Vous êtes ici
Warning: images may be copyrighted. If no copyright is shown, see their site of origin for details, or contact me.
Liste des compositions
Musique de chambre
Sheet music for Seoirse Bodley
— CD (1 disc) — Classical
By Aylish Kerrigan; Dearbhla Collins. By Anne-Marie O'Farrell; Elaine Agnew; Seoirse Bodley; Ina Boyle; John Buckley; Rhona Clarke. Country of Origin: Austria. Classical. CD (1 disc). Published by Naxos (NX.MSV28558).
— listening CD — Classical
By Fidelio Trio. By Seoirse Bodley; John Buckley; Rhona Clarke; Fergus Johnston. Classical. Listening CD. Published by Naxos (NX.MSV28556).
David C.F. Wright DMus
Here is an Irish composer of deserved stature. He was introduced to me by my friend Gerard Victory and Bodley’s Symphony no 3 is one of his many works that I value highly.
Seóirse Pascal Lauri Bodley was born on the 4 April 1933 at home, 90 Phibsboro Road, Dublin. He had an older brother, Dermot, who was born on 15 March 1922.
Seóirse’s father was George James Bodley, an office clerk who was born on 28 September 1879. He married Mary Frances Gough, born 17 September 1891 and this wedding was in Dublin on 14 July 1920.
School for young Bodley began when he was six years of age at a private school where he was for one year. Then he was at the Holy Faith Convent School at Glasnevin, in Dublin. From the age of nine to seventeen he attended an Irish-speaking school run by the Christian Brothers in Dublin. His final year at school was at the College of commerce, Rathmines.
At school, he won the Dublin Corporation Scholarship. He had studied both the violin for a while and the mandolin with his father who was a member of a mandolin band.
He began piano lessons at the age of nine to the age of eleven and then from the age of thirteen upwards he resumed his studies. At first, it was with private teachers before he became a pupil of Dina Copeman at the Royal Irish Academy and then piano and composition with Dr Hans Waldemar Rosen who was Polish and a conductor, choir master and well-admired teacher. Bodley was at University College, Dublin from 1951-1955 successfully taking his BMus.
He undertook two years of study in Stuggart between 1957 and 1959 on a postgraduate studentship from the National University of Ireland studying composition with the Austrian composer Johann Nepomuk David who was devoted to Bach and Mozart. Bodley returned to his alma mater, UCD, to teach there until his retirement.
His parents were not initially supportive of their son’s desire to have a career in music but later came round to this. Bodley had been sent to a respectable art class but the sound of scratching pencils and nervous breathing was too much and so he decided to pursue music. He had composed some juvenilia from the age of thirteen.
From a child, Bodley adored Mozart. In his teens he embraced Dvořak, Tchaikovsky and Beethoven. The literary works that impressed him included James Joyce with his books, Dubliners and Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.
His first work with a serious performance was given by the Radio Eireann Men’s Octet of a text by Milton entitled See, how from afar conducted by Rosen and broadcast by Radio Eireann on Christmas Day 1950. Bodley is grateful to Rosen, Brian Boydell and John Larchet for their help and encouragement.
However, he regards the first work of his maturity to be his Music for Strings of 1952.
At the age of nineteen, he changed his first name from George to Seóirse.
He has been married twice. From his first marriage, he had three children namely Blanald born 22 June 1958 , Evelyn born 5 September 1961 and Ronan born 21 July 1962. From his second marriage there was Dar born 15 October 1989 but died on 16 November 1958 and Ruairi born 21 December 1991.
But to return to music, he won the Oireachtas prize for a part song in 1956 and, again, this prize for his Symphony no 1 in 1959. There was an Emmy award for a film for which he composed the music in 1982.
In the 1980s his style changed from the modern to be more friendly. Parts of his Mass for Peace was performed during the Papal Mass celebrated by JOhn Paul II at Phoenix Park in 1979.
His Symphonie no 4 was commissioned by the Orchestra Sinfonie dell’Emilia Romangra ‘Arturo Toscanini’ and premiered on 21 June 1991. It is a curious work in that it is very good in parts but not consistently good. It contains some glorious romanticism.
His Symphony no 5 subtitled the Limerick symphony was also premiered in 1991 and is in five movements. Its inspiration is the Siege of Limerick in 1690 and relating events. Limerick was a Jacobite fortress attacked by the forces of William III. The Jacobites won the conflict while William’s army suffered heavy losses including about 2000 men who died of disease during very cold weather.
This symphony is also good in parts but some sections seem to get nowhere.
