The Fox Chase.

Duration: 7 minutes and 46 seconds
Published: April 11, 2008
Definition: SD
Views: 105.9 thousand
Channel: clarebannerman
Interview with Liam O'Flynn & alternative version of the Foxchase. Sorry I ran out of tape at the end, but I thought it was worth including for the interview alone.

No piece of Irish music is so widely known by name in the land of its origin at least as "The Fox Chase." As an instrumental composition it is attributed to Edward Keating Hyland, a celebrated blind piper who received some lessens in theory and harmony from Sir John Stevenson in Dublin. The melody or theme on which it was founded was an ancient lamentation to which was sung some verses in both Irish and English reciting a dialogue betwcen a farmer and a fox which he had detected with the "goods" on him in the shape of "a fine fat goose."

From this air then called "An Maudrin Ruadh" (Modhereen Rus), Hyland developed the famous descriptive piece, including the sounds of the chase such as the tallyho, baying of the hounds, death of the fox, etc., and winds up the performance with "The Foxhunters' Jig", an expression of the general delight at the result.

Fortunately we can present a copy of "The Irish Fox Hunt" as printed in O'Farrell's Pocket Companion for the Irish or Union Pipes, published about 1806. This being but seven years subsequent to the date of its composition according to Grattan Flood, it can be safely assumed that O'Farrell's setting is authentic.

The next version, entitled "The Fox Hunt" is that found in the manuscript collection of Henry Hudson, 24 Stephens Green, Dublin, completed in 1842. A notation indicates that Mr. Hudson copied this and other tunes from an older collection owned by F. M. Bell.

Through the kindness of the princely Prof. P. J. Griffith of the Leinstcr School of Music we are enabled to submit the genial professor's own version of "The Fox Chase", the version by the way which, enhanced hy his skillful execution, won the seal of supremacy at various contests.

The fourth and final example of "The Fox Chase" is that which appears in O'Neill's Music of Ireland published in 1903. Although we had been led to believe that the setting was that played by the great Munstcr piper, Stephenson, it turns out that "Patsy" Touhey ohtained it from John L. Wayland at the Cork Pipers' Club, and that it primarily came from Mrs. Kenny of Dublin.
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