Howard's Day Off - September 17 2016
--FIRST HALF HOUR—
:04—Percy Grainger (1882-1961): “Irish Tune from County Derry,” 1907, Geoffrey Simon, Melbourne Symphony [Koch 7003]. Grainger, an Australian, liked folk music wherever it came from, but his arrangement of what we usually call “Danny Boy” is quite fine.
:10—Arthur Sullivan (1842-1900): Symphony in E major, “Irish,” finale, 1866, Owain Arwel Hughes, BBC Concert Orchestra [CPO 999 171]. Sullivan, whose mother was Italian, grew up in England, not Ireland, but said a trip to Ireland inspired this work.
:19—Arnold Bax (1883-1953): Fantasy Sonata for Harp and Viola, performed by “Mobius” [Naxos 554507]. English composer Arnold Bax fell in love with Ireland, even learning Gaelic and writing poetry in the Irish language. After encountering Irish folk music, Bax often included harp in his chamber works.
:23—Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924): Symphony No. 7 in D minor, Op. 124, 1911, David Lloyd-Jones, Bournemouth Symphony [Naxos 570285]. Born and raised in Dublin, but spent his professional life in London, but he did compose several “Irish rhapsodies.”
--SECOND HALF HOUR—
:30—Victor Herbert (1859-1924) “Irish Rhapsody,” 1893, Keith Brion, Slovak Radio Symphony [Naxos 559027]. Irish and born in Dublin, but raised in Germany, and spent most of his adult life in America. This didn’t prevent him from composing an “Irish Rhapsody” that uses five different Irish tunes for themes.
:47—Amy Beach (1867-1944): Symphony in E minor, “Gaelic,” 1896, finale, Neeme Jarvi, Detroit Symphony [Chandos 8958]. When Dvorak said American composers should take ideas from Negro spirituals and Indian chants, Beach, whose family had been active in the anti-slavery movement, nonetheless countered that composers in her native New England might better refer back to their own ethic roots in England, Scotland and Ireland. In her only symphony, the woman born Amy Cheney quoted Irish folk melodies, and subtitled her work, “Gaelic.”
:51—Arnold Bax (1883-1953): Elegiac Trio for Harp, Viola and Flute, 1916, performed by “Mobius” [Naxos 554507]. Written after the execution of Bax’s friend, Padraig Pearse, a champion of the Irish language, following the Easter Uprising of the same year.
--THIRD HALF HOUR—
:04—E.J. Moeran (1894-1950): String Trio in G major, third move., 1931, Maggini String Quartet [Naxos 554079]. Moeran, like Arthur Sullivan, was born in England with an Irish father, but unlike Sullivan would spend much of his life in Ireland.
:08—E.J. Moeran (1894-1950): “Lonely Waters,” 1931, Vernon Handley, Ulster Orchestra [Chandos 10168]. You might feel this pastorale piece sounds Irish, but Moeran said it reminded him of his childhood in England.
:18—John Kinsella (1932- ): Symphony No. 10, first move., 2010, Gabor Takacs-Nagy, Irish Chamber Orchestra [Toccata 0242]. Kinsella was born and raised in Ireland and lives there still.
---FOURTH HALF HOUR--
:30—Arnold Bax (1883-1953): “The Garden of Fand,” 1916, David Lloyd-Jones, Scottish National Orchestra [Naxos 557599]. Bax was English born-and-raised, but fell in love with Irish poetry, and then with Ireland itself, and even learned Gaelic well enough to read it, writing poetry himself under the pen name Dermot O’Byrne. This was the last of his Ireland-inspired tone poems.
(TRICK QUESTION: WHICH OF THESE PIECES IS IRISH?)
:47—E.J. Moeran (1894-1950): Serenade in G, prelude, Vernon Handley, Ulster Orchestra [Chandos 10235].
:48—Darius Milhaud (1892-1974): “Suite Provencale,” finale, Jean-Claude Casadesus, Lille National Orchestra [Naxos 557287].
:50—E.J. Moeran (1894-1950): String Quartet in A minor, finale, 1921, Maggini String Quartet [Naxos 554079].
:57—Arnold Bax (1883-1953): “Into the Twilight,” 1907, David Lloyd-Jones, Scottish National Orchestra [Naxos 557144]. Inspired by a poem of the same name by Yeats.