Frank Corcoran

irish composer


Re: Frank Corcoran’s compositional accomplishments :

I know this is from last year, but thinking back on his sublime Music for the Book of Kells and Trauerfelder/Goirt an Bhróin/Fields of Sorrow at the Hugh Lane Gallery last December, which reduced members of the audience (including this scribe) to tears, I really think his international recognition should be more widely known in Ireland. Yes, it’s ‘Art Music.’ Yes, it may take a few listens to adjust the ear. But the rewards are great. I’m rather proud he’s my third cousin! He will be 70 this year, so it’s no better time to discover him if you haven’t already.
Frank Corcoran awarded prestigious IFCM choral composition prize


The usual watershed.
Where’ll I go from here , new big work or small ?
Writing and hearing and recording the 8 DUETTI IRLANDESI for Cello and Piano for the new CD, “Rhapsodic
Celli”, whetted the appetite , first of all, for Corcoran Lite pieces, for the minor art.
The new Piano
Trio is small in its proportions and only 3 instruments ( Piano, Cello plus tawny viola – a far cry from
my 1977 lonely act of courage with that First Piano Trio ( plus Violin, of course ) .
2018 in Blankenese, Hamburg , will be the premiere of 5 LIEDER with Corcoran texts. also an important trigger of future work.

Nov. 2 of this year in Dublin’s the ( exciting ) premiere of Piccolo Quartetto Filarmonico with Malachy Robinson’s double-bass and cello, viola, violin line-up. We are back to macrocounterpoint .

Small work makes big work. I am very excited at the 2019 New York NORTH SOUTH Premiere of a new Clarinet
Concerto. Shhh !

I think the pipelining of MY ALTO RHAPSODIES for Alto and ( yes ! ) Orchestra may yet set off the explosion. I know the premiere of the Cello Concerto and my re-discovery of “Rhapsodic Bowing” for 8 Celli did ( both adorn that new CD ) .

One thing leads to another. One formal sonic conquest triggers off another.
The new String Quartet is great,
each of its 3 movements like reinforced steel.
So keep the head in the great heat of July.
Keep the head.
Keep it cool.


Tuesday, January 15, 2008
Mar a Dúirt an Chrotach

Bhuaileas le Frank Corcoran roimh na Nollaig. Bhí sé anseo i Nua Eabhrac ag tabhairt léachta agus cuireadh in aithne mé leis ansin. Is ceoltóir é, tá cáil nach beag idirnáisiúnta air, cumadóir san aicme clasaiceach ar a tugtar Art Music sa Bhéarla. Tá bua na dteangacha aige chomh maith, níl a fhios agam cé mhead teanga atá aige. Is as Borrisokane, Co. Tiobraid Árann é ach bhog sé go dtí an Ghearmáin blianta ó shin agus anois tá lucht éisteachta aige ar fud an domhan.


Composer Frank Corcoran’s ‘Borrisokane Transcendental Theory of Truth’ in music.

Frank Corcoran

Who killed classical music?[1] I’m not sure if it matters. Will concertgoing as we know it cease to exist?[2] Possibly. What global public is waiting out there to enjoy the mass of DVDs exclusively alone in their lonely living-room? Will Vivaldi or Nancarrow shares go up?

These are all solid questions for the sociology of music and its near-cousin, music-management, but in composing I have to work with the ‘Borrisokane Transcendental Theory of Truth’: a good piece of music is good whether it has been heard, judged good, or not, by X or X-plus-six-and-a-quarter-million listeners; whether it ever will be heard by anyone in this or any other galaxy; whether it will even be performed or not. Big claim. I have to believe. I do.

I think I was into obscure Borrisokane Platonism in the early seventies. The trouble was my formfeeling was a bit shaky (Remember Susan Langer’s Feeling aud Form?). The Chamber-Sonata, which won the first Varming Prize for young Irish composers, had a flower-pot in its percussion department; one flowerpot does not make a Slimmer. My early Sonata for Sring Orchestra grapples with a twelve-tone row as with a great black snake; fetishism about material won’t get you far. The Medieval Irish Epigrammes for the RTÉ Singers was propelled by terse, haiku-like master-verses; vocal composition is a help for a young composer.

