- Trio for strings in G major, R. 59
- O Sweet fa's the Eve (Norwegian folk song)
- Can't you dance the Polka (folk song)
- Sheep Shearing (folk song)
- The Sweet o' the Year
- Symphony in G minor, R. 71
Of Anglo-Irish composer E.J. Moeran, English critic and composer Philip Heseltine (aka, Peter Warlock) wrote in 1924 "there is no one of his years who as yet achieved so much." At the time, Moeran was all of 31 years of age and had already amassed an impressive résumé of compositions, which shortly afterward narrowed down to a trickle, resulting in an overall output of modest size. Although recognized among experts in the field of twentieth century British music as one of the most solid craftsmen of his era, Moeran remains among the least known figures among his contemporaries, which would include William Walton, Arthur Bliss, George Butterworth, and Warlock himself. Although modern recordings of a large part of Moeran's music have been made, particularly on the Chandos label, his music is admittedly hard to cozy up to. Given that its technical accomplishment operates at a very high level and it generally avoids the bucolic sentimentality of the so-called "cowpat school," there is a certain reserve and distance in Moeran's music that's sometimes tough to bridge. This area is where historical recordings can really make a difference; hearing the works of a given composer as rendered by artists who would have realized them for his own ears could help the listener to place themselves into the composers' mind and experience. Judging from the performances assembled and restored on Divine Art's E.J. Moeran: The Collected 78rpm Recordings, Moeran was exceedingly lucky for a composer of his generation in getting good, representative recordings of his work made in an era when the recorded sound medium itself proved prohibitive to a lot of modern music. The larger works presented here were all recorded during World War II, the songs as sung by John Goss from records made in the mid-'20s, and a further coupling of songs as sung by Heddle Nash from 1945, just before the end of the war. The "String Trio" is an amazing work that has enjoyed only one other recording; Moeran's friend Warlock died during its composition. Most of the trio is in a texturally highly complex, though sunny and major-key disposition during the Adagio movement you can almost see Moeran looking out the window, thinking about Warlock and what a waste his death had been. The symphony, the result of 14 years' labor and Moeran's only successful try of three attempts at writing a symphony, gets an exciting, headlong performance with Leslie Heward directing the Hallé Orchestra. Though Moeran is sometimes stylistically lumped with Holst, this is as close as Moeran got to Holst, or to Bliss for that matter, to whom it seems a bit closer. The songs sung by Nash are very gratifying, those sung by Goss a little less so, their recordings being more certifiably antique than the others, the acoustic rendering the modernistic chords in Moeran's accompaniment boxy and unintelligible. This disc was originally issued on the tiny Pristine Audio label; now that it's on Divine Art, hopefully, it will find a wider audience. If you've ever found yourself at E.J. Moeran's house but couldn't find a way inside the door, this is about as ideal an introduction as one can imagine.