Composing The Island

Composing The Island

Composing the Island: A Century of Music in Ireland 1916-2016, September 7th - 25th

A new centenary project launched by Heather Humphreys (Minister for Regional Development, Rural Affairs, Arts & the Gaeltacht), Composing the Island will present 29 concerts of orchestral, choral, instrumental, song and chamber music by Irish composers written between 1916 and 2016. For more information, go to www.nch.ie/Online/Composing-the-Island

In celebration of this wonderful project, RTÉ lyric fm will broadcast a host of live performances, interviews, recorded concerts and documentaries from the lyric archives, in exploration of the works and lives of Irish composers. Here is a full list of what you can hear on the station over the next few weeks:


Click below to view as a booklet:

 

Friday, 12th August, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - Aloys Fleischmann (1910-1992) Part 1

The Fountain of Magic: The first of two programmes about the life and work of this important Irish composer, conductor, teacher and musicologist. The programme features aspects of his musical heritage, the early works, the development of the music department at University College, Cork, the foundation of the Cork Symphony Orchestra and the Cork Choral Festival. Contributors include Ruth Fleischmann, Séamas de Barra, Micheál O Súilleabháin, Kitty Buckley, Vivienne Ryan and archive recordings of Aloys Fleischmann.

Listen back HERE

Friday, 19th August, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - Aloys Fleischmann (1910-1992) Part 2

The Freedom of the City: The second of two programmes about the life and work of this important Irish composer, conductor, teacher and musicologist. This programme features his later works, the Cork Choral seminars, campaigns to improve music in Ireland and his monumental opus, ‘Sources of Irish Traditional Music’. Contributions from Ruth Fleischmann, Séamas de Barra, Micheál O Súilleabháin, Kitty Buckley, Patrick Zuk as well as archive recordings of Aloys Fleischmann.

Listen back HERE


Friday, 26th August, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - Sunlight and Shadow: The Composer Frederick May

Described as 'a gentle, difficult, combative soul', Frederick May composed against a personal background of deafness and mental illness. He 'led the way for the rest of us' according to Brian Boydell and his Prison Songs and String Quartet are both groundbreaking works. After studying in London and Vienna he returned to Dublin, but his later years are shrouded in obscurity. With contributions from Garech Browne, Seoirse Bodley, John Kinsella, Colm Tóibín, George Morrison and archive interviews with the composer himself. Presented by Máire Nic Gearailt The critically acclaimed CD ‘Sunlight and Shadow: The Orchestral Works of Frederick May’ is available nationwide and online www.rte.ie/lyricfm/articles/releases/

Listen back HERE


Friday, 2nd September, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - Bax, Ireland and 1916

In 1902, Arnold Bax read Yeats’ The Wanderings of Oisín, an experience which he claimed revealed to him his own inner Celt. This would lead to a long relationship between the composer and Ireland. He became a regular visitor and sometime resident of both Glencolmcille and Dublin and also wrote poetry under the pseudonym Dermot O’Byrne. The high water mark of his Irish association was his work In Memoriam, Pádraig Pearse which was written in 1916. In the succeeding years Bax’s connection with Irish nationalism waned somewhat but he was still a controversial appointee to the post of Master of the King’s Music in 1941. He died in Cork in 1953. In Bax, Ireland and 1916, Aidan Thomson and guests explore the Bax’s complex and unusual relationship with Ireland, Irishness and Patrick Pearse. Contributors include Roy Foster, Graham Parlett, Maria McHale, Conor Caldwell and Lewis Foreman. Presented by Aidan Thomson

Listen back HERE


Wednesday, 7th September, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - “From the Darkness”

Ina Boyle (1889-1967) was a major Irish composer of the early 20th century, yet she has been almost completely forgotten. The daughter of a Church of Ireland clergyman, she lived all her life in Enniskerry, County Wicklow, in a house which continues its musical connections to this day and is now home to singer Chris de Burgh and Diane Davison. Ina Boyle achieved some major successes early in her career – she is the only female composer included in the Carnegie Collection of British Music – and studied with Vaughan Williams, who regarded her highly. But she often had to struggle to get her music performed or published, and lived out her final years alone in the large house in Enniskerry, an increasingly eccentric figure, still doggedly writing her music. Much of her work has never been published or performed in public and this programme includes the first ever recordings of several songs performed by mezzo soprano Sonya Keogh, accompanied on piano by David Brophy. From the Darkness” tells the story of her life and music. Producer: Claire Cunningham.

