Ernest John Moeran

Biography

Born: December 31, 1894   Died: December 1, 1950   Country: Ireland   Period: 20th Century
Ernest John Moeran's father was an Anglican clergyman born in Ireland and his mother was from the eastern part of England. When he was still a young boy, his father was transferred to Bacton, on the coast near Norfolk.

Ernest's early exposure to music was largely through hymn singing and folk songs, and he taught himself to read music from the hymnals. When he was enrolled in Uppingham School near Cromer, he learned the violin. His
Read more music master there was Robert Sterndale Bennett, grandson of Sir William Sterndale Bennett, one of the few notable English composers of the generation preceding Elgar.

In 1913, he entered the Royal College of Music to study with Stanford. When war broke out in 1914, he became a dispatch rider and a year later, earned the rank of a commissioned officer. He was severely wounded in the head and posted to non-combatant duties. In 1919 was hired as music master of his old school, Uppingham. In 1920, he decided to continue his musical training, becoming a private pupil of composer John Ireland until 1923. During his studies with Ireland, he began to publish his music (mainly songs and other smaller pieces) and a collection of East Anglian folk songs.

He became known in the 1920s mainly for shorter works, but during this time also composed more substantial compositions. His strongest melodic influences were the East Anglian folk songs from his youth. In the harmonies and other elements of his music, there was an immediate influence of Frederick Delius. As time passed, this influence grew less as Moeran absorbed aspects of style from Ireland, Vaughan Williams, Holst, and Bax. He became a well-known figure on the London musical scene, becoming friends with, and living with for a few years, Philip Heseltine (Peter Warlock) and the artist Hal Collins. It is believed that his problems with alcoholism began during this period.

He was impelled, in the early '30s, to retire to the Cotswalds to reconsider his style, particularly to strengthen his command of counterpoint and work out a broader type of harmonic thinking. Now he began cultivating larger-scale musical forms. One of the first fruits of this introspective period was his only symphony, in G minor. Even though it still reflects the scenery of the British Isles, Moeran said it was inspired by "mountains and seaboard of County Kerry" and "the sand dunes and rushes of East Anglia." It no longer sounds like a typical work of the "English pastoralist" school. It is a "struggle symphony," and it pretty clearly shows that the struggle was for his own individuality. The symphony was accounted a great success after its premiere in 1938. An increased sense of energy is typical of the music written after his stay in the Cotswalds. A more lean though not quite neo-Classical sound appears in his Sinfonietta (1944). His next major work was a cello concerto, written for Peers Coetmore in 1945. He married Coetmore the same year.

In 1950, he was found floating, dead, in the River Kenmare, having suffered a heart attack and fallen in. Sketches for a second symphony show that he was again broadening his harmonic thinking to include an increased use of bitonality. From the beginning, his compositional skill and technique were of a very high order, and works were meticulously re-written, accounting for his relatively small output. What he did accomplish causes him to be ranked highly among British composers. Read less
Moeran: Symphony, Rhapsody, Overture For A Masque
Release Date: 02/24/2004   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10169   Number of Discs: 1
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Moeran: Songs Of Springtime, Etc;  Warlock / Finzi Singers
Release Date: 10/24/2000   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 9182   Number of Discs: 1
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Moeran: Violin Concerto, Lonely Waters / Handley , Ulster Orchestra
Release Date: 02/24/2004   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10168   Number of Discs: 1
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Moeran: String Quartet In A Minor, Violin Sonata
Release Date: 02/24/2004   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10170   Number of Discs: 1
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Moeran: Rhapsodies No 1 & 2, Etc / Handley, Et Al
Release Date: 09/21/2004   Label: Chandos  
Catalog: 10235   Number of Discs: 1
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There are 48 Ernest John Moeran recordings available.

