saw God in their rheumatism

Please, my God, no more.


Noble Saint Kevin,

His arms outstretched and praying,

Felt no thing, no God



Strange indeed.

This icy wind ( ” Tramontana ” ) blows straight across our lake from the  snowy Apenines; it´s whining storm-force. It chills the bone, though the  April sun is warm ( where there´s shelter ) . Here on the West Bank, medieval Gradoli, enormous waves are whipped cold. Never saw the likes of it. As soon as the Tramontana stops blowing and freezing us, we´ll be baked, of course.

Tweaking my texts for my new work, ” MY ALTO RHAPSODIES”. Must contain sharp, arresting pictures plus soaring syllables and high rapture,

quillspilling, windhoverish. Over the top. Like this Tramontana. It will.

Frank Corcoran at 70 Frank Corcoran at 70 To celebrate Irish composer Frank Corcoran’s 70th birthday in 2014 CMC is producing a short portrait film on the composer. The film, The Light Gleams: a portrait of Frank Corcoran, is directed by filmmaker Mark Linnane and features concert footage and interviews with Corcoran on his life and music recorded earlier this year. The film will be screened as part of Concorde’s 70th birthday tribute to Frank Corcoran, which takes place at the ensemble’s Up Close with Music event at the RHA Gallery, Dublin on 27 April from 2.30–4.30pm. The concerts also includes the Irish premiere of Corcoran’s work for solo bass clarinet, A Dark Song, as well as new works by Rhona Clarke and Marie Hanlon, Judith Ring, and Ed Bennett.

I WILL REVISE MY OWN TEXTS TO ” My Alto Rhapsodies “


Yes, it gets harder. All the time. eg.

For the new ” ALL MY RHAPSODIES “   for Alto and ( Brahms ) Orchestra :


1.  I  will use my own five Corcoran texts. ( See below )


2.  I will watch Brahms´s tessituras ;  eg. he approaches a top of E flat / E    by a composer´s stealth.  – The low Brahms limit is around A or A Flat But  I´ll need a dark, erotico, rough-pressed approach to her absolutely lowest F.  ( ” Well, is this , then, death ? “  )
How ?

Frank Corcoran Texts – for new ALTO RHAPSODY :

1.  “  Alto Rhapsody    /   High, pure, soaring , searing line    /    My orchestra snores.  ”

2.  “  For the womb the seed sighs  /   Thresh and turn and disappear  /  The high silence drowned….  ”

3.    ( – Thus I translated my beloved 1778  Tipperary folksong  ” The Prison Of Clonmel ”   /   ” Priosún Cluain Meala”   – a stupendous,  Mahlerian / ” quasi militare ”   vignette, to be repeated four times by my Contralto and Orchstra , each time  with my rhythms,  colours,
orchestration, etc.  a little changed….  )

“  One short year ago /  I strutted to Ardpatrick  /  To put lace on my bonnet  / /     Next Friday evening  / they´ll shove my head on a pike /  It will be snowing  on my soul…  ”

4.  “    Suppose God is light ?  /   My eye tries to see itself  /   Soft horns , clarinets.

5. “    Whisper, whisper  ” tramonto “  /     Tiptoes through my dark window .  /  Well, is this, then, death  ?


What is history ? What is Papal history ?  e.g.  does a stop-the-traffic-and-ALL-other-visitors to these Viterbo Bagni ( Terme dei Papi  Papal visit of a Culo Papale in eg. Dante´s time or even today ( yes, it still happens )  constitute history ?

History of the particular Culo Papale ? Of its Pope? Of his entourage ? Of his times and pomps and fears ?  Of theirs ? Whose Cosmic Indifference ( I intend these capitals )  can help our historian here ? Sulphur , noble and healing friend of all our culi, of our scabies and our soul´s gout and skin´s rabies and scurvy worse , was misused, apparently,  by John Milton and Co.  ( the Jahwist ? From which King James´s ” brimstone “, then ? ) to hot up our hots and to lave our sodomies and our Papal differences and superbic self-lacerations  for all of, ahem, recorded time ; I pondered as I raised my own humble(d) culo out of  these hot and healing and laving  waters of our Thermal Culo Bath.

Maybe it now helps me to compose my newest  ALTO RHAPSODY, that chalumeau – Brahmsian , superb and flowing line, my ( Brahmsian ) orchestral chording and voice-accompanying , a melting Satz. Singing the High Song. Ecstasy pure.


April 27 2014


Dublin Royal Hibernian Academy   14.30  to  16.30


Concorde Concert  including Irish Premiere of Frank Corcoran´s  ” A  DARK  SONG “  for  Solo Bassclarinet  ( Paul Roe )  and  – for  Frank´s

Seventieth Birthday -  the first screening of C.M.C.´s  commissioned  Frank Corcoran film  (  Mark  Linnane  )

Apparently ….

2015  An Bhliain Nua  2015.  13ú Márta.

Dublin Premiere of Frank Corcoran´s stunning new CELLO CONCERTO

( NSO  /  great soloist Martin Johnson´s resined cellow bow. Molto.  )

Until I´d hatched and birthed the 2012 VIOLIN CONCERTO , I wasn´t ready to attempt these 4 mighty movements, my solo cello line as both singing song / weaving scéal/ soaring ecstasy, pitted against.

Yes, I, this composer, am also pitted against mighty Dvoak and  incomparable Lutoslawsky. I´ll do it.


This Hamburg sky is mixed today, blue plus clouds. The sermonizer´s now at his old game of how´ll I trap excellence, whether thought or sounded.

Hmmm. Between the thought and the act falls the shadow. ( “This Sunday will never again come back ” etc, ) I may call it bathos or pathos, it depends. What texts then for a projected Alto Rhapsody ? Far in the future, yes, but  what seamless text ?  On this Sunday, well, I as yet don´t know; the soaring words must soar as the alto voice soars, deep-throat, middle and occasional upper range.How´ll the orchestra help or hinder ?

I don´t quite yet know that either. But I will.