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John Ireland: Chamber Works
     

John Ireland: Chamber Works

by Karine Georgian
 
There are too few recordings of John Ireland's chamber music, but, then, there are also too few recordings of John Ireland's music in any other genre. Considering the skill, passion, breadth, and depth of the English modernist's achievement, this is a shame. Fortunately for Ireland, the recordings of his music that do get released are consistently first rate. The

Overview

There are too few recordings of John Ireland's chamber music, but, then, there are also too few recordings of John Ireland's music in any other genre. Considering the skill, passion, breadth, and depth of the English modernist's achievement, this is a shame. Fortunately for Ireland, the recordings of his music that do get released are consistently first rate. The standard recordings of his chamber music in the stereo age were released on Lyrita with violinist Yfrah Neaman, cellist Julian Lloyd Webber, and pianist Eric Parkin turning in performances that were sympathetic, virtuosic, and completely persuasive. The standard recordings in the digital age were released by Chandos with violinist Lydia Mordkovitch, cellist Karine Georgian, and pianist Ian Brown, and those recordings are repackaged here as a two-disc set. The biggest difference between the two collections isn't the repertoire: both Lyrita and Chandos include the two violin sonatas and the three piano trios as well as the cello sonata and the "Fantasy Sonata for clarinet and piano," though Lyrita also includes the "Sextet for clarinet, horn, and string quartet" while the Chandos includes "The Holy Boy," Ireland's most popular piece, in an arrangement for cello and piano. Nor is the biggest difference the performances. Though Lyrita's performers are clearly dedicated to doing their best for the music, Chandos' performers prove just as dedicated. But rather than place Ireland's music in the context of English modernism as their predecessors had, it is placed in the context of European modernism, giving the music more snap and bite. Nor is the biggest difference the sound. Chandos' early digital sound is cool, clear, and detailed, but Lyrita's stereo sound is just as clear, just as detailed, and perhaps even more real. No, the biggest difference is a matter of arithmetic: Lyrita's collection is issued on three discs while Chandos' is on two. Though hardcore Ireland fans will want both sets, more casual listeners might prefer the more compact Chandos.

Product Details

Release Date:
05/27/2008
Label:
Chandos
UPC:
0095115244029
catalogNumber:
241-40

Tracks

  1. Sonata for violin & piano No. 1 in D minor
  2. Sonata for violin & piano No. 2 in A minor
  3. Fantasy-Sonata, for clarinet & piano in E flat major
  4. Sonata for cello & piano in G minor
  5. The Holy Boy, version for cello & piano
  6. Phantasie, for piano trio in A minor
  7. Trio No. 2 (Piano Trio) in E major
  8. Trio No. 3 (Piano Trio) in E minor

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