Frank Corcoran

irish composer

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A TEMPORARY LET UP IN THE KILLING HEAT BEFORE AUGUST JUST SQUELCHES US

Early yet, aurora and after are just perfect. Nature gnaws nurture, pitiless, outside. A new Sunday is born. Va benissimo.
Stravinsky it was who insisted the composer is an insect who waits. So I´ll wait. For what ? Till after that Violin Concerto is premiered , eh ? That Cello Concerto? Those choral EIGHT HAIKUS? Or is it RHAPSODIC BOWING for 8 Celli that´s holding up the flow and trickle and wash? Now my sun is up. Sun-day.

SONGS IN THE KEY OF LIFE AND LOSS

Yes, and of Light and Love. Yes,and of Lie and Shove… What´s in a title ? What now, delights the premiere the composer ? His sounding brass and low harp and twinkling celesta and all, as it all begins to sound together, the great orchestral mass, sonorous porridge ? Whinny and creak and sing and they all stretch and roar in the deep heart´s core, sounds heard in the inner ear now turn outward in great goblets of chording and a solo fiddle´s line. Taut lep versus clustered brass, wind, strings, percussion. Perfect. Heard now as waves of physics and acoustics. Lovely.

BAKING GRIDDLE-CAKES IN CASTLECUFFE

VIOLIN CONCERTO ( Premiere 2. Nov. 2012 Dublin, National Concert Hall .
National Symphony Orchestra, Conductor: Christian Warren-Green,
Solist:
Alan Smale )

When tonight´s soloist, Alan Smale, approached me about composing yet another, my new Violin Concerto, he said one
thing: ” Sing it ! ”

To write a concerto for the ( tiny ) violin and (enormous) orchestra nowadays is not as easy as to cross a field. Yes, I have my three movements, – roughly Moderate / Slow / Fast – and they must ” sing it ! ” Beethoven´s, Mendelssohn´s, Brahms´s do. – Sing what ?

After the orchestral explosion of fortissimo brass and percussion at the beginning of My Very Own Orchestral Story, the soloist gives the game away ; it sings the opening exposition, theme, idea, melody,
really a scale of seven tones : G A flat C sharp D E flat F sharp A. I´ve often used them as my A B C in other, very different works. Why these ? Who knows ?

Here is ” melody” , but also, as
stacked or squashed or collected or heaped – up tones, ” harmony ” . Building-blocks as song .I have to write as melodically as Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms. Alban Berg and György Ligeti, too. My ” collection” comes in a million guises, up , down, oblique, backwards,forwards transposed, invertd and so on.
Sing it. I use the ( not over- heavy – I´ve no tuba, not too much percussion, a harp, yes, in the lyrical Slow Movement ) orchestra as discrete accompaniment, as a foil to the leaping, darting, climbing , descending, singing human voice of the solo instrument, its joy and radiance and despair and roughness and cantability as my violin threads its line and lovely trellis-work up from the open G string to the highest regions of the E string.

String joy. Great energy ! Great . Sing it ! In this opening movement the short brass and wind chorales punctuate the violin´s Amhrán Mór, Great Song. Always my opening melodic idea and a second little ” lusingando” playfulness is the spiel . In the middle of this movement the
cadenza is ( – well, as it always is ) the soloist´s show-off acrobatics, the violinist painting his canvas with his sparkle of ideas, but they are all won from the opening tones ( as in Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms… ) , all woven into the orchestral canvas.

The Second Movement is all melody ( But can we in this 21.st c. still compose a Lied ? Yes, we can ! ), lovely and ravishing . Four times comes this Lied ( built again from my seven building-blocks of that First Movement opening ) . In German ” Lied” ( “Song” ) is close to ” Leid” ( ” Suffering” ) . The central Cadenza distills the
very essence of both. Then, near the close, the violins have the singing before the soloist´s final lovely pizz. and sigh.

The final Third Movement has a Mozartian last movement energy with its forward movement of fast ( string ) semiquavers, it´s racing towards its end. ” In my end is my beginning” – it sums up, it quotes the First and Second Mov.s before
pitting itself again against strong orchestral forces, tiny David against his Goliathic orchestra, light and shadow and gossamer explosions and clouds and heavenly regions, the hole thing . The solo instrument has the last say, its last sigh rudely cut off by low celli and basses.