I often wonder about whether it is always wise to write music on political and historic subjects particularly if it indicates a military victory. There are some Irish works which give the strong impression of their victories over the English crown and, consequently, do not travel much out of Ireland. Fleischmann’s Clare’s Dragoons is a splendid work bit is a tribute to Ireland’s émigré soldiers who, among other things, made the French yield on Families’ field. The Dragoons operated in the 17th and 18th centuries
In the late 1990s Bodley returned to his more avant garde style but with the String Quartet no 4 of 2007 his music has become strongly tonal. He seems to have had a problem with style reconciling Irish traditional music with European art music. He helped found the Folk Music society of Ireland in 1970 and always had an interest in sean nos singing which is a complex highly ornamented style of Gaelic singing particularly in the west and south of Ireland.
In general, the critics may not have savaged his works for when he receives a bad review he also receives positive reviews. He explains that he is a musician and not a musicologist. Personal events do not inspire him to write music but he has composed music for personal occasions as presents for people but nothing as shown, for example, in the Violin Concerto by Berg.
He used to be a smoker but it did not stimulate composing. His drinking is moderate by Irish standards and that does not stimulate composition either. He has an interest in art exhibitions, the theatre and films an basic fitness. He maintains an interest in contemporary music stating that even less able works have an inherent interest and an adjustment of a viewpoint can lead to some aspect of good in he music. He does not have ‘pet hates’ in music.
Naturally he has an interest in poetry particularly that of Patrick Kavanagh. Bodley’s song cycles are worthy of great attention.
His appreciation of music and forms is wide. Serial music was an important development and aleatory music can achieve good effects and is useful unless it is used as a refuge from compositional responsibility. Electronic music has impressed Bodley since he founded the UCD electro-acoustic studio and has taught students about this.
He composes at a midi keyboard which has taken the place of a piano and once a work has been written he does not revise. Occasionally he scraps a work only to find later that someone else has found value in it and rediscovered it.
His assessment of composers is astute. Bach is superb and always gives enjoyment; apart from some of the lesser known works, Mozart is the greatest of them all; Beethoven is wonderful especially that late quartets; Brahms is treated unfairly as by people by Nietzsche but Brahms has human warmth; Schubert has written a few fine pieces whereas Schumann is better in his piano music and songs and his orchestral works are good on spite of the orchestration; hearing Tchaikovsky in Moscow was a revelation; Liszt was the great innovator and works like Via Crucis is wholly admirable; Webern was a great master; Berg was a genius and listening to Schoenberg is like having a cold shower on a muggy day; Bartók and Stravinsky are exceptional but Vaughan Williams has little appeal.
Bodley received other prizes such as the Arts Council Prize for composition and the Marten Toonder award. In 2008 he was elected as a member of Aosdana.
He is clearly very proud to be Irish and is patriotic and, perhaps, a little biased. He loves Ireland as proved in his Symphony no 2 and other works. Nationalism is inherent in many composers works.
- A Cradle Song 1950 Soprano, pf 2’
- O Mistress Mine 1950 Baritones pf 3’
- Music for Strings 1952 17’
- A Drinking Song 1953 Baritone/pf 3’
- Cré 1953 Baritone/pf 3’
- Deire Fomhair 1953 Baritone/pf 3’
- Do Bhádhasa Uair 1953 Baritone/pf 3’
- Ná Déan Gáire 1953 Baritone/pf 3’
- Paidir 1953 Baritone/pf 3’
