Reeling in Rhapsodies:
Moeran’s Folkloric Gift

In the Mountain Country

Rhapsody No. 1 in F major • Rhapsody No. 2 in E major
Rhapsody in F sharp major* • Overture for a Masque

Benjamin Frith, piano* • 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.
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The Artists
JoAnn FallettaBenjamin FrithUlster Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta

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. She has guest conducted over a hundred orchestras in North America, and many of the most prominent orchestras in Europe, Asia, South America and Africa, and is the Principal Guest Conductor of the Phoenix Symphony and Brevard Music Center of North Carolina. 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 U.S. National Council on the Arts. A champion of American music, she has presented over five hundred works by American composers including 110 world premières. Her Naxos recordings include the double Grammy Award winning disc of works by John Corigliano and Grammy nominated discs of works of Tyberg, Dohnányi, Fuchs, Schubert, Strauss, Respighi, Gershwin, Hailstork and Holst.

Benjamin Frith

Benjamin Frith was encouraged by his teacher, Dame Fanny Waterman, to pursue a musical career after winning the Dudley National Concerto Competition aged fourteen. Since then he has been a first prize winner in the Rubinstein Piano Masters Competition where he was also awarded the special prize for chamber music, and was awarded top prize in the Busoni International Piano Competition. With acclaim for his American and Edinburgh Festival débuts, he established himself as an international concert artist, and has given recitals and concerto performances throughout Europe, Northern America, India, Kazakhstan and the Far East. He has appeared with many of the world’s finest orchestras including the Berlin Symphony, Israel Philharmonic, Warsaw Philharmonic, Hallé, the BBC orchestras, City of Birmingham Symphony Orchestra, Northern Sinfonia, and the Royal Philharmonic, and with such conductors as Zubin Mehta, Antoni Wit, Tamas Vasary, Stanisław Skrowaczewski, Matthias Bamert, Moshe Atzmon, Gianandrea Noseda and Sir Mark Elder. His diverse repertoire ranges from Scarlatti to James Macmillan and includes over fifty concertos, and much praise has been bestowed on his recordings. Frith’s enjoyment of chamber music has been fulfilled through his performances and recordings as pianist in the Gould Piano Trio and the formation of his own Piano Quartet.

Ulster Orchestra

Ulster Orchestra’s mission is to enrich life through music and since its beginnings in 1966, it has brought people from all backgrounds and walks of life through an exciting and diverse musical journey. Northern Ireland's only professional symphony orchestra performs in front of more than 100,000 people every year averaging eighty to ninety performances, including more than forty main season concerts, lunch-time concerts, BBC invitation concerts and performances at venues across Great Britain. JoAnn Falletta is the first woman and the first American in the rôle of principal conductor and was appointed in May 2011. The Hungarian-born violinist, Tamas Kocsis, leads the orchestra. For many decades the Ulster Orchestra has been an integral part of the local community, and continues to expand its education and outreach activities each year. It is grateful for the significant support of its principal funder, the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, the BBC, Belfast City Council, and that of various corporate and philanthropic funders.

Also Available

Cello Concerto

Serenade • Lonely Waters
Whythorne’s Shadow

Guy Johnston, cello • Ulster Orchestra • JoAnn Falletta

"The Ulster Orchestra is in fine form, and JoAnn Falletta seems to have the measure of Moeran’s elusive and eclectic idiom."
BBC Music Magazine
"Guy Johnston’s playing here is as fine as in any version yet recorded; this version may well become the reference recording for the work."
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