chapter  5
Ireland in music?
Pages 29

The first selected classical event was a concert featuring the music of Gerald Barry, who in terms of international performances, publications and recordings could be described as one of the most successful of Irish-born contemporary composers. Issues of national identity also feature in the appraisal of individual composers and/or musical works. Although some classical music proponents, for example, the composers Frank Corcoran and Raymond Deane, contribute to a generally negative, modernist appraisal of Irish music history, other composers and musicians see it differently insofar as they interpret the lack of substantial classical music traditions in liberating terms. Notwithstanding the tendency to equate Irishness in music with traditional sounds, a number of interviewees approached the general category of Irish music in broader cultural terms. A specific sense of cultural Irishness is echoed in the way that some interviewees make associations between Irish classical music and literary texts.