JOHN KINSELLA (b.1932): Symphonies No. 6 and No. 7, Cúchulainn and Ferdia - Duel at the Ford, Prelude and Toccata for String Orchestra.
Catalogue Number: 06N012
Label: RTÉ Lyric fm
Description: Two splendid entries in Kinsella's increasingly impressive and important symphonic canon (up to No. 10 so far), from the 1990s. The composer freely acknowledges a debt to Sibelius' Seventh Symphony in his own seventh, and it is easy to detect the very significant influence that the late works of the Finnish master have exerted on Kinsella's style in both works. Unexpected yet inevitable-sounding harmonic transitions and a tautly argued, organic approach to structure are consistent features of these works. Hints of Nielsen, Mahler (evocative horn calls, especially in the Sixth, which employs an expanded horn section in an almost concertante role) and others may be detected, but Kinsella's style is very much his own. The Prelude and Toccata explores various harmonic ramifications of Wagner's 'Tristan Chord', while Cúchulainn fully exploits the resources of a Richard Strauss orchestra in the vivid depiction of an epic battle from Irish legend. RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra; Proinnsías Ó Duinn, Gavin Maloney (Sym. No. 7).