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 Novembe
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.
Séamas de Barra reviews a history of music publishing firm Boosey & Hawkes
Christian Curnyn (cond.), Annilese Miskimmon (dir.), William Towers (Orlando), Natasha Jouhl (Angelica), Reno Troilus (Medoro), Mary Hegarty (Dorinda) & Jonathan Best (Zoroastro)The Helix, Dublin29 September 2007Opera Theatre Company’s
NCH, Dublin/4 Dame Lane, Dublin28 September 2007Friday 28 September was a big day for Music 21, as this year’s program of events concluded with two radically different concerts.
RTÉ Concert Orchestra/David Brophy; The Smith Quartet; Craig Ogden; Gerard McChrystal; Sinéad Farrell; Roger MoffattRTÉ Lyric FM CD113This first full recording of Ciarán Farrell’s offers ample evidence of a productive first...
Spiccato JunctionGalway Ensemble in Residence GER-CD-002Máirtín O’Connor and Cathal Hayden have been two of the most dynamic performers of Irish traditional music over the past few years, and on this sparkling CD they collaborate with the..
Beethoven Sonatas – ‘Spring’, Op 24; ‘Kreutzer’, Op 47. Rondo in G, WOO41. Kreisler, Rondino on a Theme of BeethovenRTÉ Lyric FM CD111To say that Catherine Leonard and Hugh Tinney make the mighty Kreutzer Sonata sound easy...
Music Appointments at the Arts CouncilThere have been two recent music appointments in the Arts Council. Rosemary Collier has been appointed as Head of Music and Opera, while Paul Flynn has been appointed Head of Traditional Arts.
Professor Leith Davis, Simon Fraser University, Canada, writes:First, my thanks for including a review of my Music, Postcolonialism and Gender in the May/June issue of JMI.
Dave Flynn, Spiddal, Co. Galway, writes:In his ‘New Work Notes’ column, John McLachlan has criticised music which he deems ‘simplistic’ or ‘accessible’. In his most recent article he reverts to Adorno-like extremes by stating:...
Dr Evelyn Grant, Chair, Forum for Music in Ireland/Fóram don Cheol in Éirinn, writes:Your editorial in the May-June issue outlines ‘two movements’ in music education in Ireland. You refer to the Forum for Music in Ireland and Music...
DOYLE WINS MAGISTERIUM AWARDIrish composer Roger Doyle has won the prestigious Magisterium Award at the Bourges International Electro-acoustic Music Competition in France for his work The Ninth Set.
The Life and Times of Grace O’Malley, the 16th Century-Century Irish Pirate Queen Augustinian Church, Galway, 17 May 2007Pirates of the BaroqueSt Nicholas Collegiate Church, Galway, 18 May 2007 In spite of the Arts Council’s mind-numbingly
VeerRiverrun Records RVRCD77The Callino QuartetWith a playing time of just one hour, this concentrated clutch of three string quartets and a suite of ‘elegiac pieces’ offers itself up as a clenched fist of a programme that the listener must
Mícheál Ó Súilleabháin remembers a seminal figure in Irish musical life.
Beethoven Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 5, ‘Emperor’Satirino SR063Camerata Ireland’s lightly shaped, fleetly delivered Beethoven concerto series reaches its mid-way point with performances of the First and the Fifth, the noble Emperor, that..
Musica Jubilans: Sounds of GlenstalGlenstal Abbey SDGCD 646The beautiful, low-lying Normanesque Glenstal Abbey in Murroe, a short distance from Limerick city, is much else apart from the Irish headquarters of the Benedictines.
Una HuntFallen Leaves from an Irish AlbumRTÉ Lyric FM CD109Una Hunt has long been a champion of forgotten Irish music in the concert hall and on disc.
The very first Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland, the most comprehensive publication on music ever to have been undertaken in Ireland, is currently in preparation and scheduled to be published in 2010.
JMI SEEKS PUBLISHING ASSISTANTJMI welcomes letters of application from individuals interesting in working for the magazine on a part-time basis.
Talk about ‘music education’ in Ireland is actually about classical music education.
A review of Ross W. Duffin's new book on tuning, How Equal Temperament Ruined Harmony (and why you should care).
