'Ina Boyle' - CD Reviews

Two wonderful reviews of Ina Boyle's orchestral CD by the British Music Society and The Irish Catholic.

"The name of the Irish composer Ina Boyle will be unknown to many until now, but there is a renewed interest in her work, stimulated by the research of Ita Beausang and Séamus de Barra.  A new book on the composer by these writers has been published by Cork University, and will shortly be reviewed in a subsequent E-News.

This new CD provides a wide-ranging overview of her work, and she is well served by the performers here, since the playing is assured, sensitive, committed, and very well recorded.

This comment is particularly relevant as Boyle’s sound world is one of great beauty.  Her orchestral technique is solid and the music’s colours are subtle and imaginative.  Her Irishness is evident in a sort of post-Stanford sort of way (not that he was one of her teachers) with the contours and idioms of Irish folk music usually in the background.

She is one of those composers who continued to write quite lengthy and complex music without what one would have thought was the vital stimulation of live performances.  There were such. but only spasmodic and far between.  For instance, there was the disappointment of the BBC rehearsing her violin concerto in 1935 but not broadcasting it.

Her main teachers were C. H. Kitson and Percy Buck; Vaughan Williams gave her periodic help and advice, and approved of her music.

So – what of the music?  Well, it is definitely worth listening to, but no one going to claim she is a Bax or a Moeran.  The main issues are that her tonal palette is a little bland, and while at any given moment in the music sounds, well, lovely, she sometimes gives the impression of not quite knowing where she is going. 

For instance the Violin Concerto, an elegy for her mother is deeply felt, but the two slow first movements are too similar in mood.  Samuel Barber in his concerto took the same risk but his material is much stronger.

The best pieces on the disc are the Symphony and the Sea Poem.  The former has well contrasted movements and hangs together convincingly.  The surge of the ocean and the calls of the seabirds are most evocatively caught in the Sea Poem, thought the main idea needs more variety in its treatment, and tends to outstay its welcome".

GEOFFREY ATKINSON 

British Music Society

July 2018

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The CD comes on an English label – BBC/Dutton Epoch CDLX 7352 – and features the BBC Concert Orchestra, conducted by Ronald Corp. They offer a selection of Boyle’s works written between 1919 and 1934, including her Violin Concerto and 1st Symphony, subtitled Glencree (In the Wicklow Hills). The Concerto has New Zealand-born Benjamin Baker as its refined and sensitive soloist. Both works, and indeed the rest of the items on the disc, receive persuasive and sympathetic performances and convey the pastoral sentiment as well as the dramatic intensity running through the music.
— Pat O'Kelly (The Irish Catholic)

INA BOYLE - Orchestral CD Release

This programme of music by Irish composer Ina Boyle (1889-1967), a one-time student of Vaughan Williams, collates several of her major orchestral works. The rhapsodic Violin Concerto of 1935 is in three continuous movements, and both conductor Ronald Corp and soloist Benjamin Baker interpret the music with sympathetic attention to detail, maintaining its natural ebb and flow. Boyle wrote three symphonies, and this disc presents the long overdue recording of the First Symphony, subtitled Glencree (In the Wicklow Hills), which dates from 1924-27. The young cellist Nadège Rochat gives a powerful reading of the Psalm for cello and orchestra, written in 1927, while four short but captivating orchestral pieces complete the programme – which reveals Ina Boyle as a composer of originality and invention.
 

This is the first time Boyle’s music has been treated to a single-composer anthology of her orchestral works. It is here performed with sympathetic insight and some rejuvenating zest. [...] The music-making here is personable, tuneful and completely approachable.
— Rob Barnett (MusicWeb International
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Ina Boyle (1889-1967)

1. Overture for orchestra (1933-34) Allegro vivace

Concerto for violin and orchestra (1932-33 rev. 1935) BB
2. i Lento ma non troppo – Poco più lento – Tempo primo
3. ii Adagio – Animato e crescendo
4. iii Allegro ma non troppo – A tempo, tranquillo – Tempo primo – Teneramente e tranquillo – Tempo primo

Symphony No. 1 “Glencree” (In the Wicklow Hills) (1924-27)
5. i On Lacken Hill (Molto moderato – Più lento, tranquillo) 
6. ii Nightwinds in the Valley (Allegro molto – Tranquillo) 
7. iii Above Lough Bray (Adagio – Poco più con moto, ma sempre molto moderato) 

8. Wildgeese: Sketch for small orchestra (1942) Lento misterioso

9. Psalm for cello and orchestra (1927 rev. 1928) NR
Lento – Poco allegro, inquieto – Lento – Andante, tranquillo – Animato – Adagio

A Sea Poem: Theme, variations and finale for orchestra (1919)
10. Introduction (Lento, molto sostenuto) 
11. Theme (Lento e sostenuto) 
12. Variation I (Più animato) 
13. Variation II (Più vivace, scherzando) 
14. Variation III (Più largamente) 
15. Variation IV (Adagio, molto tranquillo) 
16. Variation V (Allegro molto) 
17. Variation VI (Più mosso – Adagio) 
18. Finale (Lento, quasi Tempo primo, tranquillo) 

