Frank Corcoran

irish composer

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Apparently scribbling is all. Write about the work ( performing it is obviously one better…  ) and its psychogenesis and its nemesis and all. To pretend I understand where it is coming from, a sigh in the piccolos or a chorale for muted horns , an all-present four tone motif in the “Jupiter” Symphony, such lip. Be not above the occasional Haiku. No, I know I can’t explain everything ( anything ? )  but there is a pleasure in the attempting, too. Quod scripsi has the habit of remaining.

About the Third String Quartet I expatiated:  ”  Mine is a kind of musical stream-of-consciousness, referring and feinting and discharging all the elements of Fast / Slow/ Violent / Lyrical/ Dense/ Thin/ Stringiness of Filigran.  “


Watch this space also for the new Cello Concerto. I will writhe in good time for the March 2015  Dublin Premiere  ( March 13. National Symphony Orchestra / Kenneth Montgomery / Soloist: Martin Johnson. 2014. ca. 30′. )

I will also write for the Spring 2015 launch of my choral Eight Haikus ( 2013 First Prize I.F.C.M. ) .


25.01.2014   Frank Corcoran “hears”  Brahms’ Violin Concerto . (In der Kleinen Schule des musikalischen Hoerens ) . Then also Frank Corcoran’s  Violin Concerto ( 2012  National Irish Symphony Orchestra / Alan Smale / Christopher Warren-Green )

20.09.2014   Frank Corcoran ” hears”  Dvorak’s  “Aus Der Neuen Welt”  analytically.   (  Ditto  ditto  )

21.06.2014   Frank Corcoran  “hears”  Strauss ” Till Eulenspiegel ”  ( Ditto  ditto )  . Then also Frank Corcoran’s “Symphonies Of Symphonies Of Wind.    ( 1981  ORF – Sinfonieorchester  /  Lothar Zagrosek  )


watch here also for Frank Corcoran on NDR 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010 etc.


Don’t Give Up Now !

I preach softly to myself. Tread softly. The mind has mountains. Don’t let the fire out. In spite of ignoramuses, eejits or thollabawns. Do not weaken. Lick the imaginative faculties. Si monumentum quaeris, is it that ? ” Against the filthy tide ” . Of fifthraters, dirty waters running deep, the sonic rubbish, no school for eager ears, musical zero. Zounds! Irish, how are you. Bless the post-colonial and then plod on. It’s a long road to the dawn, to the tramonto and all, the flickering flame. Good work, continue ! Over that rainbow. Now ! At full belt. Some day angels and idiots.


Yes, click on                 for  Frank Corcoran in:

DIFFERENT VOICES :  IRISH MUSIC AND MUSIC IN IRELAND   (  ed-  Ben Dwyer .  Wolke Verlag , – Just published . )  It has also musical examples of Frank Corcoran works:

2 Meditations for Speaker and Orchestra ( 1972 ),  3 Orchestral Pieces  (  1975  ), Medieval Irish Epigrammes (  1975 ),  Piano Trio ( 1978 ) , Symphonies of Symphonies  ( 1980 )  , Music For The Book Of Kells ( 1990 )


It must be nearly forty year now since I began an alternative activity of making programmes for the radio. Mostly music programmes. I have worked for RTE, NDR, WDR, BREMEN, BAVARIAN RADIO, LYRIC FM, HESSISCHER RUNDFUNK, the various BERLIN RADIOs, RAI in Rome….   and more; and I greatly enjoyed this kind of composition also. I remember in particular a few very special programmes which I produced ; for Hamburg it was Alban Berg’s 3 Orchestral Pieces, for Frankfurt there was a big radiophonic analysis of ” Sacre “, for Cologne I analysed Webern and Ligeti, for the Bavarians Irish ” sean n’os ” ; for Lyric Fm there was “Bach Came Through Borrisokane.” Great broadcaster’s fun.


To:  the Editor,


IRISH  TIMES  Nov. \6 2014


Dear Editor,

I really could  weep for the Irish Times and the Royal  Irish Academy’s  post-colonialist  ” panel of experts ”  and their  pale Modern Ireland in 100 Artworks.   ”

M’or  Mo N’aire ”  indeed for your experts’ expert  ignorance of  contemporary Irish art-music . Over twenty years ago now the Irish Times portraited me as an
Irish composer  abroad
with not a chance of  being understood at home  as, well,  an Irish artist working in sound , tone, silence( in a situation where an Irish  symphony, sonata,  chorus, opera,  concerto is accepted as on a pa rwith  an Irish  book, painting, sculpture, play, poem, building. )…..

For your experts  with their 100 Irish Artworks  nothing  seems to have changed . An  Irish ” cumad’oir ceoil”   has no place in their 100 post-colonial artworks. –
In 1981  my  “SYMPHONIES OF SYMPHONIES OF WIND” was premiered in Vienna with the ORFSO under  Lothar Zagrosek.  Silence at home.  (  Why ?  Because the Irish  “post- colonial”  canon of what are and are not  Irish arts has no perception at all of Irish composers and Irish composed music as  part of the Irish intellectual tradition.   ).   My   ”  JOYCEPEAK  MUSIK  ”   won the German Studio  Akustische Prize in 1996.     Yawns at home..   My   “SWEENEY’S  VISION
”  won the 1999  French Bourges Festival  Premier Prix.   West German Radio commissioned    ” QUASI UNA MISSA”   which  won the 2002  Swedish EMS
Prize. A  post-colonial narration of  Ireland and Irish musical composition indeed  ?  What can not be just can not be, it seems.   Last year my choral “EIGHT  HAIKUS”  won the International Federation forChoral Music First Prize Outright .  Here I am not blowing my own trumpet  . What about the distinguished work of distinguished Irish composers, younger and older  ? 

Your  panel’s  Modern Ireland In 100 Artworks shows  post-colonial  blinkers; it is blind to  composed music on the Irish island .  This is a woeful bias, disgracefully  lazy,  unexamined definition of  the Irish arts.
Yours etc.

Frank Corcoran , Irish Composer, Member of Aosdana.


Frank Corcoran featured in

Benjamin Dwyer :  DIFFERENT  VOICES               Wolke Verlag 2014

February  15  2015  New York City  Premier of Frank Corcoran’s new  QUASI  UNA  STORIA  for String Orchestra  ( North South Consonance / Max Lifchitz  )


March    13  2015    Dublin National Concert Hall  RTE  Premiere of Frank Corcoran’s  CELLO  CONCERTO   (  N.S.O., Cond.  Kenneth Montgomery, Soioist:  Martin Johnson   )


Certainly cold. Certainly passionate as the dawn. New work. Stern stuff, the lonely activity at the forge. Forge instrumental line, fuse these lines together; expression is and is thus formed . Glue and stick . Paint the howl, the ecstasy, the surge and the passing and passage of self-reflexivity and time as me and my pixels, tones and God bless.  Cold certainly. More to come.Batten down, this winter , settle in, your kettle singing on the hob in a more complex world with James P. Graham’s strangely mysterious film, ” Losing Sea Henge” and with Frank Corcoran’s strange soundscape to ease that fine-grained film’s passage into that carpet of that woven time, film thus also reaching towards music’s natural flow, sluice, ebb; be dense and be thin and be milky and wavy and mazy and as amazing as the dawn.