The Guiding Moon, West Ocean Records, WORCD 101 The West Ocean String Quartet’s second CD exemplifies the continuing interest of musicians in extending the boundaries of traditional music, in this case framing the music within the context o
JMI WINS DESIGN AWARD Simon O’Connor has won the ‘Designer of the Year’ award at the PPAI national magazine awards for his redesign of the JMI.
Rosaleen Molloy, on behalf of the Board of CNC, Cork, writes:The Board of CNC/Association of Irish Choirs welcomes the publication of ‘Chorus for Change’ by Michael Mc Glynn (JMI, Sep–Oct ’06) in which he raised a number of pertinent...
NEW CMC CD & SEMINARThe Contemporary Music Centre has released Contemporary Music from Ireland Volume Six, showcasing works composed over the last five years by eleven Irish composers, including Linda Buckley, Ian Wilson, Ed Bennett, Si
Sparked by a recent book on musical life in America over the past two centuries – Joseph Horowitz’ Classical Music in America: A History of its Rise and Fall – Barra Ó Séaghdha considers the classical music experiences of the US and Britain
The time is right to look at choral music in Ireland as a whole and open up a debate concerning its future.
TRADITIONAL MUSIC ARCHIVE MOVESIn the course of a week in mid-July, the Irish Traditional Music Archive moved from its long-time home in 63 Merrion Square, Dublin 2, to new premises at 73 Merrion Square.
Fergus Johnston's 'Brahms Begins the Day'World premiere Brahmsfest, NSO, Baiba Skride (violin), Gerhard Markson (cond.), NCH, Dublin, 28 April 2006Fergus Johnston’s Brahms begins the day is sculpted from unlikely clay: the m
Reflections on the Adorno/Berg Correspondences.
Seán Ó Riada, the Cúil Aodha choir and 'Mo Ghile Mear'.
PROJECT 06 IN GALWAYPROJECT 06 is a one-off arts festival which will coincide with the Galway Arts Festival on 17-30 July.
Desmond Fennell, Anguillara, Italy, writes:From Bob Gilmore’s article (JMI, January–February), I note that Steve Reich has written: ‘All music turns out to be ethnic music’. This reinforces what I said about ‘classical’...
A review of Richard Pine's book Music and Broadcasting in Ireland.
12.1.06 The Atlantean – a talk by film-maker Bob Quinn, with particular reference to traditional Irish and North African music, Douglas Hyde Gallery, Trinity College, Dublin 2, 7pm.
David Flynn, London, writes:In his letter in the last issue of JMI, Raymond Deane claims the Irish Bartók I described in ‘Looking for the Irish Bartók’ is an ‘inward-looking sleeveen’, but he missed an important part of...
• gigs start at 8pm unless specified otherwise10.11.05 Crash Ensemble & Gavin Friday, OReilly Theatre, Dublin 110.11.05 Mostly Modern, electro-acoustic music introduced by Siobhan Cleary, Bank of Ireland Arts Centre, Foster Place, Dub
Debates about the ‘Irishness’ of a composer’s music are not new in Ireland. The subject often occuppied Aloys Fleischmann, particularly as a young man in the 1930s.
In defence of philistinism.
Dear Editor,A large part of Barra Ó Séaghdha’s review of Prof. Harry White’s new book (JMI July-August) was taken up with White’s theory of why nineteenth-century Ireland did not produce a classical composer of international...
Dear Editor,A ghost haunts the JMI – the ghost of the Irish Bartók. When last seen some years back, this fearsome spectre was safely tucked in his tomb, a sprig of garlic in his gob and a shamrock up each hairy nostril.
Dear Editor,David Flynn asks why has there not been an Irish Bartók and bemoans the lack of an Irish school of composition.
Dear EditorI applaud David Flynn’s search for the ‘Irish Bartók’, and I agree with almost everything he says, but I am afraid his ideas don’t have a snowball’s chance in hell. On one side are people who say ‘Irish...
'Irish music' in The Cambridge Companion to Modern Irish Culture.
Barra Ó Séaghdha reviews The Progress of Music in Ireland, a wide-ranging new book of essays by Harry White on the relationship between music, cultural history and musicology in Ireland.
