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Aloys Fleischmann Birth Centenery begins

 "In January President McAleese will open the celebrations organised by Cork City Council to mark the centenary of the birth of Aloys Fleischmann (1910-1992), the Irish composer, conductor, scholar, campaigner, organiser, professor of music at University College and Freeman of the City of Cork. The Fleischmann Centenary Celebration Working Group, chaired by Ms. Máirín Quill, and the Fleischmann family invite you to join the celebration. Throughout the year there will a host of events in Cork and beyond. Fleischmann’s parents will also be commemorated, both in Cork and in the Bavarian town of Dachau from which Fleischmann’s grandfather first came to Ireland in 1879. Fleischmann works will be performed; there will be exhibitions, public lectures, dance performances, a RTÉ lyric fm CD, a documentary and publications. Over sixty-five orgnisations are participating."

The above text is a quote from the Cork City Libraries web page where you can read much more on both the event and person.  OCMP Ireland has been involved in preparations for the event in a small way.  I was asked if I would typeset the 4 Masters overture in order to preserve the work which would then be made availible free of charge over the internet.  I agreed.  The National Symphony Orchestra agreed to make a CD of Fleischmann works, one of which was the 4 Masters Overture.  But the original material was unusable and so my timescale to set the work was reduced by 15 months! Be that as it may, the work is now recorded and being prepared for release (details to follow) and the whole work will soon be available to download from the Cork City Library website.

But this is of little interested to those involved in banding I hear you say. Well, yes and no in my opinion and here's why:

NO:

  • Fleischmann wrote so little music for winds or brass (the RIAM Wind Ensemble will perform 4 brass fanfares in May) that he is not relavent to banding in Ireland
  • Although a transcription of the 4 Masters Overture is being prepared, this will take some time and will be a difficult piece when finished, too difficult for most Irish bands

YES:

  • Aloys Fleischmann is representative of the many, many people dotted around the country who do such an astounding job of keeping our community music groups alive, working tirelessly for that community
  • The celebration of his birth centenery has been spearheaded by members of his family and what they have achieved is an inspiration to all of us
  • The Fleischmann family is an example of immigrant people arriving in Ireland and contributing a huge amount to the musical life of the country. Other examples are members of the NSO who travelled here in the 50's and had a huge bearing not only on performance standards but on teaching standards also - a prime example is Victor Malirsh, my own horn teacher who continues to teach to this day.  And the Gebler brothers are yet another example - one brother (Herman) settled in Waterford and taught my father while another brother (Adolf) was a founder member if the ITGWU band.

That Aloys Fleischmann is being remembered in such a public way with so many performances of his music is a great thing.  I wish the organisers and the family every good wish for a successful year of music making 

Full details of the celebrations and of the freely available digitised library is available at http://www.corkcitylibraries.ie/fleischmann100/

Fergus O'Carroll

Comments

Fleischmann centenary

Thank you very much, Fergus, for placing such a fine tribute to my father on your website.

It is indeed true that immigrant musicians did much for music in Ireland. My great-grandfather and grandfather were among sixty continental organists invited between 1860 and 1960 by the Catholic bishops to take up posts in the country. The Free State government also turned to continental rather than to British musicians for the new Army School of Music, bringing Fritz Brase from Berlin in 1923. who contributed a great deal to the musical life of Dublin, building on what Michele Esposito had done before him.

The Fleischmann family is deeply grateful to all those who have given so generously of their time to make the centenary celebrations memorable. 75 organisations are participating. One of our main aims is to make our father's and grandfather's music widely available by having their scores digitally typeset. Cork City Music Library is scanning the manuscript scores and placing them on its Fleischmann website; Cork City Council has funded the typesetting of five works. To date 33 of my father's 55 compositions have been or are being digitised, in the main by volunteers.

Fergus's most kind major contribution was crucial for the creation of a Fleischmann CD as that work could not have been performed without his typesetting. Fergus even financed the printing of score and parts, which I only discovered by chance very recently. The range of the centenary celebrations reflects both the Fleischmann musicians' rootedness in the country and the generosity of spirit of their musician friends and colleagues.

Ruth Fleischmann