John Ireland: Piano Concerto; Legend

John Ireland: Piano Concerto; Legend

by John Lenehan
     
 

The Naxos label's ambitious traversal of the music of British composer John Ireland continues here with two superb works for piano and orchestra, rounded out with a miscellany of largely minor early piano music. The "Piano Concerto in E flat major," written in 1930, can fairly be called one of the most romantic (not Romantic) works of the 20th century. It delightfully…  See more details below

Overview

The Naxos label's ambitious traversal of the music of British composer John Ireland continues here with two superb works for piano and orchestra, rounded out with a miscellany of largely minor early piano music. The "Piano Concerto in E flat major," written in 1930, can fairly be called one of the most romantic (not Romantic) works of the 20th century. It delightfully modifies the structure of Beethoven's "Piano Concerto No. 5 in E flat major, Op. 73 (Emperor)," with which its three movements share a key scheme. The structure is pushed away from heroic struggle and toward passion and lyricism, with the slow movement exemplifying a love dialogue and the finale exploding in exuberance with added percussion and brass; the textures and tonalities throughout might have been influenced by Prokofiev, but the effect is purely Ireland's own. Also attractive is the "Legend for piano and orchestra" of 1933, premiered by pianist Helen Perkin, who had been the object and dedicatee of the piano concerto. (The creative relationship soured after she married a wealthy architect.) The "Legend" has a detailed program: it depicts a walk through the Sussex countryside during which the composer encountered a medieval lepers' colony and then believed he saw a group of children wearing white clothes, dancing. He described this apparition in a letter to a writer friend, who answered with a postcard reading, "So you've seen them too." In the event, the music depicting the children is rather generic, but the dark, modal passages Ireland assigns to the leper colony are uniquely powerful. The small piano works that round out the album are interesting mostly as early examples of the British pastoral impulse, but Ireland specialist John Lenehan's tuneful performance of the piano concerto, with fine backing from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under John Wilson, catches the work's somehow highly personal sense of enthusiasm and is well worth the price of admission.

Read More

Product Details

Release Date:
10/25/2011
Label:
Naxos
UPC:
0747313259878
catalogNumber:
8572598
Rank:
235120

Tracks

  1. A Sea Idyll, 3 movements for piano  - John Ireland  - John Lenehan
  2. Indian Summer, for piano  - John Ireland  - John Lenehan
  3. Pastoral, for piano  - John Ireland  - John Lenehan
  4. First Rhapsody, for piano in C sharp major  - John Ireland  - John Lenehan
  5. Legend, for piano & orchestra (also 2 pianos)  - John Ireland  - John Lenehan  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  -  John Wilson
  6. Piano Concerto in E flat major  - John Ireland  - John Lenehan  -  Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra  -  John Wilson

Read More

Album Credits

Read More

Customer Reviews

Average Review:

Write a Review

and post it to your social network

     

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

See all customer reviews >