Frank Corcoran

irish composer

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5.2.2001 IRISH TIMES ( DOUGLAS SEALY) REVIEW N.S.O. , Cond. Richard Pittman

3 PIECES FOR ORCHESTRA ( 1975 ) Frank Corcoran
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4. SYMPHONY Witold Lutoslawski

3. SYMPHONY Frank Corcoran

In the first of six concerts focussing on classics of 20th. c. music – the Horizon series – Frank Corcoran chose as the centre piece a work of “a giant figure ” on his creative horizon, Witold Lutoslawski.

Listening to the works by the two composers in the N C H on Tuesday, it was clear that they shared a language, even if the did not speak the same dialect. Lutoslawski preserves the strongest links with the culture of the past.
Corcoran has shed , not without violence , a load of such trappings. His “THREE PIECES” , subtitled ” Pictures From MY Exhibition”, gloried in the freedom that belongs to tge youthful spirit. Sent up like a kite, the music was at the mercy of the winds which snapped at the vanes and whistled stridently through them; but the cord held, thanks in no small measure to Richard Pittman’s resourceful control and the wholehearted response of the N.S.O.

Lutoslawski’s FOURTH SYMPHONY, written in 1992, has not taken long to become a “classic”. Certainly it has a nobility and breadth that can accomodate extremes – the garish and the sombre, the pithy and the rhetorical without discomfort; and it abounds in contrasting layers of sound and movement ….

Frank Corcoran’s THIRD SYMPHONY , only two years younger than Lutoslawski’s Fourth, uses similar techniques , but in a more compressed form. The flavour of iconoclasm, so evident in the ThHREE PIECES . lingers but only adds a touch of acerbity to the large-scale drama of the whole.
Richard Pittman and the N.S.O. made it triumphantly expressive.