Tipperary Transcendentalism will only do if the piece is well made; form, content, and sean and nua all meshing. For the Sligo Festival in November 2000 I had the satisfaction of programming another ‘early’ composition (Borrisokane composers mature slowly), my Cuig Liric de Chuid Gabriel Rosellsrock for soprano – Judith Mok, the wonderful soprano from Amsterdam, learned the Rosenstock texts tré Gaeilge – yes, it did capture barographically the surge and loop of the lines.

For my Horizons Concert with the National Symphony Orchestra and the Boston conductor Richard Pillman in January of this year in the National Concert Hall, I planned in as the first work the Three Pieces for Orchestra: Pictures from My Exhibition. Yes, their expanding shapes do work; two minutes, four, six. The music is about itself. Forget the composer’s breakfast, mistress, death, bank-account, experiences as a youthful resistance fighter, etc. Ccrtainly, they’re all there too. But first and foremost my Second Symphony has to be about itself, about its parts and their relationship with the whole thing. The autonomy of art is the thing (Ian Wilson’s point in the first issue of the JMI about his composing ‘honouring God’ was interesting, but even this, I am certain, takes second place to music ‘being about itself’).[3]

It got harder as I went along. I’d solve one problem (e.g. the Balthazar’s Dream we cut with primitive, pre-digital equipment at the Electronic Studio of the Technical University in Berlin in 1981 – it doesn’t matter, you hear the guitar music being transformed into bells, sirens, hammer-blows) only to be confronted with the next, for example, how would I even be able to write down the complex rhythms at the beginning of my Second Wind Quintet? What about the tension you get when you ‘grid’ aleatoric music with metrically fixed points? If you have a limited tonal space in a work for four violins – that bottom ‘G’ is the bottom – how are you to keep the registers interesting? Could I coax a last drop of motivic material out of the Third Symphony’s opening? Or take Sweeney’s Vision – it won a premier prix at the 1999 Bourges festival: I was delighted, partly because I’m in no sense an ‘electronic’ composer. It, meaning the giant computer of West German radio, had to ‘win’ everything: Sweeney’s air, wind, light, spume, sorrow, joy, ecstatic temporality, out of the opening wash.

Is the complex battery of percussion I use in my sole American opus, Music for the Book of Kells (1990), already ruined by centuries of use as symbols, cliches, athmosphere? And how to balance the piano? How lying is the composer’s title? (But watch painters and even poets also in this regard … ). I named my ensemble piece (six highly heterogeneous instruments – there you go, another balance problem) for the EXPO 2000 in Hanover last year Sweeney’s Smithereens. Trauerfelder for four percussionists (for ‘my’ Sligo festival I subtitled it, not for nothing, Goirt an Bhróin November 25th 2000) is about ‘suffering’, Jewish and other, in our century. But is it?

Quasi Una Missa was commissioned by West German radio less than two years ago. It’s my electroacoustic answer to Palestrina and John Cage’s Roaratorio: An Irish Circus (Cage insisted on recording the Shannon ducks near my Borrisokane for this brown-bread-mix. As I said, fetishism about your material won’t get you far … ). My Irish circus? About me and Palestrina and Cage? About Stephen Dedalus’s ‘Whrrehee! That’s God? A shout in the street!’? About how to ‘mix’ Aran Islands keening of the fifties with port a’bhéil? I then described it as being about – this preposition is the bane of music aesthetics – two thousand years of transcendental utterances on my Irish island. Could this be an exile’s last craze? You could argue that I am confusing here several conundrums, e.g. word/music, performed/electro-acoustic (like ‘the raw’ and ‘the cooked’ … ), but I’m not. I did a quick whip through the titles of new offerings in the current Gaudeamus Information. What are these saying? Longing for the Lost Harmony, Antidolorosum, Cantata Nr. 6, We Shall Rest, Vertical Thoughts, To Be Led, Tea Not Made (No, I am not making this up … ), Stereotyped Latter-Day Opinion, The Stones Speak Czech, A Sign of the Times, The Fickle Virgin of Seventeen Summers; dare I go on? Well, it’s no worse than what I wrote about my Fourth Symphony: ‘Beauty as medieval light-metaphysics. Dramatic in the sense that nature on Skellig is dramatic: dramatic in pitting sections, energies against each other…’. This is all true. We can all do with a bit of synaesthetic assistance with a title now and again. There’s no harm in maintaining: ‘My Joycepeak Music is the Word made (tonal) Flesh, dwelling amongst us with the myriad associations, Flotow, Mozart, Sweelink and the rest bring to pulsating Leopold Bloom, a metaphor of human inner life.’

