Frank Corcoran

irish composer

A CORCORAN CONCERT DESCRIPTION FROM SEVENTEEN YEARS

The first piece was
6 Bagatelles for Wind Quintet
by Gyorgy Ligeti (1953) played by the Daedalus Wind Quintet. This piece was written before Ligeti was driven from Hungary by the failed uprising of 1956. The composer himself describes them as ‘frankly, ancient and today they seem to me to be absolutely prehistoric’. Listening to them is like going to a Picasso exhibition and seeing the artists earliest works. There is no sign of the revolutionary methods to come. These short ‘Bagatelles’ are romantic, much lighter than is typical of Ligeti – and indeed the rest of the concert programme – but nonetheless show that Corcoran’s oldest Hamburg colleague was a master of conventional technique before evolving his later characteristic musical language.
Music for the Book Of Kells
is a 1990 composition by Frank Corcoran. This performance by the
RIAM
Percussion Ensemble was its Dublin Premiere. The work is inspired by a notion of seventh-century Ireland as combining the heroic age of Celtic warriors with the rise of great Christian scholarship. The piece is surprisingly visual and it is entirely appropriate for composer to describe it as a ‘sound landscape’. The striking of bells evokes the round tower, the ominous rumble of the drums, the march of armies. Overall the feel of this work was dark and sinister with moments of real power.The third concert piece was
Hebr
ä
ische Balladen
by Ulrich Leyendecker (1993), a Professor in Hamberg alongside Frank Corcoran. Perhaps it was my lack of German, but this work was a distinctly less engaging part of the concert. Leyendecker’s piece is for soprano and piano, and while the technical ability of Rachel Talbot andDavid Adams was flawless in coping with its complex rhythmic and melodic changes, it may have also suffered from the acoustics at the Hugh Lane which seem to distort sound to the detriment of the lower tones.Frank Corcoran’s second contribution to the concert was a Dublin premiere of his
Third Wind Quintet
,
Sweeney’s Wind-Cries
, played by the Daedalus Wind Quintet. The story of the semi-mad seventh centuryking, transformed into a bird, condemned to flying about Ireland with unrecognised meaning to his apparently nonsensical twitterings has long been an interesting image for Irish artists and Sweeney has featured surprisingly often in literature, theatre and music.

The
Quintet
reflects its subject matter by being a dualistic piece, hovering between recognisable form and inchoateness. It is ‘one long argument’ as the composer put it in his pre-concert talk, between discipline and freedom, between a tiny figure appearing in the opening arpeggios and a swirling world of suffering about them. Sometimes on first being exposed to a complex piece of music you half catch the feel of it – enough to want to hear it again and absorb it. So it was with this work, not as immediately engaging as, say,
Music for the Book of Kells
, but if you had a version on
CD
you would want to play it repeatedly until you had grasped the argument.
The concert concluded with Frank Corcoran’s
Trauerfelder-Goirt An Bhr
ó
in
(1995) with
RIAM
Percussion Ensemble. This piece arose from commission by the Ministry of Culture to mark the 50th year of the Jewish community’s liberation from Auschwitz. Now in my experience, over 90 per cent of cultural references to the Holocaust come to grief. It is often an image used to evoke horror, without any depth to the actuality of the horror and as such over the years has become debased. The difficulty of this composition is that not only is the composer not Jewish, nor German, but he was asked to ‘celebrate’ the liberation. Wisely Corcoran refrained from obliging with a happy ending. The music is funereal, sombre and at the same time it does not shirk from its subject matter. Very visual images are created by the useof chains, whistles and tam-tams. By steering between impertinence

and avoidance Corcoran succeeds in creating an affecting and intense piece of music intimately bound up with its subject.The performances throughout the whole concert were expert, and really made you appreciate the fact that the fruits of such an investmentof time and talent were given to the public for free.Overall, the concert was well chosen, and if some of its parts were demanding, they were more than balanced by the immediacy and sensuality of Corcoran’s landscapes – almost as visual as the paintings that surrounded us.
Published on 1 November 2001

JUNE 2017 WAS A FERTILE MONTH FOR THIS COMPOSER

Friday June 16th RAI CULTURA .

Frank Corcoran’s new LYRIC FM CD ” Rhapsodic Celli ” presented by Professor Guido Zaccagnini of

Rome’s Santa Cecilia Conservatorio .

The program starts at 9.30′.

