Robert McCarney

Growing up in Ireland, Robert McCarney was always surrounded by music, from his father who sang everyday to his mother who never had the radio off and his seven siblings all of whom were passionate about music and records. However, classical music played a very small part in all that he was exposed to. His first love was rock music of the 60s and 70s. As Irish music was a constant all through his childhood, that grew into a passion for folk and world music in his teens and the decision to teach himself how to play music. That was followed a little later by a love for jazz.

He wasn't smitten by classical music until he was twenty or twenty-one. He got a voucher for Virgin Records one Christmas and after reading a history of music he borrowed from the local library he decided to buy three CDs that seemed interesting based on what he had read. They were of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, Scriabin's piano music and Bartok's String Quartets. His life has never been the same since. From that winter's morning almost thirty years ago until today he has been on the most extraordinary adventure, thanks principally to the classical music of the twentieth century, especially the lesser-known twentieth century.

Many episodes of Robert's Echoes of Oblivion, originally a radio programme, have been published here between 2022 and 2024.


Articles by Robert McCarney

Learning to Fly

The Journey Begins

Imaginary Concert No 2

Imaginary Concert No 1

Coming soon, maybe ...

Peace comes dropping slow

Robert McCarney marvels at the music making of young Kosovar pianist Melisa Ibrahimi

More corn than gold

A hundred not out

Rough winds do shake

The home country grown strange

Looks like we got ourselves a reader

Per Giuseppe

A spot of circumnavigation on a Sunday afternoon

Wanted: Digital or Analogue

Behind the Wall of Sleep

Randomness Run Riot

The Departed

Champions of Oblivion

Going for a Song

A short night at the opera

What's in a number?

Selling like hot cakes ... maybe, hopefully

Turn that racket down!

Four by Four by Five fff

Sound Below Zero

Extraordinary Adventures

A New Look and Format

The Roots of Magic

Robert McCarney listens to Weinberger piano music

Nothing Written in the Stars

The Mouth of Hell

Robert McCarney listens to music by William Baines

Robert McCarney talks to Azorean pianist Diana Botelho Vieira and reviews a recent concert in Spain

Robert McCarney listens to volume one of the complete piano music of Niccolò Castiglioni

Horses for Courses

Artificial Prejudices

Robert McCarney listens to music by Mieczysław Weinberg

Fragments of Utopia

Robert McCarney listens to music by Kevin Raftery

Sound Sense and Nonsense

Robert McCarney listens to music by British composer Robert Saxton

Robert McCarney roundly congratulates Chandos and all involved with this CD

Robert McCarney listens to symphonies by Latvian/Canadian composer Tālivaldis Ķeniņš

From swerve of shore to bend of bay

Seven Tuscan Nights


Articles about Robert McCarney

Ensemble. A Very Satisfying Evening - Keith Bramich enjoys a charity concert in London

The Oblivionopolis Audio Quiz - Extracts from a dozen obscure twentieth century works ... can you guess the composers and the works?

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