It must be my Puckane Platonism that is pleading here for an autonomy of music. Even if this is an increasingly harder idea to market to even well-disposed hearers of art-music today. Music is about itself. Add to that Tipperary Transcendentalism, ‘good music is good, even if … ‘. The heady mixture is not likely to get me many votes. But I believe. Credo. I have to. An art-work is art. My newest piece, the Third Wind-Quartet, also has the subtitle Sweeney’s Wind-Cries. This is maybe a help to the exploring audience. But it is not the whole story. This work is wind. The big artists-in-sound of my time and times, from Lutoslawski to Ligeti, show by their example a morality of our branch. A noble ethics. If I let this slip, the resulting work will unnerve me on my death-bed. It should.

Irish composers, learn your trade, sing whatever is well-made, texture and line and registral colours and spectral mix and aleatory and macro-counterpoint and bent line and shaped musical form and spin and thrust and wallop. Gyres run on. They must. Music, too.


Certainly I will compose a Cello Concerto. How ? Certainly great Dvorak towers. Logical, Lutoslawsky´s Concerto is Music Drama of the highest order. When then ? This blessed night ?!
How then ? ( – Well, eg. for a start, mine is not the tonal option of Dvorak´s lovely and virtuoso washed sheen, his parallel sixths at high orchestral velocity , his aching sequences, cadential constructs and Slavic sighs and beautiful B Minor – yoked functional harmony.
Obvious. No?
I´ll also wish to prepare my very personal version of my personally ” drama” ( “Agony” is a fine word still ), my very own: Solo Versus Orchestra, Great Titan Against Great Many Them, ahem, yes, my ploy´s quite different from the Polish Master´s masterly tension graph. How?
Corcoran must ( once again ) invent his wheel, must sketch his musical syntax for his 2012 – 2013 Cello Concerto. Major principles of musical psychology holding on in the macro-wave , let´s say, so in the micro-wave how´ll he construct his initial “A then B then C” , that beautiful bane of all great composers´ humble musical alphabets after the Final Atonal Revolution? ( – we mean: its latest date was about 1913 – ish, a possible earliest date around Gesualdo, Wagner, such shades ; – but more on this in a near future, my Humble Hamburg Musing, – I have no doubt at all on this, ahem, score. ) . We mean by this, surely, that the poor man must choose even his basic motivic moves , all cello leps, mighty orchestral thin or thick massing, eg. he has to chose , say, ” C, A, Z, B,” etc. plus the well-known , -sung, – heard and -used motivic operations , blah, on this little start.
Follow ? Nein? Okay:
I´ll keep to a scale, seven sturdy notes ( – they often stood me stead ” sa bhearna bhaoil” ).
Neither minor nor major but, yes, Corcoran. With these seven tones, build me then my three great movements, my mighty soloist-plus-orchestra clash by night struggle, my heard accompaniment of My Dark Cello´s Great Song, Lush Dream Sounding. My tones will suffer, sing, die.
high, my post-Dvorak-and-Lutoslawsky