A Rockfinch production for RTÉ lyric fm with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the Television Licence Fee.

Listen back HERE


Wednesday 7th September, 8pm

The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriott

Paul Herriott is live from the National Concert Hall with the opening concert of Composing the Island: A century of music in Ireland 1916-2016 performed by the RTÉ Concert Orchestra conducted by Kenneth Montgomery. Sponsored by Bord na Móna and presented by RTÉ and the National Concert Hall.

Charles Villiers Stanford:  Irish Rhapsody No. 4 The Fisherman of Lough Neagh and What He Saw (1914) 

Norman Hay: Dunluce (1921) 

Ina Boyle: Symphony No. 1 Glencree (1927)

Listen back HERE for the concert and the Composing the Island Interval - from 2RN to RTE NSO

In tonight's interval, Bernard Clarke traces the development of the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, from its first 1926 broadcast as 2RN


Thursday, 8th September, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - “Women of Note” - PROGRAMME 1: Augusta Holmes (1847-1903)

In the first programme in the series, Axel Klein, the author of “Irish Music in the Twentieth Century” and Jo-Ann Falletta, principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra, talk about the particular obstacles which women composers faced in the 19th and early 20th centuries. They introduce us to the music of Augusta Holmes (1847-1903), who was forced to use a male pseudonym in the early years of her career in order to be taken seriously as a composer. In time, her reputation grew to the extent that she was chosen to compose an ode to commemorate the centenary of the French Revolution. The programme includes a new performance by contralto Elizabeth Pink, accompanied on piano by Anthony Byrne, of Augusta Holmès’s “Noël d’Irlande”. Producer: Claire Cunningham


Thursday, 8th September, 7.30pm

The Lyric Feature - “Women of Note” - PROGRAMME 2: Adela Maddison (1862/3-1929) and Hope Temple (1859-1938)

Both women studied in Paris, but their careers were vastly different. Hope Temple would probably be entirely forgotten if it were not for a mention of one of her works in Ulysses, while Adela Maddison's work has lasted, with some of her songs still forming part of the French repertoire. The programme includes new performances by mezzo soprano Colette McGahon, accompanied by David Brophy on piano, of songs by both composers. Producer: Claire Cunningham

A Rockfinch production for RTÉ lyric fm with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the Television Licence Fee.

Listen back to Programme 1 and Programme 2 of "Women of Note" HERE


Thursday 8th September, 8pm

The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriott 

In tonight's concert, Paul features the work of Irish composer Deirdre Gribbin with works including Venus Blazing, Unity of Being and Empire States performed by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra conducted by Gavin Maloney and Island People and Anahorish as performed by the Vanburgh Quartet.

Listen back HERE


Friday, 9th September, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - Cross Currents PROGRAMME 1: Breakthrough

Episode 1 explores the generation of Irish composers who emerged in the 1970s and examines what and who influenced them and their emerging sound. Many of them looked towards Germany and the contemporary music developing there with composers like Karlheinz Stockhausen and Mauricio Kagel rather than looking inward to Irish sources or a tradition shaped by Sean O Riada. The episode deals with the musical roots they grew in and explores how they became composers, comparing these experiences to those of the younger generations. Contributions from some of the older generation of composers provide important historical and creative context for the period, helping set the scene.

