The Lyric Feature

The Lyric Feature

Sunday, 6 - 7pm

The Lyric Feature Friday 3 April 2015

The Lyric Feature is RTÉ lyric fm's weekly documentary and music feature programme. Programmes are produced in house by RTÉ lyric fm staff or in collaboration with independent production companies. Subject matter varies from week to week but most of the programmes aim to provide insight into music and music making.

Ways to listen online:

Listen via the RTÉ Player calendar on the top right of this page

or Listen to a selection of programmes on our Soundcloud player at the bottom of this page

or Click on the listen button below for the most recent episode

The Lyric Feature - A Symphonic Life (Sunday November 24th) 

John Kinsella is one of Ireland’s most distinguished composers and the country’s most prolific symphonist. In a creative career spanning over six decades, Kinsella has produced an incredible eleven symphonies, numerous concertos, quartets and instrumental chamber, vocal and choral works. This November, the eleventh symphony will have its world premiere at the National Concert Hall and John will receive the NCH Lifetime Achievement Award 2019 in recognition of his singular contribution to Irish art music.

In conversation with John Kinsella and with contributions from other composers and musicologists, this documentary A Symphonic Life is an intimate portrait of a composer through an exploration of his process, the evolution of his compositions and his commitment to the art form. In the documentary we trace how like most composers of his time, his earlier compositions are marked by an attraction to the Avant Garde and serialism. But Kinsella, a self taught composer, would turn away from strict serialism to refine an independent artistic vision that continues to play out. For John, the experience of a symphony is "a big adventure starting. I’ve never lost that excitement."

A Symphonic Life is an IWR Media production for RTÉ Lyric. It is produced by Neal Boyle for IWR Media and presented by Mary Brophy

Music Featured on the programme in order of appearance 

Finlandia (Jean Sibelius) -London Philharmonic Orchestra & David Parry

Symphony No 2 (John Kinsella) - RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No 3 (John Kinsella) - RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No 7 (Ludwig van Beethoven) - London Symphony Orchestra & Edouard Van Remoortel

Symphony, Op. 21 (Anton Webern) - Nürnberg Symphony Orchestra & Othmar M.F. Maga

Emperor Waltz (Strauss)

Montage II (John Kinsella) - RTÉ

Trio for Clarinet, Violin and Cello (John Kinsella) - RTÉ

Montage (John Kinsella) - RTÉ

String Quartet No. 3 (John Kinsella) - RTÉ

Essay for Orchestra (John Kinsella) - RTÉ

Symphony No 4 (John Kinsella) - RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No 10 (John Kinsella) - RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

Symphony No 7 (Jean Sibelius) - American Symphony Orchestra & Leon Botstein

Symphony No 7 (John Kinsella) - RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra

The Lyric Feature - Musica Arcana : The Secret Life of Allegri's Miserere

Brian McIvor unravels the mystery surrounding Allegri's Miserere Mei, one of the most celebrated and hauntingly beautiful pieces of early music.

Music Played on the Show


Title: Miserere Mei

Composer: Gregorio Allegri

Performer(s): Tallis Scholars. Peter Phillips

Duration: 2:20


Title: Miserere Mei

Composer: Gregorio Allegri

Performer(s): The Sixteen. Harry Christophers – Director

Duration: 12:34


Title: Miserere Mei

Composer: Gregorio Allegri

Performer(s): Choir Of Kings College Cambridge. David Willcocks – Director

Duration: 7:19



Contact the Show

Producers: Olga Buckley & Eoin O Kelly


Ways to Listen

Radio Player