Frank Corcoran

irish composer


For interviews or further information contact: Eoin Brady – 003561 207335
Rhapsodic Celli: The Music of Frank Corcoran
CD Release June 2017
Soloist Martin Johnson explores Frank Corcoran’s writing for cello in all its nuances, from the
swagger of a concerto and the rhapsodic polyphony of his work for eight cellos through to
composer’s arrangements of folk tunes for cello and piano informed by the rhythmic patois of the
Irish language.
Frank Corcoran has lived and taught in Germany for most of his professional life but has retained a
profound connection with the literature and traditional music of his native country. It is this distance
from and relationship with Ireland that informs so much of his music: directly, as in the case his short
Rhapsodietta Joyceana for solo cello and, more subtly, in the tensile interplay between soloist and
orchestra in his first Cello Concerto.
Nowhere is this sense of place more evident, however, than in Corcoran’s Duetti Irlandesi for Cello
and Piano which pay homage to the distant musical ancestor, the master harper Floirint Ó Corcorain.
These traditional melodies would originally have been played on the Irish harp and the Composer
says, “…have been haunting me since my rural childhood in Tipperary. I had long been appalled by
the settings of old Irish melodies attempted by Beethoven, Haydn, Britten, Harty and too many other
well-meaning composers: their often saccharine harmonies, their rhythmic iron corsets or indeed the
foursquare form too often adopted.” Instead, Corcoran has incorporated the freer sean nós or oldstyle
singing rhythms and grace notes into his classically informed settings of these tunes so they
become “… historical miniatures of my vanished Ireland.”
Rhapsodic Celli will be launched at The Hugh Lane Gallery Sundays@Noon concert, Parnell
Square North, Dublin 1 on 4th June.
The RTÉ lyric fm label is dedicated to promoting Irish musicians and composers worldwide. Our
CDs have been critically acclaimed nationally and internationally from Australia to Germany and the
United States.

Posted under: Humble Hamburg Musings

Comments are closed.