Ars Acustica –
2 × CD, Compilation
Electronic, Non-Music
Radioplay, Field Recording, Experimental, Spoken Word
1.1 –John Cage Muoyce 2:10
1.2 –Charles Amirkhanian Pas De Voix 2:17
1.3 –Henri Chopin Le Corpsbis 1:33
1.4 –Carlfriedrich Claus Lautaggregat 1:24
1.5 –Alvin Curran Erat Verbum (Alpha) 2:13
1.6 –Gerhard Rühm Gebet 0:39
1.7 –Franz Mon Artikulationen 2:17
1.8 –Hans G. Helms Fa:m’ Ahniesgwow 1:46
1.9 –Stephan von Huene Erweiterter Schwitters 1:04
1.10 –Ernst Jandl / Friederike Mayröcker Spaltungen 2:19
1.11 –Sorrel Hays Celebration Of NO 0:35
1.12 –Carlo Quartucci Penthesilea Aubade 2:19
1.13 –Hans Ulrich Humpert Andromache 2:33
1.14 –Gerhard Rühm / Klaus Schöning Ophelia And The Words 2:30
1.15 –Linda Mussman Danton’s Death 2:20
1.16 –Mauricio Kagel … Nach Einer Lektüre Von Orwell 2:40
1.17 –Werner Cee Elegien 3:00
1.18 –Robert HP Platz Andere Räume 2:02
1.19 –Alvin Curran For Julian 3:05
1.20 –Hans Otte Voicings 2:32
1.21 –Ferdinand Kriwet Radio 2:25
1.22 –Barry Bermange SOS 2:13
1.23 –Paul Carter (3) 7448. Eine Kolumbische Phantasie 2:26
1.24 –Josephine Truman* Sdreamings 2:53
1.25 –Alison Knowles Bean Sequences 3:24
1.26 –Jerome Rothenberg Das Hörspiel Des Bibers, Ein Testament 1:47
1.27 –Malcolm Goldstein Ishi/Timechangingspaces 1:48
1.28 –Jack Body Vox Humana 1:19
1.29 –Anne Tardos / Jackson Mac Low Für Stimmen 2:22
1.30 –Pauline Oliveros Humayun’s Tomb 2:33
1.31 –Philip Corner Satie’s Rose Cross As A Revelation 1:41
1.32 –George Brecht Das Hsin Hsin Ming Des Seng Ts’an 2:38
1.33 –John Cage Roaratorio 2:48
2.1 –Bill Fontana Ohrbrücke/Soundbridge Köln – San Francisco 2:57
2.2 –R. Murray Schafer The Vancouver Soundscape 2:22
2.3 –Marielouise Franke Metropolis Venedig. Venezia Exaudi 2:55
2.4 –Joan La Barbara Sound Painting Cologne 2:17
2.5 –Mauricio Kagel Nah Und Fern 2:53
2.6 –Francisco Kröpfl Metropolis Buenos Aires 3:13
2.7 –Michael Riessler Ji-Virus 3:00
2.8 –Emmanuelle Loubet Metropolis Tokyo. Im Rennschritt 3:06
2.9 –Bill Fontana Satelliten-Klangbrücke/Satellite Sound Bridge Köln – Kyoto 2:04
2.10 –Klarenz Barlow* CCU. Metropolis Calcutta 3:21
2.11 –Richard Kostelanetz Metropolis New York 2:03
2.12 –Pierre Henry La Ville. Die Stadt 3:35
2.13 –Richard Ortmann / Raimund Fleiter / Ralf R. Wassermann Klangandschaft Ruhrgebeit 3:12
2.14 –Thomas Schulz Lingua X Tichon Oder Die Bedeutung Des Weges 2:50
2.15 –Peter Pannke Alles Ein Atmendes Buch 2:38
2.16 –Douglas Quin Forests/Wälder 1:57
2.17 –Ronald Steckel Schweigende Landschaft 1:55
2.18 –Charles Morrow* Arctic – Kristallklar 2:08
2.19 –Susan Stone Virigina Reel 2:03
2.20 –Randy Thom Ear Circus No. 1 3:19
2.21 –Nicola Sani Materia Sassi 2:40
2.22 –Arsenije Jovanovi? Metropolis Arles 3:22
2.23 –Sarah Hopkins From Our Dreams And Visions 2:05
2.24 –Ros Bandt Mungo 2:00
2.25 –Sorrel Hays Sound Shadows 2:04
2.26 –Frank Corcoran Sweeny’s Vision 2:30


Composer Portrait FRANK CORCORAN

MUSIC Corcoran ” Mad Sweeney ”