CORCORAN, Frank Mad Sweeney first US performance

CORELLI, Arcangelo Concerto Grosso in G minor, Op. 6, No. 8
CORNELL, Richard Thrushfield WP, Tracer WP, Umai’s Journey WP
COREA, Chick Isfahan
COWELL, Henry Ostinato Pianissimo, Quartet Romantic
CROCKETT, Donald The Cinnamon Peeler
CRUMB, George Ancient Voices of Children, An Idyll for the Misbegotten, 11 Echoes of Autumn, Night of the 4 Moons, Songs, Drones & Refrains of Death
DALLAPICCOLA, Luigi Cinque frammenti di Saffo, Due liriche di Anacreonte, Goethe Lieder, Piccola musica notturna, Sex carmina alcaei
DAUGHERTY, Michael Dead Elvis WP (& 1st Italian perf.), Flamingo (1st UK perf.), Lex, Little Firecracker, Lounge Lizards, Sinatra Shag WP, These Boots . . WP
DAVIDOVSKY, Mario Biblical Songs, Quartetto, Sefarad WP, Synchronisms No. 2
DEAN, Brett
Sextet (first Boston perf.)
DEBUSSY/SMITH, Hale Pagodes & Soiree dans Grenade WP
DENISOV, Edison La vie en rouge
DONATONI, Franco Arpege, Holly WP, Hot, Spiri
DRUCKMAN, Jacob Animus IV (1st UK perf.), Come Round
DURKO, Zsolt Fire Music (1st US perf)
DUSAPIN, Pascal Comoedia (1st US perf.)
EARLS, Paul Augenmusik WP, Eliotime WP
EDWARDS, George Kreuz und Quer WP
EISLER, Hanns Chamber Symphony, Vierzehn Arten den Regen zu beschreiben, Septett No. 2
ELLINGTON, Duke Body and Soul, Choo-Choo, Creole Love Call, Demi-Tasse, East St. Louis Toodle-loo, Fugue-a-Ditty, Jam-a-Ditty, A Lull at Dawn, Mood Indigo, On a Turquoise Cloud, Rockin’ in Rhythm, Self Portrait (of the Bean),Tiger Rag
ELMQUIST, John Junk Shot
ERB, Donald The Devil’s Quickstep
ETLER, Alvin Cello Concerto, Sextet
FALLA, Manuel de El corregidor y la molinera
FELCIANO, Richard Shadows WP
FELDMAN, Morton For Frank O’Hara, The Viola in my Life II
Serenade for Six
FINE, Irving Notturno for Strings and Harp (1st UK perf.)
FOSS, Lukas Embros, Tashi, Time Cycle
Chromance WP
FRANCAIX, Jean L’Horloge de flore
FÜSSL, Karl Heinz Miorita (1st US perf.)
GABRIELI, Giovanni Canzon septimi toni No. 1, Canzona noni toni, Canzone per sonare 2 & 4, Sonata pian’ e forte
GANDOLFI, Michael Budget Cuts WP, Grooved Surfaces WP, The Pied Piper of Hamelin WP, Pinocchio’s Adventures in Funland
GARFEIN, Herschel Striptease
GAULDIN, Robert Collage WP
GEMINIANI, Francesco Concerto grosso in E minor, Op. 3, No. 3
GENTILE, Ada In un silenzio Ordinato (1st US perf.)
GERHARD, Roberto Libra
GERSHWIN, George Lullaby for Strings
GERSHWIN/BRODY Nice Work if You Can Get It WP
GERSHWIN/CHILD Phase-inatin’ Rhythm WP
GERSHWIN/HOFFER Fantasia on They Can’t Take That Away From Me WP
GILBERT, David Petit concert WP, Shade Pulsations WP, 4 Songs of Wind WP
GLANERT, Detlev Geheimer Raum
GLASS/MORAN Juniper Tree Variations WP
GREENE, Patrick The Tortoise and the Hare WP, Machine Language for Beginners WP
GRIFFES, Charles Poem for Flute & Orchestra
GROSSKOPF, Erhard Triodie II (1st US perf.)
GRUBER, H.K. Cello Concerto WP, Frankenstein!!, Three MOB Pieces (1st US perf.)
GRUENBERG, Louis The Creation, A Negro Sermon
HANDEL, G.F. Concerti grossi 1-12, Op. 6
HANDY, W.C./WHITEMAN Aunt Hagar’s Blues
HARBISON, John Exequien for Calvin Simmons WP, Mirabai Songs, 6 Dumbshows WP, The Seven Ages
HARRIS, Donald Five Tempi (Ludus III) WP, For the Night to Wear WP, Ludus I, Ludus II WP (& 1st European perf.)
HARRISON, Lou Praise for the Beauty of Hummingbirds
HEISS, John Songs of Nature WP
HERMAN, Richard Stehen Crane Cycle
HINDEMITH, Paul Der Dämon, Die junge Magd, Kammermusiken 1,2,4; Septet for Winds
HINES, Earl Grand Terrace Shuffle
HEPPENER, Robert Derivazioni (1st UK perf.)
HOELLER, York Ex tempore
HOFFER, Bernard A Boston Cinderella WP, Capriccio: Settembre Musica WP, Ma Goose WP, The Nine Circles WP, The Three Little Pigs WP, Concerto da Camera II WP, Lear in theWilderness WP, Paul Revere’s Ride WP
HOLLIGER, Heinz Erde und Himmel (1st US perf.), Glühende Rätsel (1st US perf.)
HOLST, Gustav Brook Green Suite, St. Paul’s Suite
HUBER, Klaus Ascensus (1st US perf.), Auf die ruhige Nacht-Zeit (1st US perf.)
HUGGLER, John Bittere Nüsse WP, Capriccio sregolato WP, Music for 13 Instruments WP, Serenata WP
HUGHES, Curtis Verbiage WP
HURST, Derek Pas de trois WP
HYLA, Lee Amnesia Variance WP, Lives of the Saints WP, Polish Folksongs WP
INCE, Kamran Hammer Music WP
IVES, Charles At Sea, Calcium Light Night, Central Park in the Dark, Incantation, Like a Sick Eagle, Luck & Work, The Rainbow, Scherzo (All the Way Around and Back), Scherzo (Over the Pavements), The See’r, A Set of Pieces for Theatre Orchestra, Sets 1 & 3, Tone Roads 1 & 3 (1st Russian perf.), The Unanswered Question
IVES/PITTMAN, Richard 5 Street Songs WP
KNUSSEN, Oliver Rosenkranzlieder (1st US perf.)
KRAFT, William Concerto for Percussion & Chamber Ensemble WP, Gallery 4-5, Settings from Pierrot Lunaire WP




How nice if our dawg, Flippy learned to write
A Canine Sonnet, whinge and whistle, all
His doggy sounds, his very little soul.
‘Twould charm’n console me, all this blessed night.

His octet could be all about his food,
Our mythic journey up from Italy,
Our neighbours’ dogs, so proudly running free.
His sestet, then, just might attempt the lewd.

