Frank Corcoran

irish composer


November 7. 2007 at the National Concert Hall Dublin ; Andreas Skouras
premiered ” NINE PRATOLEVA PEARLS” for Solo Piano ( 2008 ). Also

Jan. 19 2010 National Concert Hall Dublin. RTE ” Horizons” Concert with the National Symphony Orchestra / Colman Pearce, Mezzo Soprano Naomi O´Carroll : world-premiere of Frank Corcoran´s ” FOUR ORCHESTRAL PRAYERS” and ” QUASI UNA FUGA” ( rev. version for Full Orchestra. Also Lutoslawsky´s ” NOVELETTE” .


2010 World premiere of RTE Commission: ” CLARINET QUINTET ” Vanbrugh Quartet, Clarinet NN.
2010 world-premiere of new ” SONGS OF TERROR AND LOVE” to texts by Jacopone da Todi for Bass Voice and ” Pierrot Lunaire” Ensemble.

2010 ALSO A GOOD CHORAL YEAR : world-premiere of newest :

“EIGHT HAIKUS” for S.S.A.A.T.T.B.B. Choir . Texts by Frank Corcoran.

Frank Corcoran Vocal Works :

Frank Corcoran and Choral Music :

As a child I´d listen. Sing. Hear it deep inside. I. Sing de body etc. is certainly right. Overnight it was my thirtieth birthday to Heaven . 1974 May 1. was extraordinary ; the sun shone on all schizophrenics. I
did, certainly, compose my MEDIEVAL IRISH EPIGRAMMES for Dr. Hans Waldemar Rosen the great Leipzig Bach choral tradition , and the Radio ´Eireann Singers . Frank O´Connor´s window onto Early Irish heroic Iron Age chivalry. Sensationally. Yes, I found the German Thirty Years War. Yes, I did set ” Herr Jesu Christ !>” to texts by Paul Fleming. The Thirty Years War in Germany. Other vocal works included the RTE commission, ” FAREWELL SYMPHONIES” for Tape and Orchestra ( it went to the International Composer´s Rostrum 1982 ), also my John Barth : ” TWO MEDITATIONS ” for Speaker and Orchestra
( 1974 ) and the Sender Freies Berlin comission, ” CÚIG AMHRÁIN DE CHUID GHABRIEL ROSENSTOCK ” of 1979. Twenty years later I set Seamus Heaney´s ” MAD SWEENEY / BUILE SHUIBHNE ” for Speaker and Chamber Orchestra( 1996 ). Now in 2009 it´s ” ” SONGS OF TERROR AND LOVE” ( to texts by Jacopone da Todi ) for Bass Voice and ” Pierrot ” Ensemble line-up. In January 19 2010, the National Symphony Orchestra / Colman Pearce with Naomi O´Connell will premiere ” FOUR ORCHESTRAL PRAYERS” for Mezzosoprano and Orchestra. And : “EIGHT HAIKUS ” to texts by Frank Corcoran for Choir S.S.A.A.T.T.B.B.
Yes, sing e body. By the way, where are the Corcoran Lieder ?

EIGHT HAIKUS for Choir S.S.A.A.T.T.B.B. ( Texts by Frank Corcoran )

My young love, Buddha,

Came to us softly sleeping,

And his sap rising.

Through our Milky Way

Glides and flexes and ripples

Old Solar System

First light; wintry hope .

Frozen iron, hoe and spade.

Another day dawns.

Deep-purple twilight.

In the bay lie three islands.

Asleep like children….

The eyes of the fly

Open on an enormous

Room, its buzzing world

The centre drowned. It

Cannot hold. The wild geese keen,

Their great wings whirring.

A crow scratching snow

Beak, claw, craw, all white and black

The eye murderous.

A last, alone, a

Long day writhing into night.

Cold moon, shine on love


7th November 2009 – Andreas Skouras in Exchange Concerts

German pianist Andreas Skouras will play two concerts in Ireland on 7th and 8th of November. The first is in the Barry Room at the National Concert Hall, Dublin on the 7th of November. The second is at Dublin City Gallery, Hugh Lane on the 8th at 12 noon. He is showcasing new German music, plus some music by Irish composers. There will be a return visit by an Irish-based pianist in 2010, showcasing Irish piano composition. Further details yet to be announced, on this site. The programme is as follows:

Program I, November 7th. Barry Room, National Concert Hall

Fredrik Schwenk Sonatine 2 (2001)
Frank Corcoran Nine Pratoleva Pearls (World premiere) (2008)
” Quasi Rondo e Scherzo, & Sweeneys Total Rondo (2002)
Hans Jürgen von Bose Labyrinth II (1987)
Ian Wilson Verschwindend (2001)
Michael Bastian Weiß Fragmenta Missarum pro Defunctis op. 7 (2000)
Volker Nickel Piano Puzzle Pieces IV (World premiere) (2009)