The musical example chosen is “Mo Roisin Dubh” , one of the most beautiful of Frank Corcoran’s recent

8 DUETTI IRLANDESI for Cello and Piano .

MAY AND JUNE – SOME FROLICS IN MUSIC

Well. we did it.

And well it was that we did my three concerts well – in Rome, Bolsena and Dublin.

Sublime playing from the PRATOLEVA TRIO. Sublime programming too, as they got through

to great audiences my idea of ” SEAN ” and ” NUA” , “OLD AND NEW “, Italian and Irish programmed

works.

This embedded well the premiering of my new 2. PIANO TRIO ( with Viola ) ,

the birthing of a new Corcoran work where – forty years ago – I had with the FIRST Piano Trio broken

through an important barrier with Corcoran’s macrocounterpoint.

Yes, well, we did it.

DROPBOX HAS MY ” TRAUERFELDER” AND “QUASI UNA FUGA” . NOW

The dropbox link I sent has a folder containing both ” Trauerfelder ” and ” Quasi una fuga ” .

I don’t understand the confusion with these works – the link is here again :

https://www.dropbox.com/sh/s31qfpd5zmsn4n2/AAD8IIBuqPz7XaQg8s4Boxtka?dl=0

– Both are GREAT Corcoran works – Great percussion in TRAUERFELDER on the horror of tortured death;

and QUASI UNA FUGA ‘s 18 Strings morph from my fugal polyphony into a 6.th c. Celtic Hymn.

A HIP JOURNAL HMMMM.

Frank,

They just went live with the essay on Colony…SEE: http://www.colony.ie/#!joyceanaesthetics/csdx

Text, audio, manuscripts and photos…..I think it looks, sounds and reads

well….this is a very hip journal and everyone on Dublin in reading this right

now……!!!!!!

Access through CHROME…..NOT Safari

DUBLIN JUNE 4 2017 HUGH LANE GALLERY CONCERT AND CD

Artist: Frank Corcoran

Event: HUGH LANE GALLERY DUBLIN Concert

4 Duetti Irlandesi for Cello and Piano:

( Im Aonar Seal, Sean O Duibhir an Ghleanna , Roisin Dubh, A Mhairin De Barra , )

Piano Trio ( World Premiere )

Viola solo ( Var.s on ” A Mhairin de Barra ” )

Solo cello Rhapsodietta Joyceana

and LYRIC-FM Frank Corcoran CD launch ” Rhapsodic Celli ” .

Date and time: Sunday June 4th

Venue: Hugh Lane Gallery, Dublin

Further Info: At this Concert LYRIC FM will also launch the new Frank Corcoran CD RHAPSODIC CELLI

MORE GOOD WORK BY MOONLIGHT

5.5.2016 WGXC Radio : Frank Corcoran QUASI UNA MISSA

2.2.2017 WGXC Radio : Frank Corcoran VIOLIN CONCERTO, QUASI UNA MISSA, TRAUERFELDER

2.3.2017 WGXC Radio : ” Cello Concerto and QUASI UNA FUGA

27.4.2017 Woodville Theatre, Gravesend, England.
The Italian violinist virtuoso, Luigi De Filippi gives the English premiere of Frank Corcoran’s
SEVEN MINIATURES for Solo Violin.

END OF MAY HAIKUS ON THIS NIGHTINGALE NIGHT

This lark is larking,
HE scatters quavers , crotchets
His whole bird-life long.

Listen ! Wow ! Blackbird !
It broadcasts its bel canto
Across the wide lough.

Thrush, no ! Blackbird, yes !
Neither has humour, music,
But they imitate .

Between shore and shore
Yawns an immense, great distance
Watch ! – the bird tried it .

LATE MAY MUSIC AT THE TIBER AND THE LAKE

Domenica 28 maggio – ore 18.00

Piccolo Teatro Cavour – corso Cavour – BOLSENA

Pratoleva Piano Trio
MUSICISTI MEMBRI DELLA NATIONAL SYMPHONY ORCHESTRA DI IRLANDA
Fergal Caulfield: pianoforte
Adèle Johnson: viola
Martin Johnson: violoncello

L’evento di Bolsena segue la Prima italiana di due opere del Maestro Corcoran presso l’Ambasciata di Irlanda in Roma: “Piano Trio” e “Duetti Irlandesi” basati su Sean n’os, un’antica melodia irlandese.