SACD-ONLY BONUS TRACK (N.B. This track is playable only on SACD players.)
19. Colin Clout (A Pastoral after Spenser’s The Shepheard’s Calender) (1921)
Molto adagio – Poco più mosso – Molto tranquillo

Ronald Corp conductor
BB Benjamin Baker violin
NR Nadège Rochat cello

WORLD PREMIERE RECORDINGS
Produced in association with BBC Radio 3 and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

 

 

 

Ina Boyle (1889-1967): A Composer's Life - Book Release

AVAILABLE NOW

 

 

Ina Boyle (1889-1967): A Composer’s Life

by Ita Beausang and Séamas de Barra

 

The Irish composer, Ina Boyle (1889-1967), was born in Enniskerry, Co. Wicklow, where she enjoyed a sheltered childhood as a member of an Anglo-Irish family with roots in the medical, military and diplomatic professions. Her first music teacher was her clergyman father, who made violins for a hobby. She started to compose from an early age and soon found a passion for music that lasted a lifetime, spanning two world wars, the 1916 rebellion, the war of independence, the civil war and the economic war.

 

Ina Boyle studied privately in Dublin with C.H. Kitson and Percy Buck, she had her first success in 1919 when her orchestral rhapsody, ‘The magic harp’, which was selected for publication by the prestigious Carnegie United Kingdom Trust and was performed by the London Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Adrian Boult. From 1923, realising the need to expand her musical horizons, she visited London for composition lessons with Ralph Vaughan Williams whenever family duties allowed, until her travels were curtailed by the outbreak of the Second World War. Vaughan Williams thought highly of her works but, despite her best efforts to promote them, few were performed in public. During the 1940s some of her orchestral music was broadcast on Radio Éireann in a series of programmes on Irish composers. After the death of her father in 1951, she was again free to travel to London while devoting the rest of her life to composition. As one of twentieth-century Ireland’s most prolific composers and the first Irishwoman to undertake a symphony, a concerto and a ballet, this first book on the life and music of Ina Boyle is long overdue. 

Ita Beausang is a native of Cork. She studied piano at the Cork School of Music and the Read School of Pianoforte Playing, Dublin. A music graduate of University College Cork, she joined the teaching staff of the Cork Municipal School of Music. She worked as lecturer and Acting Director at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama. Her book Anglo-Irish Music 1780-1830 (CUP: 1966) is the standard work on the period. In 2014 she was awarded honorary life membership of the Society for Musicology in Ireland. She was an Advisory Editor for the Encyclopaedia of Music in Ireland (UCD Press: 2013) and has researched the life and music of Ina Boyle since 2006.

Séamas de Barra  is a composer and musicologist. His compositions include orchestral and vocal works, which have been performed and broadcast by The National Orchestra of Ireland, The RTÉ  Concert Orchestra, The BBC Singers, The National Chamber Choir, and other notable ensembles. He has published widely on twentieth-century Irish music and musical life, including a major monograph on Aloys Fleischmann, and was editor (with Patrick Zuk) of a series of monographs on Irish composers issued by Field Day Press in conjunction with the University of Notre Dame. He is currently working on a study of the Irish Symphonist John Kinsella.

 

April 2018  |  9781782052647 |  €29 £25 |   Hardback  |  234 x 156mm|  192 pages

 

Special offer of 20% off the list price of €29.00. Use code: INA (all capitals) in the coupon box

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CD Launch at Wigmore Hall, 8 March 2018

On the 8 March 2018, Ina Boyle's birthday and coincidentally International Women's Day, the Ina Boyle Development Committee held a special, private, preview event in the Wigmore Hall for donors to the forthcoming album of Boyle's music. This CD which is devoted entirely to the orchestral music of Ina Boyle, was recorded by the BBC Concert Orchestra, conductor Ronald Corp, and soloists Nadege Rochat (cello) and Benjamin Baker (violin). This was a very special event with excerpts from the forthcoming CD, and speakers including, Composer Nicola le Fanu who shared personal memories of the special friendship her mother, composer Elizabeth Maconchy, had with Ina Boyle. Dr Ita Beausang addressed the significance of this recording to Boyle's music, and shared some exciting information from her forthcoming book on Boyle's life, 'Ina Boyle (1889-1967): A Composer's Life '. Ronald Corp gave an account of the recording and Ina Boyle's beautiful sound world from the conductor's perspective.

To watch the promotional video for the forthcoming CD please clink on the link below

 

Below are some photos from the event

 Nadège Rochat (cello) performing the piano and cello arrangement of Boyle's  Psalm  (1927), with Dearbhla Collins (piano). The orchestral arrangement of this work was recorded as part of the upcoming album. Arranged by Emma O'Keeffe.  Photo Credit:  Nadège Rochat   Facebook

Nadège Rochat (cello) performing the piano and cello arrangement of Boyle's Psalm (1927), with Dearbhla Collins (piano). The orchestral arrangement of this work was recorded as part of the upcoming album. Arranged by Emma O'Keeffe.