Composers featured: Seóirse Bodley, John Kinsella, Gerald Barry, Frank Corcoran, Raymond Deane, John Buckley, Jennifer Walshe, Amanda Feery, Garrett Sholdice, Donnacha Dennehy (pictured)

Listen back HERE


Friday 9th September, 8pm

The Friday Concert with Paul Herriott 

Paul Herriott is live from the National Concert Hall for another concert in Composing the Island: A century of music in Ireland 1916-2016. Sponsored by Bord na Móna and presented by RTÉ and the National Concert Hall.

Howard Ferguson: Partita for Orchestra (1936) 

Frederick May: Symphonic Ballad (1937) 

Hamilton Harty: The Children of Lir (1938) 

Aloys Fleischmann: The Four Masters (1944) 

RTÉ Concert Orchestra 

Máire Flavin (soprano) 

Gavin Maloney (conductor) 

Listen back to the concert and interval 'Claire Fitch on Game Sound HERE


Wednesday 14th September, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - Noel Kelehan: Ozone - The Story of The Noel Kelehan Quintet

Noel Kelehan is probably best known as the former musical director of RTÉ and as conductor of the RTÉ Orchestra at numerous Eurovision song contests. What isn't widely known is that Kelehan was an accomplished jazz pianist and arguably one of the greatest jazz musicians this country has ever seen. In 1979, Kelehan, along with his quintet - who had spent the previous three years performing together - recorded their one and only album entitled 'Ozone'. This programme will delve into the underground jazz scene of late 1970's Dublin and looks at the recording of a rare Irish jazz album which is still having an impact on music to this very day. Contributors include Frank Hess, Keith Donald, Ronan Guilfoyle and Mike Slott. Presented by Peter Curtin

Listen back HERE


Wednesday 14th September, 8pm 

The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriott

Paul Herriott is live from the National Concert Hall for another concert in Composing the Island: A century of music in Ireland 1916-2016. Sponsored by Bord na Móna and presented by RTÉ and the National Concert Hall.

Brian Boydell: In Memoriam Mahatma Gandhi, Op. 30 (1948) 

Seán Ó Riada: Hercules Dux Ferrariae (1957) 

John Larchet: By the Waters of Moyle (1957) 

Éamonn Ó Gallchobhair: Waltz from Nocturne sa Chearnóig (1959) 

Thomas C. Kelly:  Fantasia for Harp & Orchestra, on two Irish Airs (O’Carolan’s Lament and The Heather Glen) (1960) 

Noel Kelehan: Cuchulainn’s Lament (1967) 

Gerard Victory: In Memoriam James Connolly (1966) 

A. J. Potter: Sinfonia de Profundis (1969) 

RTÉ Concert Orchestra 

David Brophy (Conductor)  

Listen back HERE


Thursday, 15th September, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - “Women of Note” - PROGRAMME 3: Annie Patterson (1868-1934) and Dorothy Parke (1904-1990)

Annie Patterson was born in County Armagh, but her family moved to Dublin when she was a young child. She composed and taught music, and wrote books and articles about music, but her greatest achievement is probably the founding of the Feis Ceoil. The programme includes new performances of works by Annie Patterson. Contralto Elizabeth Pink is  accompanied on piano by Anthony Byrne.

Dorothy Parke (1904-1990). Dorothy Parke was born in Derry and dedicated her life to teaching music. From 1930, she became a highly accomplished piano teacher, working in Derry, Coleraine and Belfast. She continued to compose while teaching, with her greatest output of works from the 1930s to the 1960s. Her work includes instrumental, solo vocal and choral works for both adults and children. She was also the first tutor for young musicians who would later become internationally renowned, including Derek Bell.


Thursday, 15th September, 7.30pm

The Lyric Feature - “Women of Note” - PROGRAMME 4: Ellen O'Hea (185x-188x) and Mary Dickenson-Auner (1880-1965)

The lives of the composers featured in this week’s programme could hardly be more different. Ellen O'Hea (185x-188x), who published her music under the name Elena Norton, never left Ireland and died young (probably in her twenties). Only a couple of her songs survive; her operas have been lost, until perhaps they turn up somewhere in a dusty attic.