- Stróll 1953 Baritone pf 3’
- The Fairies 1953 Baritone/pf 3’
- Four Little Pieces 1954 Piano 4’
- Cúl an Tí 1954 satb 3’
- An Bhliain Lán 1956 Tenor satb 11’
- Salve Maria Virgo 1957 orchestra 8’
- Sonata 1958 violin/pf 12’
- Gogaí-ó-Gaog 1960 cor anglais/ pf 3’
- An Bás is an Bheatha 1960 satb 12’
- An Teicheadh go hÉigipt 1960 ssa 1’
- Caoineadh na dTrí Muire 1960 ssa 4’
- Cuirfimid Deaindí Deaindí 1960 ssa 2’
- Gogaí-ó-Gaog 1960 voice /pf 3’
- Divertimento 1961 strings 17’
- Trí Aortha 1962 satb 6’
- Prelude, Toccata and Epilogue 1963 pf 6’
- Chamber Symphony No. 1 1964
- Never to have lived is best 1965 soprano and orchestra
- Configurations 1967 for orchestra
- Scintillae 1968 2 harps [Irish] 6’
- String Quartet No. 1 1968 24’
- Ariel’s Songs 1969 soprano/ pf 6’
- Meditations on Lines from Patrick Kavanagh 1971
- ( A-solo and orchestra)
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North 1972 2pf 5’
- The Narrow Road to the Deep North 1972 pf 6’
- September Preludes 1973 fl pf 17’
- A Small White Cloud Drifts over Ireland 1975 for orchestra
- The Tightrope Walker Presents a Rose 1976 pf 3’
- Mass of Peace 1976 unison choir org 12’
- Aislingí 1977 pf 25’
- A Chill Wind 1977 satb [div.] 15’
- From Ireland’s Past 1978 for ensemble 13’
- A Girl 1978 mezzo/ pf 35’
- The ‘O’ Antiphons 1978 satb org
- Mass of Joy 1979 unison voices, org 12’
- The Radiant Moment 1979 satb 13’
- I Have Loved the Lands of Ireland:
- ( Symphony No. 2 for orchestra) 1980 40’
- Ceol: Symphony No. 3 1980 Soprano, Mezzo, Tenor, Baritone, satb, speaker, semi-chorus, children’s choir and orchestra25’
- James Joyce Film Music 1981 for ensemble
- Chamber Symphony No. 2 1982 for orchestra 30’
- I will walk with my love 1982 Soprano, sa satb 3’
- The Banshee 1983 S-solo, Mez-solo, T-solo, B-solo, live electronics
- Celebration Music 1983 3 tpt 2 vn va vc 17’
- Celebration Music 1983 3 tpt str 17’
- A Concert Mass 1984 Soprano, Mezzo, Tenor, Bass, satb, strings 30’
- A Passionate Love 1985 Mezzo / pf 8’
- Trio for Flute, Violin and Piano 1986 30’
- Canal Bank Walk 1986 Mezzo-so, pf 3’
- The Fiddler 1987 vn va vc speaker +opt. chorus, perc, instr.
- The Naked Flame 1987 medium voice/ pf 40’
- A Carol for Christams Day 1988 Mezzo, harp [Irish]
- A Carol for Twelfth Day 1988 Mezzo, harp [Irish]
- Ar Éireann ní neosfainn Cé hÍ 1988 Mezzo, harp [Irish]
- Bí 'Íosa im Chroíse 1988 Mezzo, harp [Irish]
- Carta Irlandesa 1988 medium voice, pf 15’
- In Bethlehem City 1988 Mezzo, harp [Irish]
- Let Folly Praise What Fancy Loves 1988 Mezzo , harp [Irish]
- Song for Jerusalem 1988 Mezzo, harp [Irish]
- Suantraí na Maighdine 1988 Mezzo, harp [Irish]
- The Enniscorthy Christmas Carol 1988 Mezzo, harp [Irish]
- Upon My Lap My Sovereign Sits 1988 Mezzo, harp [Irish]
- Phantasms 1989 fl cl hrp vc 20’
- Symphony No. 5 ( Limerick) 1991 40’
- String Quartet No. 2 1992 25’
- Ceremonial Music 1995 2 tpt hn trb tuba 15’
- By the Margin of the Great Deep 1995 medium
- voice/ pf 5’
- Fraw Musica 1996 Mezzo, satb, , organ, strings30’
- Fraw Musica 1996 Mezzo, /pf 7’
- Look to this Day! 1997 voice/ pf 2’
- Pax Bellumque 1997 soprano, fl cl vn pf " 14’
- Sinfonietta for orchestra 1999 20’
- Chiaroscuro 1999 pf 5’
- News from Donabate 1999 pf 50’
- In Quiet Celebration... 2000 pf 3’
- An Exchange of Letters 2002 pf 27’
- Wandrers Nachtlied 2003 Mezzo-solo/ pf 2’
- String Quartet No. 3 2004 18’
- Metamorphoses on the name Schumann for orchestra 2004 11’
- Mignon and the Harper 2004 Soprano, Baritone/ pf 20’
- Islands 2006 guitar
- Squall 2006 Soprano/ pf 4’
- String Quartet No. 4 2007 10’
- Remember 2011 voice/ pf 4’
- The Hiding Places of Love 2011 Soprano/ pf 40’
- Gretchen 2012 Soprano, Mezzo, voices/ pf25’
- Movement for Orchestra 1955 - 1956 8’
- Symphony No. 1 1958 - 1959 20’
- Three Congregational Masses 1977-1981
- Symphony No. 4 1990 - 1991 25’
- Earlsfort Suite 1999 - 2000 Soprano/ pf 12’
- An Dreóilín ssaa 2’