Photo Credit: Nadège Rochat Facebook

 Dr Ita Beausang: Co-author of 'Ina Boyle  (1889-1967):  A Composer's Life'. This book is available to pre-order at Cork University Press.   (Back row) Ronald Corp (conductor), Nicola le Fanu (composer),  Nadège Rochat   (cello), Dearbhla Collins (piano).  Photo Credit: Embassy of Ireland Facebook

Dr Ita Beausang: Co-author of 'Ina Boyle (1889-1967): A Composer's Life'. This book is available to pre-order at Cork University Press. 

(Back row) Ronald Corp (conductor), Nicola le Fanu (composer), Nadège Rochat (cello), Dearbhla Collins (piano).

Photo Credit: Embassy of Ireland Facebook

 L-R: Emma O'Keeffe, Dearbhla Collins, Dr Ita Beausang, Dr Kerry Houston. 

L-R: Emma O'Keeffe, Dearbhla Collins, Dr Ita Beausang, Dr Kerry Houston. 

 L-R: (back row) Dr Kerry Houston (DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, member of the Ina Boyle Development Committee (IBDC)), Roy Stanley (Music Librarian, Trinity College Dublin), Dearbhla Collins (piano).  (front row) Nadège Rochat (cello), Dr Ita Beausang (musicologist, author, IBDC), Kenneth Baird (Director of the European Opera Centre Liverpool, IBDC), Katie Rowan (Chair, IBDC).

L-R: (back row) Dr Kerry Houston (DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, member of the Ina Boyle Development Committee (IBDC)), Roy Stanley (Music Librarian, Trinity College Dublin), Dearbhla Collins (piano).

(front row) Nadège Rochat (cello), Dr Ita Beausang (musicologist, author, IBDC), Kenneth Baird (Director of the European Opera Centre Liverpool, IBDC), Katie Rowan (Chair, IBDC).

 L-R: (back row) Dr Kerry Houston  (DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, member of the Ina Boyle Development Committee (IBDC) , Emma O'Keeffe (PhD researcher, IBDC), Dearbhla Collins (piano).  (front row)  Nad è ge Rochat (cello), Dr Ita Beausang (musicologist, author, IBDC), Kenneth Baird (Director of the European Opera Centre Liverpool, IBDC)  , Katie Rowan (Chair IBDC).

L-R: (back row) Dr Kerry Houston (DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama, member of the Ina Boyle Development Committee (IBDC), Emma O'Keeffe (PhD researcher, IBDC), Dearbhla Collins (piano).

(front row) Nadège Rochat (cello), Dr Ita Beausang (musicologist, author, IBDC), Kenneth Baird (Director of the European Opera Centre Liverpool, IBDC), Katie Rowan (Chair IBDC).

  Ina Boyle (1889-1967): A Composer's Life  by Ita Beausang and Seamas de Barra.

Ina Boyle (1889-1967): A Composer's Life by Ita Beausang and Seamas de Barra.

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BBC Concert Orchestra and cellist Nadège Rochat record "Psalm" by Ina Boyle

On the 9th of October 2017, "Psalm" by Ina Boyle was played for the first time 90 years after it was composed. As for most of her compositions, Ina Boyle never had the opportunity to hear it played. Ina Boyle (1889 - 1967) was one of Ireland's most important composers of the early 20th Century. A pupil of Vaughan Williams she would travel regularly to London from her home in Co. Wicklow for lessons with him. He thought highly of her and encouraged her. However, like so many women of her generation, despite encouragement of her friend Elizabeth Maconchy, she would not leave the family who needed her, and lived alone after they died, composing every day. Her huge body of work, orchestral, choral, chamber and vocal , largely unperformed, is preserved in the Library of the Trinity College Dublin awaiting re-discovery. This forthcoming CD is important in the renaissance of this special composer, and is the first devoted to her orchestral music. It is a dual recording by BBC and Dutton Epoch.  Much of the music is being performed for the first time.

To watch the promotional video for the forthcoming CD please use the button link below

 Director: Ronald Corp

Director: Ronald Corp

 Soloist: Nadege Rochat (cello)

Soloist: Nadege Rochat (cello)

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Conductor: Ronald Corp (http://www.ronaldcorp.co.uk/)

The music recorded at these sessions is due to be released on the Dutton Epoch label in 2018 as part of a CD dedicated to Ina Boyle (
http://www.inaboyle.org/)

Produced in association with BBC Radio 3 and the BBC Concert Orchestra.

© (P) BBC/Dutton Epoch 2018

Soloist: Nadège Rochat (
http://www.nadegerochat.com/)

Musicologist: Dr. Ita Beausang

Venue: Watford Colosseum (
https://watfordcolosseum.co.uk/Online/)
Nadège Rochat plays on the Ex-Vatican Stradivarius cello from 1703.