for tenor/baritone & piano
duration ca 3'30"
Innisfail (2012), as well as most of my compositional work, is influenced heavily by traditional music, providing a contemporary look at the influences the author of this poem, Thomas Moore, sought to cultivate in his own artistic output. As can be seen in the accompaniment, a jaunty traditional jig-rhythm is established from the outset (with appropriate ornamentation), contrasted by the contemporary polymodal harmonies employed. The result is a modern response to some of the typical ‘classical’ piano accompaniments found in the parlour ballad songs of the late nineteenth century.
Innisfail comes from the Irish Inis Fáil meaning the Island of Destiny, named after the Lia Fáil, the coronation stone on the Hill of Tara. Moore’s poem is heavy with romantic imagery of the search for and arrival in Ireland of the ancient Milesian people from A Coruña in Spain around 1700 B.C. This kind of imagery and the portrayal of Ireland as the ‘Island of Destiny’ is prevalent in Moore’s writing and signalled the Celtic Revival which was to continue for a century to come.