Yes, Pratoleva´s first week is up and running. No cuckoo, the evenings are still too cold; sap rising, though.
Yes, this morning´s morning – lizards , two newly hatched ( ? ) , nibbled at my wellingtons below at the Dependance in great morning sun. Where lizards lick, can Spring be far behind? Our viper vicious lies low in the next-door green jungle ( – owne by a pretty rough cousin from Viterbo, impoverished obviously, and he has as yet no takers for that little houseen at the front . – As of yet nobody will rent it, no mad Londoner with booming box or techno-bass snake-knockout in sight. Yet. ) . This hard winter knocked out a few rocks from his wall which , blocking my old Hamburg Audi, I duly removed yesterday from its path.
Yes, up and running; we have electricity and gas and water and wellingtons and hope and great peace and a young Marcello Gilga Mesh who will next Monday evening cut the still wet bejasus out of our humble three thousand odd square green metres. Yes, and promised , mythic sun for Easter Electric Chair Theology next liturgical week-end. I am deep into this new Clarinet Quintet, the Vanbrugh in 2010 ( date to be copper-fastened by RTE ) hopefully sawing and snorting their sighing ( and, occasionally, screeching, snoring or breathing ) accompaniment to the breaks in my Mozart – Corcoran line . ( His Clarinet Quintet too symmetrical for my purposes today but, yes, yet his Clarinet Concerto eternally unapproachable…. Apparently Mozart did have at his disposal a deeper clarinet – not a bass-clarinet but a , well, deeper clarinet chalemeau, Shawny Moore toffee )
We will paint the kitchen´s interior darker shadows a mellow-smellow honey-yellow. Meno male. 2009 should see a reduction in pitiless self-psychiatry and a rise in pleasure, Georgics Vergilian, some pig-dung for these roses, the odd pluck of a bum bass string on my ancient bum-500 Euros piano.



FRANK CORCORAN : born 1944 in Tipperary . Studied in Dublin, Rome and Berlin ( Boris Blacher ).
1980 D.A.A.D. Künstlerprogramm Berlin. Since 1983 Professor at Hamburg. Many distinctions , commissions and prizes, incl. Fulbright Professorship in the U.S.A. 1989 – 90 and many guest-lectureships there and in Europe.
Among recent activities are : 2009 RTÉ commission Clarinet Quintet for Vanbrugh Quartet , Irish National Symphony Orchestra premiere 2010 new ” Four Orchesterlieder” , 2009 NDR Choir gives first German performance of ” 9 Aspects Of An Irish Poem”, 2009 Swiss Ensemble “Antipodes” premiere new ” Quasi Una Sarabanda” in Zürich, Basle, Dublin and Bern ( Radio DRS 2 recording ) , 2008 many European radio-stations broadcast Irish Chamber Orchestra / Anthony Marwood commissioned / RTÉ recording of ” Quasi Una Fuga” for String Orchestra, 2009 King´s Place London “Quasi Un Preludio”, 2008 London-Irish Festival ” Klaviertrio”, 2008 “Basso Moderno” Washington premiere, 2007 Ensemble Modern U.A. ” Quasi Una Visione” Dublin Festival, 2006 Boston Music a Viva USA premiere of ” Mad Sweeney” for Speaker And Large Chamber Ensemble, 2006 Cantus Zagreb commission ” Quasi Un Concerto “, 2005 World Music Days / Zagreb Philharmonic “Quasi Un Canto”, NSO Ireland ” Quasi Un Lamento” etc., etc.


It was agreed back around 1811 to shed the rhetorical question. We still have the filmic schnitt. Still. Thus my pipe, mo phíopa: ” I am big with self-impiportance, a dudeen pregnancy, St. Agglutinatio, loveliest of saints !” The coyness of smoker Magritte. You can not say : ” I am immense with glory!” No snicker, not the shadow of a cowboy´s razored tit, please. Granted I saw the other night ” a world of light”. Then there is the Tipperary composer, Shakespeare, with his . ” Tá do shúilé ag na péistí!” ” Is tá do bhéilín ag na portáin” = Reilly was born. Reilly suffered. Reilly´s skull utters the note.
This is still not a dudeen. ” D U D E E N” is surely D plus UT plus D plus MI, MI, MI plus N.



Remember, surfer, thou are dust; it is the blight. Wherefore thence this matutinal montage about funeral-urns ? Is it the sport aspect ? That all? Sure now ? It must have been nineteen fifty four, the morning already very hot, harnessed horses frisky, suppressed excitement. The still still hay-knife in its oiled mowing-machine sheath was ready for bloody murder, two erring corncrakes, the cleanly sawn-off rabbit leg. Far in the future lay her scream, dormant in June, you saw that. Far in your future was this thrust to write this now, eyes filmed over. June fused the bread-knife, blood culture at its cunning work and silence after the Big Scream down in the back-field and our locked away meat-carver and that wonky funeral with its hilarious urn. A child´s bliss was our hay smell. Maybe the muzzle. Wash your strait-jacket and hang it out ; marvellous drying today. Oil carefully before horses´nostrils begin to drip green streams. Child-harbinger of just what are you getting at here, eh ? You´ll get a good slap !

A PAGE FALLS OPEN : the reader´s name is there. It always has been and always will be. Subsequent letters see the script panic across this screen in hellish self-doubt. One day raptures; the next fights back. My lover bit my lip, storming off to wake abruptly from a dream of our blue tent filtering the Toledo light in . O Toledo, we´re parched! My lover has stolen all that we knew and all that I owned. The tone is the thing, surely ? Coax , not hector.


I did write the “FOUR ORCHESTRAL LIEDER” here. And my
” 9 PRATOLEVA PEARLS ” for Solo Piano. And the 2009
“CLARINET QUINTET ” . And ” SONGS OF TERROR AND LOVE”. And “QUASI UNA SARABANDA” which the Swiss Ensemble , Antipodes, premiered this summer in Berne, Basle and Zürich. Swiss Radio broadcast on July 17.