Irish traditional music has played an interesting role in the writing on Irish classical music through the years – sometimes an inspiration to composers, sometimes a burden – but, asks Toner Quinn, do traditional musicians recognise themsel
Is there a connection between improvisation in music-making and the exploratory babbling of an infant? Why is improvisation more often than not group-based rather than solo? Why are improvisational musical therapies so successful?
Fed up with the international notion of ‘Irish Music’ as simply ‘Irish traditional music’, musicologist Axel Klein travelled from Bonn to the USA last October to try and change some American minds. He tells JMI readers how he fared.
Dear Editor,Patrick Zuk clearly wishes that modernism had never happened, and hence is unable to imagine that it might still be a living presence – hence the wishful thinking implied by the past tense in his title.
‘We all felt very lonely after you had gone. Your visit was like a part of an Irish fairy tale...’. Part and parcel of the British Composer Arnold Bax’s attachment to Ireland was his warm friendship with the Fleischmanns in Cork.
In the second and final part of his article on Arnold Schoenberg, Patrick Zuk traces the development of the modernist composer’s social and political vision and explores how it influenced his music.
In light of the arts council embarking on a consultation process in order to replace the Arts Plan 2002-2006, composer Roger Doyle offers his suggestions for improving and expanding current structures for music.
In response to composer Raymond Deane’s article, ‘Must Music be Accessible?’, which appeared in our July-August issue, we received a letter from the writer Desmond Fennell. We took the opportunity to ask both Raymond Deane and Desmond...
A review of a recent book on the Dublin composer.
Almost one hundred years have passed since the composition of the atonal works which were largely responsible for instigating musical modernism.
Dear EditorI’m a little puzzled to see in Jürgen Simpson’s review of Tomás Ó Canainn’s Seán Ó Riada, his life and work that there is apparently little in the book about Ó Riada’s drink problem....
Dear Editor,Patrick Zuk continues to champion the ideas of the book Reviving the Muse: Essays on Music after Modernism (‘Composition and Criticism’, March–April JMI). The thrust of the book is that modernism represents a degeneration for...
The accessibility of music is a political issue, not an aesthetic one, writes composer Raymond Deane
In an extract from a major new book, The Cork Choral Festival 1954-2004, edited by Ruth Fleischmann, Irish composer Seoirse Bodley shares his memories of the Festival’s seminar on contemporary music through the years as well as his experien
A new book on Seán Ó Ríada's life and work.
'And in a moment the Celt within me stood revealed,' wrote the English composer Arnold Bax on reading Yeats in 1902. But what really was Arnold Bax's relationship with Ireland?
Would-be orchestral musicians in Ireland are at a disadvantage – despite several attempts over the years to address the problem, there is no training orchestra or postgraduate diploma in orchestral studies which could prepare players for po
Benjamin Dwyer discusses the treatment of classical music in some recent books on Irish culture.
Dear Editor,Fintan Vallely is quite right to regard The Keeper’s Recital as an important contribution to recent writing on music in Ireland.
In the last issue of JMI, composer Patrick Zuk argued that contemporary music composition is in crisis. Composer and Artistic Director of the 2004 Sligo Contemporary Music festival, Ian Wilson, bats back...
Dear Editor,As JMI reaches its third birthday, I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate you on the excellent contribution it has made to the music scene in Ireland.
Barra Ó Séaghdha looks back over the JMI's first three years and suggests possibilities for the future...
That JMI has raised more questions than provided answers over the past three years goes without saying. Few will be surprised or bothered by this.
Dear Editor,What dreary horror to see Patrick Zuk occupying 30 per cent of a 34-page magazine again (JMI, July/August 2003). In this format the potential wisdom of his words becomes just an unmemorable gripe, however revelatory.
Dear Editor, Richard Pine has let himself down badly in his response in the last issue of the JMI to Patrick Zuk’s article ‘Music and Nationalism’.
A major new book on Irish classical music in the twentieth century.
Dear Editor,I was very interested to read Raymond Deane’s article on music and education in the May/June issue of the JMI.
Music teacher Arthur Sealy takes up the issues raised by Raymond Deane in his recent article on the use of his composition Seachanges (with danse macabre) in the Leaving Cert. examination.
A conference held in Virginia, USA, on ‘Re-imagining Ireland’ invited an array of Irish artists and intellectuals to discuss the modern Irish identity – but entirely omitted classical music. Raymond Deane explores why.