France and Ireland: Notes and Narratives reviewed in the Irish Times
The rich association between Ireland and France is embodied in music, art and creative writing from both countries and this collection provides a tantalising selection of these interweaving influences. The book presents a vivid picture of interactions between composers, performers, poets and novelists on each side of the Celtic Sea. Surprises abound, with music unexpectedly linking Ireland and France through George Alexander Osborne and Frédéric Chopin, through Thomas Moore and Jean-Jacques Rousseau, through Irish-inspired French opera and a French-directed Irish orchestra. Words and music meet in a Kate O’Brien novel, a musical interpretation of Verlaine and a selection of Paula Meehan’s poetry, while the encounter between wine and music creates new possibilities for artistic and cultural expression. Exploring the works and influence of a wide range of figures including James Joyce, Marcel Proust, Jacques Derrida, J.M. Synge, Hélène Cixous, Eiléan Ní Chuilleanáin, Hector Berlioz, Maurice Ravel, Neil Jordan and John Field, the essays collected here uncover a wealth of artistic interconnections between France and Ireland.
Una Hunt is a leading authority on Irish performance-led music research and in 2010 established the first digital archive of historic Irish composers: (www.naic.ie). She is also a concert pianist who has recorded fourteen world-première CDs. She lectures at DIT Conservatory of Music and Drama in Dublin and is currently writing a book on Thomas Moore’s Irish Melodies.
Mary Pierse is the editor of Irish Feminisms, 1810–1930, Vols I-V (2009) and has published widely on the writings of George Moore. She has taught courses on Victorian literature and feminism at University College Cork and is a board member of the National Centre for Franco-Irish Studies at IT Tallaght.
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