Moeran: Symphony in G minor; Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra; Overture for a Masque

Moeran: Symphony in G minor; Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra; Overture for a Masque

by Margaret FingerhutMargaret Fingerhut


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Like many composers of his generation, Ernest John Moeran was an avid collector of folk songs, and he often incorporated them into his large orchestral works. Because these melodies evoked landscapes for his musical imagination and gave his work an Anglo-Irish identification, Moeran is often classified as a regional composer. Yet such a narrow categorization may interfere with a fair appreciation of Moeran's music, which is actually quite sophisticated and not restricted to parochial scene painting. By turns energetic, melancholy, and whimsical, the "Symphony in G minor" certainly reflects Moeran's interest in East Anglian and Irish songs. But its formal strengths and serious purpose raise it above the merely picturesque, and make it comparable to the symphonies of Vaughan Williams and Sibelius. The "Overture for a Masque" is a pleasant diversion, and probably owes much of its flashy appeal to the influence of William Walton. The "Rhapsody for Piano and Orchestra" bears slight hints of Irish folk music, but the flavor of the piece is cosmopolitan and the vigorous piano part reflects the popular concerto styles of the 1940s. Vernon Handley and the Ulster Orchestra, with pianist Margaret Fingerhut performing in the "Rhapsody," turn in handsome readings, though these recordings from 1987-1988 are a little deficient in color and depth.

Product Details

Release Date: 02/24/2004
Label: Chandos
UPC: 0095115116920
catalogNumber: 10169
Rank: 147651

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