FRANK CORCORAN

—–Original Message—–
From: FBCorcoran@aol.com
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 13:20:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: VIOLIn coNceRTO Prog. Note
To: fbcorcoran@aol.com, helena.plews@rte.ie, seamus.crimmins@rte.ie,
walter.branchi@libero.it, farrel.corcoran@dcu.ie

VIOLIN CONCERTO Frank Corcoran

When tonight´s soloist, Alan Smale, approached me about composing yet another, my new Violin Concerto, he said one
thing: ” Sing it ! ”

To write a concerto for the ( tiny ) violin and (enormous) orchestra nowadays is not as easy as to cross a field. Yes, I have my three movements, – roughly Moderate / Slow / Fast – and they must ” sing it ! ” Beethoven´s, Mendelssohn´s, Brahms´s do. – Sing what ?

After the orchestral explosion of fortissimo brass and percussion at the beginning of My Very Own Orchestral Story, the soloist gives the game away ; it sings the opening exposition, theme, idea, melody,
really a scale of seven tones : G A flat C sharp D E flat F sharp A. I´ve often used them as my A B C in other, very different works. Why these ? Who knows ?

Here is ” melody” , but also, as
stacked or squashed or collected or heaped – up tones, ” harmony ” . Building-blocks as song .I have to write as melodically as Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms. Alban Berg and György Ligeti, too. My ” collection” comes in a million guises, up , down, oblique, backwards,forwards transposed, invertd and so on.
Sing it. I use the ( not over- heavy – I´ve no tuba, not too much percussion, a harp, yes, in the lyrical Slow Movement ) orchestra as discrete accompaniment, as a foil to the leaping, darting, climbing , descending, singing human voice of the solo instrument, its joy and radiance and despair and roughness and cantability as my violin threads its line and lovely trellis-work up from the open G string to the highest regions of the E string.

String joy. Great energy ! Great . Sing it ! In this opening movement the short brass and wind chorales punctuate the violin´s Amhrán Mór, Great Song. Always my opening melodic idea and a second little ” lusingando” playfulness is the spiel . In the middle of this movement the
cadenza is ( – well, as it always is ) the soloist´s show-off acrobatics, the violinist painting his canvas with his sparkle of ideas, but they are all won from the opening tones ( as in Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms… ) , all woven into the orchestral canvas.

The Second Movement is all melody ( But can we in this 21.st c. still compose a Lied ? Yes, we can ! ), lovely and ravishing . Four times comes this Lied ( built again from my seven building-blocks of that First Movement opening ) . In German ” Lied” ( “Song” ) is close to ” Leid” ( ” Suffering” ) . The central Cadenza distills the
very essence of both. Then, near the close, the violins have the singing before the soloist´s final lovely pizz. and sigh.

The final Third Movement has a Mozartian last movement energy with its forward movement of fast ( string ) semiquavers, it´s racing towards its end. ” In my end is my beginning” – it sums up, it quotes the First and Second Mov.s before
pitting itself again against strong orchestral forces, tiny David against his Goliathic orchestra, light and shadow and gossamer explosions and clouds and heavenly regions, the hole thing . The solo instrument has the last say, its last sigh rudely cut off by low celli and basses.

FRANK CORCORAN

—–Original Message—–
From: FBCorcoran@aol.com
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 13:31:18 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: =?ISO-8859-1?Q?FRANK=20CORCORAN=B4S=20new=20=20VIOLIN=20CONCERTO=20=20?=
=?ISO-8859-1?Q?=20=20=20=20=20=20=20Prog.=20Note?=
To: gerard.meulenberg@concertzender.nl

In einer eMail vom 18.07.2012 19:20:09 Westeuropäische Sommerzeit schreibt FBCorcoran@aol.com:

Hallo Gerard,

Who knows, perhaps something also for your Concertzender ?

Sincere ( and HOT ! ) Italian Greetings,

Frank Corcoran

VIOLIN CONCERTO ( Premiere 2. Nov. 2012 Dublin . N.S.O., Christian Warren-Green, Solist:
Alan Smale )

Frank Corcoran

When tonight´s soloist, Alan Smale, approached me about composing yet another, my new Violin Concerto, he said one
thing: ” Sing it ! ”

To write a concerto for the ( tiny ) violin and (enormous) orchestra nowadays is not as easy as to cross a field. Yes, I have my three movements, – roughly Moderate / Slow / Fast – and they must ” sing it ! ” Beethoven´s, Mendelssohn´s, Brahms´s do. – Sing what ?

