Bax, Ireland and 1916
In 1902 Arnold Bax read Yeats’ The Wanderings of Oisín, an experience which he claimed revealed to him his own inner Celt. This would lead to a long relationship between the composer and Ireland. He became a regular visitor and sometime resident of both Glencolmcille and Dublin and also wrote poetry under the pseudonym Dermot O’Byrne. The high-water mark of his Irish association was his work In Memoriam, Pádraig Pearse which was written in 1916. In the succeeding years Bax’s connection with Irish nationalism waned somewhat but he was still a controversial appointee to the post of Master of the King’s Music in 1941. He died in Cork in 1953. In Bax, Ireland and 1916, Aidan Thomson and guests explore Bax’s complex and unusual relationship with Ireland, Irishness and Patrick Pearse. Contributors include Roy Foster, Graham Parlett, Maria McHale, Conor Caldwell and Lewis Foreman.
(First broadcast 19th February 2016)
Presented by Aidan Thomson
Produced by Eoin O Kelly
RTÉ lyric fm, Sunday 24th January, 6pm-7pm