Articles

No Hint of Bad Taste
Claude Debussy stands apart as a modernist – extremely popular and yet he tore up the rulebook of harmony and form, rebelling against the tyranny of the barline and heavy orchestration. Boulez described it as ‘instantaneous self-renewal’. How did he get there? His starting point was an obsession with pleasure, writes Stephen Walsh.
Is Music the Glue That Will Get Us Through?
When we have instant access to every piece of music that we love, anywhere and anytime, something profound has happened, writes Toner Quinn.
What Does Brexit Mean for Music?
For those who make music, Brexit must surely mean resistance, writes composer Christopher Fox.
70 Years of the RTÉ NSO – In Pictures
Celebrating 70 years this week, the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra will perform a celebratory concert on Friday with a new work by Brian Byrne as well as works by Wagner and Deirdre Gribbin. Here, The Journal of Music is delighted to present a range of images from the Orchestra's illustrious history.
Balfe's 'Sleeping Queen' Returns to Dublin
Michael William Balfe's 1864 work 'The Sleeping Queen' was his only operetta and written for surprisingly small forces. Una Hunt tells the story of the work ahead of its performance at the NCH – the first staging in Dublin in modern times.
The Orchestras are Only One Part of the Question
The debate around RTÉ's orchestras points to deeper challenges – it's essential that we keep this conversation going, writes Toner Quinn.
Musicians and Conductors Speak Out on RTÉ Orchestral Review
Growing concern from music community over implications for musical life if orchestras diminished –  we speak to conductors Fergus Sheil and Sinéad Hayes, composer and pianist Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin and violinist Elizabeth Cooney, all of whom have performed with the RTÉ orchestras.
An Orchestra Out of Step?
An orchestra playing less new music, writes Adrian Smith, is out of step with contemporary culture. Has the amount of contemporary music being played by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra been in decline in recent years? Smith undertook an analysis of recent programming.
The Edges of Revolt
What makes a political folk opera work? Do traditional musicians go far enough in their experimentations? And what is the 'social side' of classical music? Toner Quinn reflects on a range of questions raised by the musical riches at this year's Kilkenny Arts Festival.
A Guide to a Global, Hybrid Music
Gearóid Ó hAllmhuráin's reissued book 'A Short History of Irish Traditional Music' stands the test of time, writes Aileen Dillane, and contains new material on female musicians as well as the expanding presence of Irish music studies.