Frank Corcoran

irish composer

Home » Archive by category "Humble Hamburg Musings" (Page 96)

HIGH, HIGHER, HIGHEST

” Sweeney´s Vision ” ( 1997 WDR, it won the 1999 Bourges Festival Premier Prix ) and, certain, my Second Symphony of 1994 ( there war others ) :

= ” Terror Of God ” , it captures it a whit , yet clumsily ;

= ” Being Struck By Lighning ! )

VARIATIONS ON MYSELF Frank Corcoran

( Premiere in New York City 12. March 2013 . North South Chamber Orchestra, conductor: Max Lifchitz )

Why my title of this one-movement work for 5 wind and 5 strings ? Who is ” myself” ? And how ” variations” ?
Because of my building-blocks. I got 6 tones out of which everything, but everything, in this work is built; ; – out of the 6 tone-names contained in my name. ” Francis Corcoran” offered me the little tone-row F R Cis ( which is , of course, German for ” C Sharp” ) Es ( ditto for “E Flat ” ) C and A . These ( and their complementary tones and the usual operations on these – you can HEAR them with your ears as they do the musical thinking … ) are the building-blocks of the new work . Out of them and their intervals grows everything. Thus: a modest enough Tipperary Six Tone Theory, variations on my very name, my very ounds, my very self. So it´s variations of melody and harmony and rhythm and colour. Of course this kind of trickery with tones has a long and distinguished history in Western art-music. Mr. Bach was fascinated by ” his ” 4 tones , ” B A C H” and then Schumann tried his hand at ” Es C H ” ; Shostakovich wasn´t above popping his musical motive into certain scores ; you even had Italian Renaissance polyphonic masters composing for their Ferrara supper with the theme ”
HERCULES DUX FERRARIAE” : and so on.
However I decided to base my entire work on my very own theme. You could say it´s six note music.
Often the overlapping lines played by the five wood-winds have their floating, dreamy quality ( each instrument has its own independent tempo )
whereas the five strings play metrically measured music which acts like a grid through which the wind-music flows. I am not above making a nod to a certain Bayreuth composer whose “Tristan” music is celebrated ( perhaps over-celebrated ? ) in this year of 2013. This kind of musical allusion , often parody, is also well-known in our Western tradition. There is in my tone-picture a central, whipped up – climax of great tension . Then comes the ” Endmusik” where , over low held string chords, horn, then bassoon, then clarinet, oboe and finally flute in highest register bow out. So do I. Music is metaphor. Wind-music and string-music. Yes, variations on ” Myself”. Good idea.

ORANGES AND ANATOLIAN LEMONS

More on luminous darkness anon or sooner. Meanwhile it´s a new:
” QUASI UN GRAN DUO ” for Harp and Cello.

Also new, fresh as well-baked griddle-loaves:
” SEVEN CUBIC CARDIFF MINIATURES” for Guitar, Viola and Flute.

More . Anon.

LUMINOUS DARKNESS

Soon, very soon, it´s lift-off, up and away, follow that South West Turkish tail-wind , Pauline Letter to the Ephesos lot at the Free Bird aeroplane window. Down to Ephesus ( shift one vowel ) , Troy, the tourists´ package; still, it could happen, luminous darkness, the Three Goetheans ( Me ? – whence ? why? whither my Me ? ) temporarily in abeyance. Smyrna, Kusadasi, Sirince, – “Great is Artemis!” Yes, I suppose great ! – Stern monotheity and swarming godesses and Mediterranean islands and East meets West, the whole package. Light in late November. Quasi a Violin Concerto.

NOVEMBER STORMS NEARLY GONE BY

NDR Kultur 9. February 2013 20. – 22.00

Frank Corcoran´s radiophonic analysis of Brahms
2. Symphony .

NORTH SOUTH CONSONANCE New York

March 12. 2013 . Premiere of Frank Corcoran´s
” VARIATIONS ON MYSELF” for Chamber Orchestra.

NOVEMBER DOESN´T WANT TO DIE . – WHO DOES ?