After the orchestral explosion of fortissimo brass and percussion at the beginning of My Very Own Orchestral Story, the soloist gives the game away ; it sings the opening exposition, theme, idea, melody,
really a scale of seven tones : G A flat C sharp D E flat F sharp A. I´ve often used them as my A B C in other, very different works. Why these ? Who knows ?

Here is ” melody” , but also, as
stacked or squashed or collected or heaped – up tones, ” harmony ” . Building-blocks as song .I have to write as melodically as Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms. Alban Berg and György Ligeti, too. My ” collection” comes in a million guises, up , down, oblique, backwards,forwards transposed, invertd and so on.
Sing it. I use the ( not over- heavy – I´ve no tuba, not too much percussion, a harp, yes, in the lyrical Slow Movement ) orchestra as discrete accompaniment, as a foil to the leaping, darting, climbing , descending, singing human voice of the solo instrument, its joy and radiance and despair and roughness and cantability as my violin threads its line and lovely trellis-work up from the open G string to the highest regions of the E string.

String joy. Great energy ! Great . Sing it ! In this opening movement the short brass and wind chorales punctuate the violin´s Amhrán Mór, Great Song. Always my opening melodic idea and a second little ” lusingando” playfulness is the spiel . In the middle of this movement the
cadenza is ( – well, as it always is ) the soloist´s show-off acrobatics, the violinist painting his canvas with his sparkle of ideas, but they are all won from the opening tones ( as in Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms… ) , all woven into the orchestral canvas.

The Second Movement is all melody ( But can we in this 21.st c. still compose a Lied ? Yes, we can ! ), lovely and ravishing . Four times comes this Lied ( built again from my seven building-blocks of that First Movement opening ) . In German ” Lied” ( “Song” ) is close to ” Leid” ( ” Suffering” ) . The central Cadenza distills the
very essence of both. Then, near the close, the violins have the singing before the soloist´s final lovely pizz. and sigh.

The final Third Movement has a Mozartian last movement energy with its forward movement of fast ( string ) semiquavers, it´s racing towards its end. ” In my end is my beginning” – it sums up, it quotes the First and Second Mov.s before
pitting itself again against strong orchestral forces, tiny David against his Goliathic orchestra, light and shadow and gossamer explosions and clouds and heavenly regions, the hole thing . The solo instrument has the last say, its last sigh rudely cut off by low celli and basses.

FRANK CORCORAN

—–Original Message—–
From: FBCorcoran@aol.com
Date: Wed, 18 Jul 2012 13:20:09 -0400 (EDT)
Subject: VIOLIn coNceRTO Prog. Note
To: fbcorcoran@aol.com, helena.plews@rte.ie, seamus.crimmins@rte.ie,
walter.branchi@libero.it, farrel.corcoran@dcu.ie

VIOLIN CONCERTO Frank Corcoran

When tonight´s soloist, Alan Smale, approached me about composing yet another, my new Violin Concerto, he said one
thing: ” Sing it ! ”

To write a concerto for the ( tiny ) violin and (enormous) orchestra nowadays is not as easy as to cross a field. Yes, I have my three movements, – roughly Moderate / Slow / Fast – and they must ” sing it ! ” Beethoven´s, Mendelssohn´s, Brahms´s do. – Sing what ?

After the orchestral explosion of fortissimo brass and percussion at the beginning of My Very Own Orchestral Story, the soloist gives the game away ; it sings the opening exposition, theme, idea, melody,
really a scale of seven tones : G A flat C sharp D E flat F sharp A. I´ve often used them as my A B C in other, very different works. Why these ? Who knows ?

Here is ” melody” , but also, as
stacked or squashed or collected or heaped – up tones, ” harmony ” . Building-blocks as song .I have to write as melodically as Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms. Alban Berg and György Ligeti, too. My ” collection” comes in a million guises, up , down, oblique, backwards,forwards transposed, invertd and so on.
Sing it. I use the ( not over- heavy – I´ve no tuba, not too much percussion, a harp, yes, in the lyrical Slow Movement ) orchestra as discrete accompaniment, as a foil to the leaping, darting, climbing , descending, singing human voice of the solo instrument, its joy and radiance and despair and roughness and cantability as my violin threads its line and lovely trellis-work up from the open G string to the highest regions of the E string.

