An Irish Carol
A Babe is Born
OFFSTAGE FOR 2 MINS
The Christmas Story
The first group of carols will be
sung as a sequence so please
reserve applause to the end of
the section when it will be very
The concert will run without an
Frank Corcoran was born in Tipperary and studied in Dublin, Maynooth, Rome
and Berlin (with Boris Blacher). He was the first Irish composer to have his
‘Symphony No. 1’ (1980) premiered in Vienna.
He was a music inspector for the Department of Education in Ireland
from 1971 to 1979. He was awarded a composer fellowship by the Berlin
Künstlerprogramm in 1980, a guest professorship in West Berlin in 1981, and
was professor of music in Stuttgart in 1982. Since 1983 he has been professor of
composition and theory in the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und darstellende
Kunst, Hamburg. During 1989-90 he was visiting professor and Fulbright
Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and he has been a guest
lecturer at Princeton University, CalArts, Harvard University, Boston College,
New York University and Indiana University.
His works have been performed and broadcast in Europe, Asia, USA, Canada
and South America. He has been commissioned by NDR, RTÉ, the Arts
Council, U.W.M., Sender Freies Berlin, W.D.R., Deutschlandfunk, North South
Consonance New York, Dublin Living Music Festival, Cantus Chamber Orchestra
Zagreb, Dublin Festival of Twentieth Century Music, AXA International
Piano Competition, Wireworks Hamburg, Slí Nua, RTÉ lyric fm, Now U Know
Washington, New Music Boston, Carroll’s Summer Music, Book of Kells U.W.M.,
Crash Ensemble, Hamburg Ministry of Culture, Tonhalle Düsseldorf, Stuttgart
Bläserquintett, the Irish Chamber Orchestra and the National Chamber Choir of
Awards include Studio Akustische Kunst First Prize 1996 for his ‘Joycepeak
Music’ (1995), Premier Prix at the 1999 Bourges International Electro-acoustic
Music Competition for his composition ‘Sweeney’s Vision’ (1997) and the
2002 Swedish EMS Prize for ‘Quasi Una Missa’ (1999). He was also awarded
the 1972 Feis Ceoil Prize, the 1973 Varming Prize and the 1975 Dublin
Symphony Orchestra Prize. More recently he won the Sean Ó Riada Award at
the Cork International Choral Festival 2012 for his ‘Two Unholy Haikus’. His
‘Eight Haikus’ for large choir won first prize outright in the 2013 International
Federation For Choral Music. CDs of his music have been released on the Black
Box, Marco Polo, Col-Legno, Wergo, Composers’ Art, IMEB-Unesco, Zeitklang
and Caprice labels.
Frank Corcoran is a founding member of Aosdána, Ireland’s
state-sponsored academy of creative artists.
An Irish Carol 2014
( Translation : Frank Corcoran from the Irish of Aodh Mac Aingil )
You’re God’s blessing, holy child,
In the manger oh, so mild.
It’s yours, dazzling gold bright
Your glorious home and palace here tonight.
Babe so small, whom we behold.
Babe so young, yet aeons old!
This manger here you cannot wholly fill.
And heavens halls you’re occupying still!
I will fetch my water pail.
I will brush this lowly stall.
I’ll kindle fire in my heart, so cold.
I’ll purify my body into gold.
Lend your eyes, now, nature blind.
See who’s here for us, mankind.
Now I believe all things God foretold.
Almighty, ageless, young and old.
You’re God’s holy child.
In the manger, oh so mild.
It’s yours, dazzling wealth like gold so bright,
Your glorious home, a palace here tonight.