Mary Dickenson-Auner (1880-1965), on the other hand, lived in Ireland, Germany, Romania and Austria and died at the age of 85. She had a successful international career as a violinist, until the Nazis put a stop to her public performances in 1930s Austria. Now that she could neither perform nor teach, she devoted herself to composing, and between 1938 and 1963 Mary Dickenson-Auner wrote five symphonies, two oratorios, three operas and numerous chamber music works and songs. Producer: Claire Cunningham

A Rockfinch production for RTÉ lyric fm with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the Television Licence Fee.

Listen back to Parts 3 and 4 HERE


Thursday 15th September, 8pm 

The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriott   

In tonight's concert, Michael Lee features works by a selection of Irish composers

Seóirse Bodley (pictured): Piano Trio 

Agnew: Bread  

Wilson: an angel serves a small breakfast  

Martin O'Leary: Blue Toccata 

Volans: Symphony: Daar Kom die Alibama 

Trimble: Phantasy Trio 

Fennessy: chOirland 

John Buckley: Endless the White Clouds 

Cogan: Rondo from Sonata Op.8 No.3 

Jane O'Leary: something there 

Fergus Johnston: Three Bulgarian Pieces (2) 

Linda Buckley: Immersia II 

Listen back HERE


Friday, 16th September, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - Cross Currents PROGRAMME 2: Expanding Horizons

How have Irish composers dealt with their musical past and tradition? Do they challenge, react against it, embrace it or ignore it? Episode 2 looks at how the older and current generation of composers view the idea of tradition in Irish composition. What does it mean to be a composer in Ireland, what shapes you and the music you write? The episode also looks at how composers feel the need to reach out to new experiences and developments in music and how this impacts on their artistic development.  

Composers featured: Roger Doyle, Gerald Barry, Raymond Deane, Jane O’Leary, Frank Corcoran, Dave Flynn, Donnacha Dennehy, Jennifer Walshe

Listen back HERE


Friday 16th September

The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriott  

Paul Herriott is live from the National Concert Hall for another concert in Composing the Island: A century of music in Ireland 1916-2016. Sponsored by Bord na Móna and presented by RTÉ and the National Concert Hall.

Seóirse Bodley: Configurations (1967) 

Roger Doyle: Four Sketches for Orchestra (1969) 

Gerard Victory: Miroirs (1969) 

Raymond Deane: Sphinxes (1972 rev. 2015) 

Seóirse Bodley: A small white cloud drifts over Ireland (1975) 

Raymond Deane: Embers (1973/1978 rev. 2015) 

Gerald Barry: From The Intelligence Park (1986) 

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra 

Gerhard Markson (conductor) 

Listen back HERE


Wednesday, 21st September, 7pm

The Lyric Feature - Elizabeth Maconchy: A Girl Composer’s Triumph

Twenty one years after her death, Elizabeth Maconchy remains one of 20th century's most alluring yet forgotten musical figures. Born into an Irish family, "Betty" became famed for her versatility, writing string quartets, operas, vocal and orchestral works. A pioneering female composer, her musical voice embodied great lyricism and subtlety. Pianist Philip Martin celebrates the career of the Anglo-Irish composer and asks why Ireland has forgotten one of its greatest composers?. Her daughter, the composer Nicola Le Fanu, violinist and conductor Keith Pascoe, composer Rhona Clarke and Dominic Wheeler, Head of Opera at the Guildhall School, discuss Maconchy's powerful and versatile works. Producer: Ruth Fitzsimons

A Smooth Operations production for RTÉ lyric fm, funded by the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the Television Licence Fee.

