Golden Plec Review of Boyle's Glencree Symphony No.1, Composing the Island.


Review: Michael Lee, September 13th 2016

The most impressive discovery of the evening is the Symphony No. 1 (Glencree) of Ina Boyle. Last performed in studio concerts on Radio Éireann back in the 1940s, this is, amazingly, its first complete public performance. From the very start, the symphony establishes an arresting sound-world, concentrated and serene by turns. The orchestra brings out the work’s intensity with sensitive and focused playing, bringing to life a work that has been unjustly neglected. The solidity and confidence of the orchestral writing is impressive. One only wishes that the composer had had the encouragement and experience to achieve a more balanced structure, and the work certainly leaves one wanting more. Given the dark poignancy of silence surrounding her music, however – Boyle was fated to hear very few of her large-scale works performed – the symphony’s understated ending is perhaps all the more appropriate. It is an auspicious and provocative start to this celebration of Irish music.

Read the full review here: