Michael Quinn

Michael Quinn is a freelance music and theatre journalist based in Co. Down.

The Meeting of Known and Unknown
Four recent solo recordings by Kate Ellis, Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, Cora Venus Lunny and Adrian Hart point to new dialogues in Irish music.
Taking the Listener Everywhere and Nowhere
Michael Quinn listens to two recent piano recordings by new music advocate Mary Dullea.
The End of the Critic?
Is the era of the critic coming to an end? The digital age seems to suggest it is, writes Michael Quinn.
Albion: An Anthology (Navigator 29)
Jennifer Walshe
XXX­_Live_Nude_Girls!!!, Mere Recordings (Mere002)
Jordi Savall / Andrew Lawrence-King
The Celtic Viol, Alia Vox (AVSA 9865)
VariousHiccupRTÉ lyric fm CD123Hiccup makes a timely appearance as newspaper headlines sound alarm bells about the financial difficulties facing RTÉ. This satisfyingly varied compendium of works commissioned by the broadcaster’s music and...
Double TrioDiatribe Recordings DIACD006Double Trio is the product of Ian Wilson’s year-long residency in the Glencullen electoral area south of Dublin. Commissioned by Dún Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council as part of its Place and Identity programme,...
Batu. Barcode III. HunshigoAltarus (AIR-CD-9027)Darragh Morgan (violin), Mary Dullea (piano)Simon Mawhinney first encountered Kaikhosru Shapurji Sorabji’s intimidating, four-hour Opus clavicembalisticum while still a young, would-be musician. Its abiding...
Benjamin Dwyer –  Twelve Études for Guitar
Twelve Études for Guitar Gamelan Media (GAM0004)
Recorded: The NMC Songbook
Various artistsThe NMC SongbookNMC D150For a label that was set up with the decidedly recherché aim of celebrating contemporary British music (an aspiration whose reach was happily extended to encompass living Irish composers) and whose name alludes...
RTÉ Lyric FM CD121The third volume in RTÉ’s Composers of Ireland series turns the spotlight on Seóirse Bodley with three works drawn from separate performances at the National Concert Hall, Dublin, in June 2001 (A small white cloud...
Cool Steel ArmyPsychoNavigation Records PSY 028A new album from Roger Doyle, and with it another change of label for the perpetually nomadic composer. That his newfound home, PsychoNavigation Records, is Dublin-based at least gives cause for cautious optimism...
CD Reviews: Margaret Burke Sheridan
Un Bel Di…RTÉ lyric fm CD118This tribute to the County Mayo-born soprano Margaret Burke Sheridan has been released to mark the fiftieth anniversary of her death, although its appearance chimes poignantly with the death in September of the only...
CD Reviews: Balfe
Shakespeare’s vainglorious corpulent knight Falstaff has proved an irresistible lure to composers over the centuries. Salieri, Mozart, Elgar, Holst, Vaughan Williams and, most memorably, Verdi, have all set the...
When is a Symphony not a Symphony?
On the attractions of the cinematic canon
The great works of the classical canon abide because they have something to say about the here and now. We need to stop devaluing them, writes Michael Quinn.
CD Reviews: Ensemble Avalon
Bax, Bernstein and BeethovenRTÉ lyric fm CD116Only one of the traditional ‘Three Bs’ features on the debut offering from the ensemble avalon, but so persuasive is this coupling of Beethoven with Arnold Bax and Leonard Bernstein that...
CD Reviews: Clíona Doris
A Pale Yellow SkyRTÉ lyric fm CD115It is difficult to call to mind another concert harpist of the calibre of County Down’s Clíona Doris who has the imagination to think differently about an instrument perhaps best known by audiences...
CD Reviews: Bill Whelan
The Connemara SuiteCloonisle Records TARACD 4021In the last issue of JMI, Bill Whelan spoke candidly about the vertiginous experience of finding himself at the centre of Riverdance, the interval-filling distraction turned international phenomenon, and...
CD Reviews: Ian Wilson
TundraLimb from Limb Records LFL 001Ian Wilson is surely one of the busiest of Irish composers at the moment – and one of the most diverse and wide-ranging. This latest offering is the score for a multi-media dance performance that will be seen...
CD Reviews: Yurodny
Odd SetDiatribe Recordings DIACD002For pointers, geographical as well as musical, to the where, what, why and how of Yurodny, take yourself to its MySpace page and scroll down to see who has signed up as a friend of the ever-changing Dublin collective.You...
CD Reviews: The Mornington Singers
SolasFounded in 1997, The Mornington Singers move elegantly into their second decade with an accomplished collection of a cappella performances.Based in Dublin, the 36-strong mixed voice choir was begun by graduates of Trinity College who were keen to...
CD Reviews: Garth Knox
D’Amore serves up one of the most curious listening experiences gleaned from a classical recording in many a long day. And I don’t, necessarily, mean hearing a brace of traditional Irish and Scottish dances played by the odd-couple pairing...
CD Reviews: Fovea Hex
Neither Speak Nor Remain SilentDie Stadt DS89COriginally issued between November 2005 and June 2007, Neither Speak Nor Remain Silent is a musical riddle masquerading as an extended narrative teased out across three self-contained EPs, each containing...
CD Reviews: Canty
Apostle of IrelandDivine Art DDA25065Celebrating their tenth anniversary this year, Canty, Scotland’s only professional group dedicated to the performance of medieval music, turns its attention towards Ireland and specifically to Irish plainchant...
A.M.E.N.Daisy Discs, DLDC 026 Nóirín Ní Riain has long been known as a singer of songs of a spiritual dimension, her repertoire stemming from sources as diverse as the ancient vocal traditions of Ireland and India and the no less venerable...
BulbNMC, NMC D147Of all the great forms of chamber music, JMI contributor Bob Gilmore observes in his astute booklet note for this new offering from the Fidelio Trio, the piano trio, for any number of reasons, seems to have had the hardest time remaining relevant...
Icon of an Age: The AnthologyZampano ProductionsJohn McCormack gave his farewell performance (a handful of subsequent morale-boosting wartime concerts notwithstanding) to a packed Royal Albert Hall in London 70 years ago this coming November. As musical milestones...