String joy. Great energy ! Great . Sing it ! In this opening movement the short brass and wind chorales punctuate the violin´s Amhrán Mór, Great Song. Always my opening melodic idea and a second little ” lusingando” playfulness is the spiel . In the middle of this movement the
cadenza is ( – well, as it always is ) the soloist´s show-off acrobatics, the violinist painting his canvas with his sparkle of ideas, but they are all won from the opening tones ( as in Beethoven, Mendelssohn, Brahms… ) , all woven into the orchestral canvas.

The Second Movement is all melody ( But can we in this 21.st c. still compose a Lied ? Yes, we can ! ), lovely and ravishing . Four times comes this Lied ( built again from my seven building-blocks of that First Movement opening ) . In German ” Lied” ( “Song” ) is close to ” Leid” ( ” Suffering” ) . The central Cadenza distills the
very essence of both. Then, near the close, the violins have the singing before the soloist´s final lovely pizz. and sigh.

The final Third Movement has a Mozartian last movement energy with its forward movement of fast ( string ) semiquavers, it´s racing towards its end. ” In my end is my beginning” – it sums up, it quotes the First and Second Mov.s before
pitting itself again against strong orchestral forces, tiny David against his Goliathic orchestra, light and shadow and gossamer explosions and clouds and heavenly regions, the hole thing . The solo instrument has the last say, its last sigh rudely cut off by low celli and basses.

FRANK CORCORAN

HIGH AZORES SOARS

At six the golden Orto was friendly. Now he broad sun above, pre-Spoleto, laughs a pitiless laugh.
Will ( Robert ) Wilson this evening at the Teatro Nuovo faugh “his” LULU up or down ? The lurch to
( I groan even now ) the Lou Reed Songs ( capitals, composer ) blaring their inanities, the static self-
loving lighting, poor paralyzed sods of actors – “Muschis der Welt, vereint Euch ! ” as a world-cocked
act of defiance by whom ?
The poor, hot Audi will trundle over due East of Orte, by Umbrian Narni´s water-falls and Terni and Spoleto´s
Festival woes in an Italy that wants not such.

Heigh-ho !

THE VOID VULNERABLE, EDGE SITUATION :

Nov. 2. 2012. National Concert Hall Dublin. 20.00

Frank Corcoran : VIOLIN CONCERTO world-

premier ( National Symphony Orchestra , Conductor : Christopher Warren-Green, Solist Alan Smale ) in the NSO Concert
” Songs In The Key Of Life And Loss”.
19.00 Frank Cororan talks about his new Violin Concerto in ” Soundings ” with Colman Pearce

“THE SNAKES IN THE BUSH GO UP ´N DOWN”

I marvell still at the systolic slop-slap-swish-wash of my blood as The Great Surgeon navigated the ( Amazonian ) ventricular system with my new stent up near the hypothumotic heart. Certainly it´s in my new ” VARIATIONS ON MYSELF” for 5 Wood-wind and Strings. Somewhere in these knotted musical lines, metric or aleatoric, as they spin out the ” F R A n Cis Es C o R cor A n” of my umbilicus, my name. My very self. In lines , blocks, the individual tone. Variations.
Premiere in New York City, March 2013.

HOT JULY PIFFLE

Oxford Music Online Encyclopedia

(only accessible through

universities):

Corcoran has developed a distinct and complex language of aleatory
macro-counterpoint in which sound layers are superimposed polyphonically but
retain independence through distinctive polymetric, agogic and dynamic
indications. This technique is evident from the early Piano Trio (1978) to Ice
Etchings no.1 and Mad Sweeney (both 1996). His many cultural interests are
reflected in the texts of his vocal works; the opera Gilgamesh (1990), for
example, is based on a Sumerian epic. The Irische Mikrokosmoi for piano (1993)
are based on traditional Irish melodies and rhythms.

ALL JUST HOT JULY AIR

It´s very early still; mist on the garden trees caused by ( Mussolini´s fault? ) Lake Corbara, the older farmers insist.It´ll rise later as the killing sun moves in. Yes. In a world of hype. In an age of scopology, of gawking, seeing is believing. In this century of ( apparently ) looking ( – it´s too lazy even to be and become reading, registering, replying with eyes wide shut to any deeper reality ) the visual, therefore film, video, you-and-me Tubing and FaceDeBooking and Twittering and Teething and Twitting reign supremo. So the art of listening hasn´t a look in, the arts of sound, of sounding, of music in any even modest form ( I forget De New Dirt, Technowrapping or shtomping or electro-screeching, yowling of all imperious or impertinent kinds… ). No interest. No presence in a world of peeping, gawking hype. Hype on. The mist also rises. The sun is sneaking.