JOHN KINSELLA (b.1932): Symphony No. 5 for Baritone, Speaker and Orchestra "The 1916 Poets" (Gerard O'Connor [baritone], Bill Golding [speaker], RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra; Colman Pearce), Symphony No. 10 (Irish Chamber Orchestra; Gábor Takács-Nagy).
Catalogue Number: 10Q008
Label: Toccata Classics
Reference: TOCC 0242
Description: A natural symphonist, Kinsella has produced an impressive body of works in the form. His mature style is effectively a form of tonality based on selective modes drawn from the dodecaphonic row, and as such is ideally suited to the harmonic dialectic of symphonic form. The 5th sets texts by three Irish poets of the Irish independence movement, executed by the English in 1916. The poems are not political, but treat Romantic themes of nature, love, loss and death, and are matched by music of dramatic seriousness - ardent, passionate, achingly beautiful in its melodic inspiration - in what is emphatically a fully worked out symphonic structure, not an orchestral song cycle. The Tenth is an unusual tripartite structure, lent an exceptional cohesion by repeated reference to expository material presented in the form of a slow introduction, that gives rise to a driven allegro, a mysterious and unsettled slow movement, increasingly impassioned and tragic in tone, and a scurrying, kinetic finale. A full recorded cycle of the works of this major symphonist would be very welcome.