Sweeney Lives!

Frank Corcoran (IE)
10 April, 7pm, Smock Alley Theatre

Frank Corcoran (photocredit, CMC)

Frank Corcoran, Quasi una Missa (19'40") 1999
Frank Corcoran, Tradurre Tradire (24'13") 2004
Frank Corcoran, Sweeney's Vision (20'39") 1997

Three of Frank Corcoran's 'tape' music masterworks are presented here for the first time in surround sound and as a complete body of work in a single concert. Each of these works reveal Corcoran's far-reaching vision of a distant, multi-layered, mythic past which is rendered so deftly here in late 20th century technology.

Written in the years spanning the peak of Corcoran's creative output, these pieces are in a consciously radiophonic style and, when heard together in a seamless concert performance, they accumulate a coherence and forcefulness of argument and bring to life Corcoran's mythological landscape, littered with visual metaphors, in a true 'cinema for the ear'.

"Corcoran's musical Mass is a furious symbiosis of polyphonic liturgical sound, an acoustic journey through the musical eras of the West." (Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung)

"An archaic world forms itself into a magical epic through rugged contrasts of trickling soundscapes ..." (SCALA)

Extract from Sweeney's Vision

Frank Corcoran was born in Tipperary 1944 and studied in Dublin, Maynooth, and Rome, and with Boris Blacher in Berlin. He was the first Irish composer to have his ‘Symphony No. 1’ (1980) premiered in Vienna. He was a music inspector for the Department of Education in Ireland from 1971 to 1979.

He was awarded a composer fellowship by the Berlin Künstlerprogramm in 1980, a guest professorship in West Berlin in 1981, and was professor of music in Stuttgart in 1982. Since 1983 he has been professor of composition and theory in the Staatliche Hochschule für Musik und darstellende Kunst, Hamburg. During 1989–90 he was visiting professor and Fulbright Scholar at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and he has been a guest lecturer at Princeton University, CalArts, Harvard University, Boston College, New York University and Indiana University.

Awards include: Studio Akustische Kunst First Prize 1996 for his ‘Joycepeak Music’ (1995); Premier Prix at the 1999 Bourges International Electro-acoustic Music Competition for his composition ‘Sweeney’s Vision’ (1997); First Prize International Forum for Choral Music for "Eight Haikus" (2013); Sean O Riada Prize, Cork International Choral Festival for "Two Unholy Haikus" (2013); and 2002 Swedish EMS Prize for ‘Quasi Una Missa’ (1999). CDs of his music have been released on the Black Box, Marco Polo, Col-Legno, Wergo, Wergo, Composers’ Art, IMEB-Unesco, Zeitklang and Caprice labels. Frank Corcoran is a founding member of Aosdána, Ireland’s state-sponsored academy of creative artists.

Recent works include: Eight Haikus for SSAATTBB Choir (2013 Manila University Choir), Violin Concerto (2012, NSO, Alan Smale, Christopher Warren-Green), Songs Of Terror And Love (2011 North South Consonance, Max Lifchitz NYC), Four Orchestral Prayers (NSO, Chloe Hinton, Colman Pearce), Quasi Una Sarabande (2009, Antipodes Ensemble), Quasi Una Fuga (2007, Irish Chamber Orchestra, Anthony Marwood), Quasi Un Canto (2006 Zagreb Philharmonic), Cello Concerto (2015, NSO, Dublin), Clarinet Concerto (2019, New York, North South/ Max Lifchitz), and Quasi Un Lamento (2005, NSO, David Brophy).