Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
I Am Ireland
Genres: Folk, World Music, Pop, Soundtracks
Evocative and Emotional Symphony to a Nation
Declan J Connaughton | Dublin, Ireland | 03/18/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)
""MISE EIRE" was and is a work of seminal importance from composer Sean O Riada, and takes in three distinctive periods of Irish History. The first, "MISE EIRE", was a feature length film released in cinemas in 1959, to great aclaim. It traces, using actual archival film footage, Ireland's fight for freedom from 1915 to the Sinn Fein triumph at the polls in 1919. The "Main title" is an arrangement of 'Roisin Dubh' and anticipates dramatically the events which are to follow. The score as defined here is a series of links and highlights from the film, with haunting somebre funeral music for "O Donovan Rossa lying in state" and "By O Donovan Rossa's graveside", as well as a long ariation of 'Sliabh na mBan' for the "Batchelor's Walk victims". The "Irish Volunteers" theme is a joyful, upraising contribution, and the scene is then set for the 1916 Easter Rebellion in Dublin, and it's aftermath. "Eiri Amach", presents a solemn arrangement of 'Boolavogue' which builds to a dramatic declaration, as the Irish Flag weaves gently in the sky, in the film.
The "execution of the leaders" is presented almost as if the orchestral were trying to hold back events, and "City Devastated" has a weary, tragic tone to it. "The Asgard Sequence" has the entire symphony orchestra entoning 'Mise Eire' in full harmony before crashing into a fuller all encompassing arrangement at the conclusion.
The film, presented by Irish Language Organisation Gael-Linn, was produced by George Morrison, with a commentary through Irish, and was a smash hit at the box office, establishing O Riada as an Irish film composer of major importantce. Notable historical figures such as Eamon de Valera attended the premiere, and it was said to have been a very emotional experience.
Also on this disc is the sequel to "MISE EIRE" - "SAORISE" (1960), also presented by Gael-Linn in the same format as it's predessor. The film records Ireland's continuing fight for National Independance, through to the beginning of the Irish Civil War. O Riada again calls on his great reserves of knowledge, especially of Irish folk music and ballad compositions to underline the period which the film concerns itself with. As with "MISE EIRE" there is the central theme for "SAOIRSE"? with various link themes, especially 'God save Ireland', and 'Step Together'. There is also a haunting tragic theme for 'Terrance McSwiney's funeral sequence'.
The Movie concludes with the siege of the Four Courts in Dublin in 1920, which starts off the civil war. The final image is of O'Connell St' once more enveloped in the smoke of gunfire. The score strikes a deep resonance, as this event was to dominate Irish political life for the next sixty years, and define the political party structure, almost up to the present.
"AN TINE BHEO" (1966), is the third score comprised on this disc. This film is not related to the previous two, in that it was specially commissoned to celebrate the fifteeth anniversary of the 1916 Easter Rising that year. The film is presented in colour, and includes commentaries by actual veterans of the conflict.
O Riada again creates a dramatic "AN TINE BHEO" theme, and highlights of the score include arrangements of 'Kelly of Killane', 'A Nation Once Again', 'God save Ireland', and a deeply textured, almost spiritual rendition of 'Taimse im codladh' for Patrick Pearse. Also recognisible on the score is 'Roger Casement's theme', before launching back into the "AN TINE BHEO" main theme."MISE EIRE", "SAORISE"?, and "AN TINE BHEO", while composed for specific films, do not have to depend on their sources, for their impact. It is not necessary to view "HOW THE WEST WAS WON" to appreciate Alfred Newman's score.
O Riada's scores are notable for a number of reasons. It was the first time Irish audiences had heard themselves presented in such a symphonic style. It clearly established O Riada as the Irish composer of his day, and it gave a Nation music to march to, once again. It is clear that these scores are truely nationalistic in the sense that the Nation is presented, through use of folk reportoire, as the people. These are the songs taught to school children of the time, and arranged and presented in a very clear and defined way. Indeed, "MISE EIRE" is still used when the Irish State comes to pay tribute to Her founding fathers every year. In 1987, film producer and impressario Noel Pearson produced a week of celebration encompassing all of Sean O Riada's work, under the concert title of the "O Riada Retrospective". The event was recorded for television, and while presenting other symphonic works by O Riada, the main event of the evening was a new presentation of all three scores under the baton of legendary film composer Elmer Bernstein. All arrangements were by Bill Whelan, and contained material which, though they appear in the films, do not appear on this disc.
These classic recordings are actually studio recordings, and not the original soundtracks, as we understand them today.
However, they remain for most Irish people the evocative and emotional symphony to a Nation, even when the images and events of history become just that, and give way ultimately to time and progression."
Essential Listening. A Masterpiece.
Donal Mac Cormaic | Donegal, Ireland | 10/07/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"O'Riada's "Mise Eire" (I am Ireland) is essential listening. This CD is a compilation of the three film scores written by O'Riada. Mise Eire was first released in 1959, and remains as popular as ever. The music was written to accompany the Gael-Linn film (Directed by George Morrison) with the same title, and both the film and O'Riada's music took Ireland by storm. Two other films followed; "Saoirse?" (Morrison :1960) and "An Tine Bheo" (Louis Marcus: 1966)- each with brilliant scores.This CD is a masterpiece. The music is played by the RTE Symphony Orchestra.TRACK LISTINGS:I AM IRELAND
BOER WAR THEME
WALK THE FUNERAL OF THE BACHELORS WALK VICTIMS
O'DONOVAN ROSSA LYING IN A STATE
IRISH VOLUNTEERS THEME
BY O'DONOVAN ROSSA'S GRAVESIDE
THE EXECUTION OF THE LEADERS
LIFE PEACE RETURNS TO THE LIFFEYSIDE
IRISH VOLUNTEERS THEME
THE ASGARD SEQUENCE
MISE EIRE SAOIRSE
KELLY THE BOY FROM KILLANE
MCSWINEY FUNERAL SEQUENCE
WHO FEARS TO SPEAK?
BLACK AND TAN SEQUENCE
THE LIVING EIRE
THE LIVING FIRE
A NATION ONCE AGAIN
AN TINE BHEO
THE GRAND OLD DAME BRITANNA
WHO FEARS TO SPEAK?
GOD SAVE IRELAND
ROGER CASEMENT THEME
AN TINE BHEO"