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Works

Ernest John Moeran


MOST POPULAR WORKS
I. Allegro moderato
II. Rondo: Vivace - Alla valse burlesca
III. Lento
I. Allegro. Lento. Tempo primo
II. Andante con moto
III. Rondo: Allegro vivace
I. Prologue: Allegro
II. Intermezzo: Allegretto
III. Air: Lento, ma non troppo
IV. Galop: Presto
V. Minuet: Tempo di minuetto
VI. Forlana: Andante con moto
VII. Rigadoon: Con brio, ma tempo moderato -
VIII. Epilogue: Allegro un poco maestoso
I. Allegro con brio
II. Tema con variazioni
III. Allegro risoluto
I. Tempo moderato
II. Adagio
III. Allegro
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Lento
III. Vivace e molto ritmico
No. 1. Under the Greenwood Tree
No. 2. The River-God's Song
No. 3. Spring, the Sweet Spring
No. 4. Love is a Sickness
No. 5. Sigh no more, Ladies
No. 6. Good Wine
No. 7. To Daffodils
I. Allegro
II. Lento
III. Vivace
IV. Lento - Allegro molto
I. Allegretto giovale
II. Adagio
III. Molto vivace: Lento sostenuto
IV. Andante grazioso: Presto
WORKS
I. Moderato
II. Adagio
III. Allegretto deciso, alla marcia
I. Allegro moderato
II. Rondo: Vivace - Alla valse burlesca
III. Lento
No. 1. Cherry Ripe
No. 2. Willow Song
No. 3. The Constant Lover
No. 4. The Passionate Shepherd
No. 1. When smoke stood up from Ludlow
No. 2. Farewell to barn and stack and tree
No. 3. Say, lad, have you things to do?
No. 4. The lads in their hundreds
I. Madrigal:
II. Madrigal: Beauty sat bathing by a spring
III. Pastoral: On a hill there grows a flower
IV. Air: Phyllis inamorata
V. Ballet: Said I that Amaryllis
VI. Canzonet: The treasure of my heart
VII. Air: While she lies sleeping
VIII. Pastoral: Corydon, arise
IX. Madrigal: To meadows
I. Allegro
II. Lento molto - Andante
III. Allegro vivace
IV. Allegro
No. 1. Evening
No. 2. The Poplars
No. 3. A Cottager
No. 4. The Dustman
No. 5. Lullaby
No. 6. The Herdsman
No. 1. Strings in the earth and air
No. 2. The Merry Green Wood
No. 3. Bright cap
No. 4. The Pleasant Valley
No. 5. Donnycarney
No. 6. Rain has fallen
No. 7. Now, O now, in this brown land
I. Allegro. Lento. Tempo primo
II. Andante con moto
III. Rondo: Allegro vivace
I. Allegro moderato ma ben animato
II. Lento. Vivace. Allegretto. Andante. Allegro vivace
I. Prologue: Allegro
II. Intermezzo: Allegretto
III. Air: Lento, ma non troppo
IV. Galop: Presto
V. Minuet: Tempo di minuetto
VI. Forlana: Andante con moto
VII. Rigadoon: Con brio, ma tempo moderato -
VIII. Epilogue: Allegro un poco maestoso
No. 1. The Lover and his Lass
No. 2. Where the bee sucks
No. 3. When daisies pied
No. 4. When icicles hang by the wall
I. Allegro con brio
II. Tema con variazioni
III. Allegro risoluto
I. Tempo moderato
II. Adagio
III. Allegro
I. Allegro non troppo
II. Lento
III. Vivace e molto ritmico
No. 1. The Bean Flower
No. 2. Impromptu in March
No. 1. Under the Greenwood Tree
No. 2. The River-God's Song
No. 3. Spring, the Sweet Spring
No. 4. Love is a Sickness
No. 5. Sigh no more, Ladies
No. 6. Good Wine
No. 7. To Daffodils
I. Allegro
II. Lento
III. Vivace
IV. Lento - Allegro molto
I. Allegro
II. Lento
III. Vivace
IV. Lento - Allegro molto
I. Allegretto giovale
II. Adagio
III. Molto vivace: Lento sostenuto
IV. Andante grazioso: Presto


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