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A victim of the destabilisation of the first world war, both physically and creatively, Moeran nevertheless succeeded in producing a remarkable output of fresh, folkloric music that reflects the often idyllic backcloth to the places in which he lived and worked. Following on from their acclaimed disc featuring his Cello Concerto (8.573034), JoAnn Falletta and the Ulster Orchestra here continue to promote Moeran's genius with another set of fine interpretations.

Naxos 8.573106
MOERAN, E.J.: In the Mountain Country / Rhapsodies / Overture for a Masque
Benjamin Frith • Ulster Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

Ernest John Moeran’s Rhapsodies occupy a significant place among his orchestral compositions. Each is marked by melodic exuberance, inventive scoring and formal mastery. Moeran’s gift for imbuing his music with folkloric tunes that are actually his own is especially evident in the First Rhapsody and in his first orchestral work, In the Mountain Country. First performed in 1943, the Rhapsody in F sharp major for piano and orchestra is unashamedly popular in style, with an appealing tunefulness.







Composer Bio


Ernest John Moeran belongs to the generation of British composers that flourished in the first half of the twentieth century. Born in 1894 into a family of Anglo-Irish origin, his studies at the Royal College of Music were interrupted by the first world war, in which he was seriously wounded. His health and later stability seem to have been seriously affected by his injuries, when a piece of shrapnel lodged in his brain. He resumed his studies at the Royal College under John Ireland, who remained a strong influence on his compositions, as did Delius and, it might be supposed, his friend Peter Warlock. Other influences may be found in the landscape and folk-song of his native Norfolk and in those of the country of his forebears, Ireland, where he died in 1950. His earlier work included songs and chamber music that earned him favourable attention, while the 1930s brought a change of direction, notably in his First Symphony, a work suggesting the influence of Sibelius. In 1945 he married the cellist Peers Coetmore, for whom he wrote his Cello Concerto, followed by other works for the instrument.


About the Artists


JoAnn Falletta
Benjamin Frith
JoAnn Falletta serves as music director of the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony in the United States and principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra in Northern Ireland. Recipient of the Seaver/National Endowment for the Arts Conductors Award, winner of the Stokowski Competition, and the Toscanini, Ditson and Bruno Walter conducting awards, Falletta has also received eleven ASCAP awards and serves on the US National Council on the Arts.

Pianist Benjamin Frith has given recitals and concerto performances throughout Europe, Northern America, India, Kazakhstan and the Far East and has performed with many of the world’s finest orchestras. His diverse repertoire ranges from Scarlatti to James Macmillan and includes over fifty concertos.

Ulster Orchestra is Northern Ireland’s only professional symphony orchestra, performing to more than 100,000 people every year in some ninety performances. These include over forty main season concerts, lunch-time concerts, BBC invitation concerts and performances at venues across Great Britain.



Also Available


Naxos 8.573034
MOERAN, E.J.: Cello Concerto / Serenade / Lonely Waters / Whythorne's Shadow
Guy Johnston • Ulster Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

The Cello Concerto is one of Anglo-Irish composer EJ Moeran's most important works. Composed in 1945, its deft scoring and memorable melodic material mark it as a work of his maturity. At its heart is the raptly lyrical and profoundly felt slow movement but the whole concerto reflects the singing qualities of the solo instrument. The much-admired Serenade is heard in the 1996 edition of the original 1948 version with eight movements. Lonely Waters is a brief but evocative orchestral rhapsody, and Whythorne's Shadow a touching fantasy based on an Elizabethan madrigal.

Naxos 8.572914
HOLST, G.: Symphony, "The Cotswolds" / Walt Whitman, Overture / Indra / Japanese Suite / A Winter Idyll
Ulster Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

     

Gustav Holst's youthful enthusiasm for Wagner is reflected in his ebullient Walt Whitman overture written in 1899. Shortly afterwards he composed the Cotswolds Symphony which embraces hints of contemporary British folk music but is dominated by the slow movement, a profound elegy for the utopian socialist William Morris. Though completed at college, A Winter Idyll shows real orchestral assurance. Indra is an accomplished tone poem revealing Holst's interest in the legends of India, whilst the glittering and evocative Japanese Suite was written in response to a request from a Japanese dancer appearing in London.

Naxos 8.559747
PAINE, J.K.: As You Like it Overture / The Tempest /
Symphony No. 1

Ulster Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

John Knowles Paine was one of the 'Boston Six', a group of important American composers active in the last quarter of the nineteenth century. His German training equipped him with considerable formal skill and he soon rose to become a pioneer of the symphonic tradition in America. Paine's Symphony No 1 received a tremendous reception at its première on account of its attractive themes, skilful orchestration and accomplished design. The Overture As You Like It is notable for its graceful and tuneful themes, whereas Shakespeare's Tempest is a more adventurous and powerful Lisztian tone poem.

Naxos 8.572497
IRELAND, J.: Violin Sonatas Nos. 1 and 2 / Cello Sonata
Lucy Gould • Alice Neary • Benjamin Frith

 

John Ireland's violin sonatas gained extraordinarily positive reviews when they were premièred. The Star praised the 'delicacy, lucidity, and tonal charm' of the First Violin Sonata, the most genial and optimistic of the three sonatas recorded here, while The Musical Times regarded the Second Violin Sonata, which captures both the anguish and pity of World War I, as 'a brilliant specimen of his powers'. Ireland's Cello Sonata is one of his most profoundly expressive pieces, filled with emotional intensity and passionate lyricism.



More releases featuring music by Moeran


Naxos 8.555837
MOERAN: Symphony in G Minor / Sinfonietta
Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra • David Lloyd-Jones

   

Naxos 8.554079
MOERAN: String Quartets / String Trio
Maggini Quartet

 


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