Listen back HERE


Wednesday 21st September, 8pm

The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriott

Paul Herriott is live from the National Concert Hall for another concert in Composing the Island : A century of music in Ireland 1916-2016 Sponsored by Bord na Móna and presented by RTÉ and the National Concert Hall

John Buckley: Taller than Roman Spears (1977 rev. 1986)

John Kinsella: Symphony No. 3 Joie de Vivre (1990)

Kevin O’Connell: North (1998)

Siobhán Cleary: Alchemy (2001)

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Gavin Maloney (conductor)

Listen back HERE


Thursday, 22nd September

 

7pm

The Lyric Feature - Women of Note - PROGRAMME 5

Alicia Adelaide Needham (1880-1965) was a prolific composer who had more than 200 works published during her lifetime. Her collections of lullabies were her biggest successes and her lullaby Husheen became perhaps her best-known song, made famous by celebrity singers like Clara Butt.

Charlotte Milligan-Fox (1864-1916) was born in Omagh in Co Tyrone. Her major contribution to Irish music was to discover the Bunting Manuscripts, thereby saving many old Irish airs and songs from being lost. She made arrangements of many tunes and also wrote original compositions.

The programme includes performance of songs by Alicia Adelaide Needham by contralto Elizabeth Pink, accompanied by pianists Anthony Byrne and Deborah Kelleher, and a rare performance of ‘Spring’s Ecstasy’, a song by Charlotte Milligan-Fox, by soprano Virginia Kerr and pianist Therese Fahy.

The contributors to the programme are Axel Klein, author of Irish Music in the Twentieth Century, musicologist Jennifer O’Connor, and Colette Moloney of the Department of Creative and Performing Arts, Waterford Institute of Technology.

7.30pm

The Lyric Feature - Women of Note - PROGRAMME 6: Lady Helena Dufferin (1807-1867)

Lady Helena Dufferin was a songwriter, poet and author. She was the author of the immortal words “Och girls, dear, did you ever hear / I wrote my love a letter / and although he cannot read, sure I thought ‘twas all the better’. Some of her songs achieved popularity when they were performed by John Count McCormack.

Rhoda Coghill (1903-2000) will be known to generations of music lovers as the long-standing accompanist at RTÉ, although many are not aware that she, too, was also a poet and composer.      

The programme includes a new performance of Lady Dufferin’s Katey’s Letter by contralto Elizabeth Pink, accompanied by Anthony Byrne on piano, and performances of two songs by Lady Dufferin by baritone Gavan Ring and pianist Thérese Fahy. Thérese Fahy also performs of extracts from Rhoda Coghill’s solo piano piece Gaelic Phantasy.

The contributors to the programme are Axel Klein, author of Irish Music in the Twentieth Century, musicologist Jennifer O’Connor, and Laura Watson, lecturer in music at NUI Maynooth.

A Rockfinch Production for RTÉ lyric fm made with the support of the Sound & Vision Broadcasting Funding Scheme, a Broadcasting Authority of Ireland initiative.

Listen back HERE


Friday, 23rd September

The Lyric Feature - Cross Currents PROGRAMME 3: Full circle

The final episode looks at the legacy created by the generation of composers in the 1970s  and their impact and legacy on the younger generation of composers today. Some of the motivations and preoccupations of today’s young Irish composers, like Michael Gallen and Amanda Feery,  like the blurring of musical boundaries, the use and influence of digital technology on their creative work, and the role of audiences in their work as composers - are explored and compared to the previous generation. The series ends by examining the role of the Irish composer in today’s society, and asks if this role has changed over the past 40 years.

Composers featured:Michael Gallen, Amanda Feery, Linda Buckley, Garrett Sholdice, Donnacha Dennehy, Dave Flynn, Roger Doyle, Gerald Barry

An Athena Media production for RTÉ lyric fm made with the support of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland from the Television Licence Fee.


Sunday 25th September, 8pm 

The Lyric Concert with Paul Herriott

Paul Herriott presents the closing concert live from the National Concert Hall in Composing the Island: A century of music in Ireland 1916-2016. Sponsored by Bord na Móna and presented by RTÉ and the National Concert Hall.

RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra 

RTÉ Philharmonic Choir 

Mark Hindley conductor/chorus master 

Norman Hay The Wind Among The Reeds (1921) 

Rhoda Coghill Out of the Cradle, Endlessly Rocking (1923) 

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