John Ireland's personal world

Richards, Fiona (2011). John Ireland's personal world. In: Foreman, Lewis ed. The John Ireland Companion. Woodbridge: Boydell & Brewer, pp. 42–53.



More than many other composers, John Ireland's personal world is played out in his music, with a complex system of musical symbols, images and ideas woven into almost everything he wrote. There is a rich tapestry of extra-musical layers of meanings, with pieces closely linked to dates, places, people and literature. While he spent most of his life living either alone or only with a dedicated housekeeper, nonetheless his private loves and friendships were many and varied. His family and friends played a huge role, and there are many surviving letters and dedications in his compositions which allow the investigator to create a map of the family members, composers, performers, officials and ordinary people who circle, detour and cross the linear narrative of Ireland's life.

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