Essays On Irish Music

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We’re uncommonly gifted in the realms of music, sport and literature.

We’re a clatter of land-mad peasants afflicted with racial famine memories who got suckered wholesale by property developers, builders, banksters and mortgage mafiosi.

In his enormous, two-volume biography of Yeats, the Irish historian RF Foster begins by defending his exhaustive, chronological approach to the poet’s life.

“We do not, alas, live our lives in themes,” he writes, “but day by day.” A wave of autobiographical books from new Irish writers reject the idea that life cannot be experienced thematically, adopting an approach that is at once fragmentary, fluid, personal and expansive, and using that most malleable of forms: the essay. Initially published by the independent Tramp Press in Ireland in 2018, it contains six essays on Pine’s experiences of alcoholism, grief, parental separation, the female body, sexual violence and workplace sexism. Gleeson’s book is a personal history both grounded in the stories of her body, with essays on bones, hair, blood, pregnancy and surgery, and illuminated by interrogations of the art, literature and music that have influenced her.

Maleney is hyper-alert to the problems posed by personal writing.

“The further I have gone into this job of writing about one family in one place – the family I was born into, the place where I grew up – the greater the distance has grown between me and all of that,” he writes. There is no redemption in it.” It is a bleak judgement, but thankfully one that we as readers, having experienced these books’ many insights from the other side, cannot share.

This gathering of seventeen specially commissioned essays and two original editions of music honours the manifold achievements of Gerard Gillen as organist, church musician, university professor and scholar.

includes new research on the history of church music in Ireland, a sequence of organ studies devoted to the instrument, its repertoire and its practitioners, essays on European sacred music, liturgy and performance, and essays in textual transmission history and cultural history. Devine (ind.), Kerry Houston (DIT), Frank Lawrence (UCD), Darina Mc Carthy (MU), David Mooney (DIT), Carole O'Connor (DIT), Ite O'Donovan (Lassus Scholars), John O'Keeffe (MU), Adrian Scahill (MU), Jan Smaczny (QUB), Yo Tomita (QUB), Liam Tracey (SPCM), Harry White (UCD).

The contributors to this volume are friends, colleagues or former students of Professor Gillen's (many are all three), and the topics they engage reflect the breadth of his own interest in the vast domain of European church music and beyond. Dolan (UCD), David Adams (Royal Irish Academy of Music), Lorraine Byrne Bodley (MU), Paul Collins (Mary I, U Limerick), R. Kerry Houston is head of academic studies at the DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, and director of the Research Foundation for Music in Ireland.

The prominence afforded in this book to composers such as Jehan Alain, J. Bach, Anton Bruckner, Allesandro Cellini, Antonín Dvořák, André Fleury, Jean Langlais, Gaston Litaize, Seán Ó Riada and Franz Schubert is richly contextualized in a host of different settings. Harry White is professor of historical musicology at UCD, where he holds the chair of music.


Comments Essays On Irish Music

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