It gets even tougher up on Mt. Olympus, also on Parnassus, in the last fifth of a composer´s life today…
At least two reasons : 1. In considering, in mulling over , hatching a new work ( eg. newest HARP SOLO, newest QUASI UN GRAN DUO for Harp and Cello, newest SEVEN CUBISTIC CARDIFF PIECES, then the CELLO CONCERTO, or my just premiered VIOLIN CONCERTO ) an added element sounds all alarms – am I repeating myself ? Is this really my style ? What, where are my composer´s fingerprints? How do I aim for the as yet undreamed ? Undreamed of ?
2. How to fly by the vicious equalizing of the performance with the project, the concept and the concrete conception, the performance-frequency with “excellence” – no matter how I define this. ( I´ll label this The Composer´s Performance Fallacy ) .
3. Other factors remain – sonic dirt and media-rubbish and the emperor´s new clothes and, while I´m at it , global flooding with sound-filth I´ ve mentioned before as a constant ( – no, they won´t go away in my life-time ).
Yes. But today´s November 18th. sun ( brilliant ),
he shine on de good an´ de not yet good.

IT WAS A GREAT TRIUMPH , MY VIOLIN CONCERTO. WHY ?

( ON REREADING MATSUO BASHO, really reeling )

Matsushima ah! / Vulnerable violin / Ah Matsushima !

Our geat conductor
Reins in loud brass, percussion.
Bow on, singer sigh.

St. Cecilia,
No mean, deft harp pedaller –
My etching´s sharper

His fiddler´s shadow
His shoulder-pain, his sorrow,

Plead, bleed plangent tones

Those concert efforts Choiring, searingand soaring Musical slalom

Trill on, grey singer
My trombones scatter,shatter,
Shit ” Spargens sonum! “.

This young lad fed pigs
Now belch vast orchestral farts
Courage, soloist !

His violin sobs.
The Slow Movement will not end.
Resin that bow, lad.

“Lark in the clear air ”

How to loves your Cadenza,

Dying soloist.

Brass, great drums, snarling,
Yield the pure line, milk pure drop.
This Concerto´s born…

Watch how he´s weaving,

His baton beats triangles.

This bates Banagher.

—–Original Message—–
From: FBCorcoran@aol.com
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 15:13:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Humble Haikus post VIOLIN CONCERTO
To: fbcorcoran@aol.com

His violin sobs.

My Slow Movement cannot end.

Resin that bow, lad.

“Lark in the clear air ”

How he loves his Cadenza

Soloist dying

Brass and drums, snarling,

Yield to the pure line, pure drop.

Gob-smacked my public.

Watch how he´s weaving,

Baton beating triangles.

This bates Banagher.

—–Original Message—–
From: FBCorcoran@aol.com
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 15:32:11 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Fwd: Humble Haikus post VIOLIN CONCERTO
To: fbcorcoran@aol.om

In einer eMail vom 12.11.2012 21:13:52 Westeuropäische Normalzeit schreibt FBCorcoran@aol.com:

Our brave conductor

Reins in proud brass, percussion.

Let the singer sigh.

St. Cecilia

No mean, deft harp pedaller

My etching´s sharper

The fiddler´s shadow

His shoulder-pain, his sorrow,

Plead with plangent tones

Concerted efforts / Choiring, searing rhapsody / Musical slalom

Trill on, grave singer / Yet the trombones will shatter / Their ” spargens sonum! ”

A young lad fed pigs / Now belch vast orchestral farts / Courage, soloist !
His violin sobs.

My Slow Movement cannot end.

Resin that bow, lad.

“Lark in the clear air ”

How he loves his Cadenza

Soloist dying

Brass and drums, snarling,

Yield to the pure line, pure drop.

Gob-smacked my public.

Watch how he´s weaving,

Baton beating triangles.

This bates Banagher.

—–Original Message—–
From: FBCorcoran@aol.com
Date: Mon, 12 Nov 2012 15:13:52 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Humble Haikus post VIOLIN CONCERTO
To: fbcorcoran@aol.com

His violin sobs.

My Slow Movement cannot end.

Resin that bow, lad.

“Lark in the clear air ”

How he loves his Cadenza

Soloist dying

Brass and drums, snarling,

Yield to the pure line, pure drop.

Gob-smacked my public.

Watch how he´s weaving,

Baton beating triangles.

This bates Banagher.