This night so cold, ” -poor Flippy has no soul…”
Cartesian vivisectors have none either .
( I’d like to try on them the old meat-saw,

A Saudi princeling had as his black goal… )
Nor sense of humour, no nor ethics neither,
His Arab heart breaks decency and law.



July 14 Orvieto Teatro Mancinelli

July 15 Bolsena Piccolo Teatro Cavour .

“Il Concerto di Dublino” premier “HOT DIALOGUES” for Viola and Piano ( 2018 ).

Hot stuff; electric gleam as snakes snooze back in the baked garden….


Emma Coulthard, flute – Michael McCartney, guitar

The National Museum of Wales, Cardiff

Sunday, 17 March 2013, 1 p.m.

In celebration of the shared Celtic heritage of Wales and Ireland, Still Life with Guitar would like to invite you to an exciting free concert of new music for flute and guitar, including works by Welsh composers Mervyn Burtch and Peter Reynolds, plus, for the first time in Britain,

works by Irish composers Frank Corcoran, Martin O’Leary and John Buckley.

2Attached Images



Another year, ( another train-ride up from Orvieto to Mestre. )

Perhaps it is the colours the eye wants
. Or the swoosh and whoosh and gear-changing boats’ clutches that clutch my ear.
Not so much the usual Jesuit confessor’s cry : ” since September 2015, my son, how many times ? Tones ?

Musical works I have just crafted included the Piano Trio ( with viola ) of last winter 2016, in Hamburg,then the
gestating Clarinet Concerto,
my delightful 8 Duetti Irlandesi for Piano and Cello
which had, face it, haunted me for a long time ,
also the cello solo piece, ” Rhapsodietta Joyceana ” .
The Arena RTE Interview convinces.
The autumn 2016 RTE programme, ” New Cross-currents ” , also.
Venice next Sunday should bring be colours and time to situate myself a little. Walk. Dawdle. Sounds and sky.
Certainly form matters, the opening strings
‘ rhythmicized chord before the soloist lifts off / in the new Clarinet Concerto for new York 2019 .
A dreamed fragment or a motivic phrase.
I am not to blame for the
musical world’s GREAT mess. No.
So after my death in Venice, release this :
Life was harsh. Hands up those for whom it was not? More help, any help, would have been a great help; a little bitty praise, un poco ” notice” was a sin .
It would have been easy before my death to perform the ( very good ) TENORLIEDER, my massive , choral EIGHT HAIKUS ,
“stunning ” was the I FC M’s International Jury’s word in awarding me their 2013 Premier Prix. m
It would.
It wasnìt to be at all, either snobs or yobs were blocking, blatant incompetence and ignorance . The worst, indifference.
We are bet in the Irish national schools and in the university music-departments and somewhere in between. Bhi an
ceart ag an bPiarsach, ‘ swounds !
So the self and its shadows nimbly snake on , continue to block or embrace or question or accompany each other .
Till death us do part.
Musical death, no doubt, before that, the death of desire and passion to continue the noble slog, the composer as
Twas nobler in the mind. Release this jumble, certainly. Much good.
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Dublin Sound Lab is pleased to announce the Music Current 2019 festival programme is now online –

Considered as the ‘Fringe’ of Irish new music festivals, Music Current is a platform for the newest contemporary music, hosting five concerts over four days.
Now in its fourth year, the festival programme has a decidedly theatrical flavour, featuring Steven Kazuo Takasugi’s concert-length masterwork Sideshow, in which Swiss Ensemble Tzara ‘perform’ in the theatrical sense.

The theatrical theme continues with another Swiss group Retro Disco who take inspiration from Dadaist aesthetics to create absurdist performances.

The festival opens with a double-bill programme:

” SWEENEY LIVES ” featuring three major ‘radiophonic’ work by Irish electronic music pioneer Frank Corcoran



The Bard of Orvieto’s flummoxed flat !
How stop this Irish flow of sonatinas ?
Wrong ! They’re sonnets,let’s be clear on that,
Distinct as , say, melodeons ‘n concertinas !

Lips and air and lungs and concepts long
Or short , revisions fashioned poem, ditty.
Who’s to say I’ve chosen clearly wrong
This verbal pyrotechnic, seldom witty ….

I bend time here and spoken word or wit
-ty composition , yes, a pity,
should I die before I’ve shot my bolt .

Stop the clock ! Stop its tat for tit !
I’ll finish this verse-play, ass- or horse-play, shitty.
Yes, Art is play for donkey, dolt and colt ….