Tag Archives: Finn

Celtic inspired classical music by Henrik Hansen Wonderful playlist!

Sir Charles Villiers Stanford (1852-1924)
Irish Rhapsody No. 1 in D minor, Op. 78 Dedicated to Hans Richter.
Ulster Orchestra, conducted by Vernon Handley

The composer tells us that the main idea of the First Rhapsody “is founded on an episode in the battles of the Finns and the loves of Cuchullin and Emer”. The heroic Irish folk tales of the Fina led by Finn and of the love of Cuchullin and his wife Emer are among the roots of W.B. Yeats’ poetry, and in music have been particularly associated with Arnold Bax, who had little time for Stanford. But Bax was unjust because Stanford too responded to this vivid tradition, and Stanford was an Irishman, which Bax was not. Dedicated to the conductor Hans Richter (subsequently to be the dedictee of Elgar’s First Symphony), it was first heard at the Norwich festival of 1902, the year of Stanford’s knighthood. The first London performance followed at a Philharmonic Society concert at Queen’s Hall on 12 March 1903, and it was so frequently played afterwards that Stanford said he begun to regret its composition.

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