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Violin Concerto/Fantasy Quartet for oboe and strings/Serenade in G


Symposium Records 1201

'Heigh ho'

As one of the pastoral figures in early twentieth century English music, Moeran's generous dash of Irish blood blended so well with the rest.

He had the influence of Stanford early and John Ireland later, both assisting a strong talent to settle itself with the stylistic mixture that seemed natural to him. No better introduction cuts more clearly into the best of Moeran than the third movement (Lento) of the Violin Concerto. This record preserves a Norwich performance from 1946 gloriously played by Albert Sammons with the BBC Symphony under Adrian Boult.

Written for and taken here from his 1947 recording, is the Fantasy Quartet for Leon Goossens and string trio (Mary Carter, Anatole Mines, Peggy Sampson). The mastery of Goossens is as evident as Moeran's challenge in this comprehensive movement of rich textures shot through with harmonic boldness.

Moeran’s last extended work was the Serenade in G for orchestra, premiered in the Proms on 2 September, 1948. A sequence of shortish movements in dance forms suggests a sequel to Warlock's Capriol Suite. Maybe, yet a different animal in many respects. The Air has a heartfelt original folktune for strings that had some applause immediately from the Prommers. The fast dances snap and crackle through the orchestra with irresistable panache.

The transfer process to compact disc has coped with the technical problems to produce a balanced sound with little background hiss.

Violin Concerto
Albert Sammons with the BBC Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Sir Adrian Boult
28 April 1946 at St Andrew's Hall, Norwich.

Fantasy Quartet for oboe and strings
Leon Goossens with the Carter Trio.

Serenade in G for orchestra
London Symphony Orchestra
conducted by Basil Cameron
first performance, Proms on 2 September 1948.

Copyright © Basil Ramsey, 11 February 1999

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