Notes and Editorial Reviews
The Violin Sonata is a rare but attractive melodic work, which should be better known. The String Quartet No. 1 in A minor and the Fantasy Quartet demonstrate the highly appealing folk-like influences for which this composer is best known.
The chamber works of E.J. Moeran represent an important but comparatively neglected facet of his output. Despite his later success as an orchestral composer, it was as a composer of chamber music that Moeran first won critical acclaim. Indeed, towards the end of his life he considered he expressed himself best in the chamber medium.
Moeran was representative of his period in twentieth-century British music in his adoption of a tonal idiom coloured by modal and richly chromatic
elements. His approach to composition was romantic, in that landscape and emotional states of mind played an important part in the conception of his musical ideas. However, he was also greatly concerned with the formal structure of his music and in that regard was extremely self-critical. It is thus not surprising that his music reveals a sure and effective compositional technique.
Moeran’s musical studies with Sir Charles Stanford at the Royal College of Music were interrupted by military service from 1914 to early 1919, during which period, in 1917, he was severely wounded while stationed in France. He did not resume his studies until 1920, this time with John Ireland, with whom he continued until 1923. Both the Violin Sonata and the String Quartet No. 1 date from this period and both were premiered on the 15 January 1923 at London’s Wigmore Hall. That concert brought Moeran’s first public recognition as a notable contemporary English composer.
R E V I E W S
'Here are some rarely recorded works by a superb composer in excellent performances at mid-price.'
- American Record Guide
Works on This Recording
Fantasy Quartet for Oboe and Strings by Ernest John Moeran
Sarah Francis (Oboe)
English String Quartet members
Period: 20th Century
Written: 1946; England
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