“With bed or board, drinking cold water out of rivers, hunted in the autumnal wood ,hurt by sharp stones or surrounded by wolf packs, surprised by the red deer, flecked by blood, chased up to highest mountain-peak, cowering in the hedges, damned to loneliness. Son of God, have mercy on us !” A
broken and crazed king wandering in the loneliest places of ancient Ireland, Mad Sweeney, a little kind in N. Ireland, fleeing in terror from mankind and from himself .Crazed bird-man, hunted and hunting, pagan and Christian, cursed by a cleric, at the Battle of Maigh Rath in 637 he lost his mind.
Sweeney’s fate , mentioned in Middle Irish ca. 1200 and translated by the Irish poet Seamus Heaney in the early eighties, has long fascinated the Irish composer Frank Corcoran. Sweeney’s madness, visions, his yellings at the lonely cliffs of Skellig Rock are all encountered in a series of Corcoran works,
beginning with his “Buile Suibhne / Mad Sweeney ” , proceeding – up to now – to “Sweeney’s Wind Cries ” ( a commission of the Sligo Contemporary Music Festival in the little town of Sligo on the Irish Atlantic Coast ; 2000 Frank Corcoran was its artistic director ).
In this recording we heard the Hamburg Ensemble for New Music under the baton of Dieter Cichewiecz sings and recites the composer the psychic pain of Sweeney. His inner monologue is the voice of the artist, despairing of any place in the world , fleeing into art. Is Corcoran – Frank or Francis ? – ( since 1980 living in Germany ) the composer of Mad Sweeney’s insanity ?
Born 1944 in County Tipperary, this Irish composer ( he says ! ) finds himself alienated from his homeland. But he is also on one level also an alien in Germany. In one of his essays ” How an Irish composer forges new sounds in his German exile ” , Corcoran describes an exile’s feelings as composer and teacher.
( After his DAAD Scholarship in Berlin 1980 to 1981 he has taught Composition and Theory since 1983 at the Hamburg Music Hochschule. In his artist’s retreat he nourishes the images of his childhood.
” My Ireland is a dream-landscape in my mind. My deepest images spring from Early Ireland. ”
Interesting how , as over 20 years ago Sender Freies Berlin gave him a commission, Corcoran did not set any German poet, but rather verses by his friend , the renowned Irish poet, Gabriel Rosenstock. Rosenstock’s terse , Haiku-like miniatures in Irish, as part of a tradition of nearly 2000 years of Celtic nature-poetry, triggered off in Corcoran 5 aphoristic miniatures for High Voice and Piano Trio , the
“Cuig Liric De Chuid Ghabriel Rosenstock” ( ” Fuenf Rosenstock Lieder ” ) .
Here are three of these Rosenstock Lieder, sung by Sabine Sommerfeld accompanied by the Hamburg Piano Trio. The first Lied , ” The Sun”, is Corcoran’s answer to the metaphor of its last line : “Buailim bob ar bhas” i.e ” I trick death !” The composer uses a bright palette of string-colours ,
pizzicato, sul ponticello, col legno etc.
The second Lied , “JESUS”, oscillates between a church – hymn and a Valse Triste. In the final Lied , “STORM” we hear the rattling of the stormy wind at doors and windows before all disappears into silence….
( To make the text dramatically clear, the composer recites each text in Irish and in German before we hear the music . )

MUSIC : Frank Corcoran : ROSENSTOCK LIEDER 1., 2. and 5 .

Ireland as dream-landscape in the composer’s head, in his ” deep-freeze “, as he says, describes this creative psychology exactly. ” If I had stayed in Ireland, I’d not have created the 3. Symphony – or composed MAD SWEENEY !”
Sound-memories from a Tipperary childhood , noises and smells from the land , the pigs’ philharmonic and the skirling bagpipes are transformed into rough work, sound-sculptures. Like a sculptor his counterpoint doesn’t have note against note but rather line against line, layer over layer. He uses the term “macrocounterpoint”.
Frank Corcoran describes his childhood sounds, his musical obsessions: ” I find it hugely difficult to capture these sounds and noises of my childhood, greyhounds’ hoarsely barking as they tear the unfortunate hare into bits, the smells of market-day with cows and sheep and animals driven up our village Main Street, the rare vision of a lonely airoplane droning towards Shannon. Yes, I have very deep sounding impressions, the skirl of the bagpipes accompanying the Bishop’s limousine as he visited us on Confirmation Day , the mad symphony of ninety free-running pigs on my mother’s farm as we appeared with the buckets at feeding-time. I still hear the brittle blows of the village blacksmith hammering his anvil ; there was our ballad singer, Paddy Reddan, bawling out his ballads on Borrisokane fair-day. The Irish folk-music which I sang or played on the accordeon or the tin-whistle wasn’t top vintage, of course; it was monodic, ornamented, anti-harmony actually. I found it a bit schizophrenic, the clash between the Continental Music of the sonatinas which my little fingers had to play on the piano and the bare linearity of our folk-melodies. ”

Firmly earthed in Irish country life, fascinated by over two thousand years of Irish myth and literature, a love for the Irish language ( up until Ireland became independent it was forbidden and frowned upon…. ) , the early mystic texts of the Druids, the dried blood of Cromwell’s massacres under ruined churches, the sound-world and word-music of James Joyce , all this sharpened the inner ear of the young composer. These are all elements of his youthful Catholicism- 1964 to 67 he studied ( theology ) at the Lateran University in Rome and ( Renaissance music and Gregorian Chant ) at the Papal Institute for Sacred Music . After this he returned to more musical studies at home . 1969 to 71 he attended the master-class in composition of Boris Blacher in ( then West ) Berlin. His reading of Thomas Mann’s musical-theological-philosophical masterpiece, DR. FAUSTUS , directed his musical studies towards the Germany and Austro-German music tradition.
Frank Corcoran was now an allround educated composrt, theorist, theologian and literary professor. 1989 he was awarded a Fulbright Professorship in the USA. The University of Wisconsin commissioned from him a new work to celebrate its UWM Library’s presentation of a Facsimile Edition of the Book of Kells, one of the oldest medieval cultural treasures of Ireland. The composer chose an unusual combination of 5 Percussion and Piano in order to compose his auratic sound-world to correspond to this Early Celtic masterpiece of Insular Art.
Corcoran’s MUSIC FOR THE BOOK OF KELLS uses as motto a Medieval Irish two-liner poem:
” Have ye seen Caunnaght’s King, Hugh, on the battle-field ?
All that we saw was his shadow under his shield. ”

In the blows and strokes and beats for drums and timpani and gongs and cymbals, tam-tams and wood-blocks and temple-blocks you hear a long-lost world of Homeric heroes and Christian saints, monastic ascesis and worldly glory.

MUSIC F. Corcoran MUSIC FOR THE BOOK OF KELLS. Hamburg Percussion Ensemble Modern. Piano; Frank Corcoran

Frank Corcoran’s list of works is not over-long. This has three reasons- he developed relatively late; he has always been self-critical and loves his wastepaper basket ( like his self-critical models, Witold Lutoslawsky , and Gyoergy Ligeti ) ; his various ouvres belong to different biographical chapters of his life. His chamber music list ( for various instrumental combinations , including 3 wind-quintets, the orchestral music including 4 symphonies ) is
longer than that of his vocal works. He composed various electronic collages , including SWEENEY’S VISION of 1997 and QUASI UNA MISSA of 1999 –
this WDR Cologne commission saw him also encouraged to define his relationship to John Cage AND Johnny Cash…. and at the same time to a
2000 years old tradition of Godspeak on the Irish island.
In the late 8o s Frank Corcoran discovered the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh. This 5000 years old poem became for him the earliest cultural documentation of mankind’s alienation and flight from inner emptiness . His evening-long opera GILGAMESH ( a cyclical work of two acts with seven , then six short scenes ) is still unperformed today.
During his Berlin stay in 1981 Corcoran composed his two-part SECOND SYMPHONY; its model was clearly Lutoslawsky’s 2. Symphony ( 1967 ) with its dual movements, ” Hesitant” and “Direct” . Corcoran remembers hearing a Warsaw radio-tape of this masterpiece in Dublin in 1971 : ” the shock waves were running down my spine. He is deeply impressed by Lutoslawsky’s high ethics of composing ( for him the Polish master saw deeply into the danger of any compromise with the exterior world ) and he took over his “limited aleatory” , traces of which are to be heard in Corcoran’s 3. SYMPHONY . Here is wild sonorous energy with great instrumental highpoints and yells and orchestral crises , giving the music the character of archaic ritual.
Thus at the opening the composer enfolds his 11 tones, leaving the as yet excluded till – in the middle of the symphony , on low flutes with tambourine beats, – he enacts ” the Sacred Birth ” of the last tone!”.
Here now is the full 3. Symphony in one movement, played here by the National Symphony of Ireland, conducted by Colman Pearce.

MUSIC 6. Corcoran SYMPHONY NR. 3.

When it comes to composing music for winds ( after all the composer comes from the windiest corner of West Europe…. ) , Frank Corcoran inevitably thinks of , well, wind. But not only metreological, also metaphysical…. Referring to his 2. Wind Quintet of 1979 he writes : ” it’s wind and us, us as wind, music and life and breath. ”
In this work he use his technique of polyphonic and polymetrical layering ( already tried in his Piano Trio of some years before ) which – perhaps as a contrast to Ligeti’s micropolyphony of the sixties – he calls his ” macrocounterpoint” . With this he achieves a high degree of rhythmic and plasticity in the winds. New also is his discovery of colouring , his ” bright / dark sheen ” . People living near coasts will also hear in his writing for winds not only the whine of the wind and the storm-tossed ocean but also seagull cries and seals’ barking.
Here now is Frank Corcoran’s 2. Wind Quintet, played by the Stuttgart Wind Quintet.