Ernest John Moeran
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1894-12-31
https://musicbrainz.org/artist/ab003ffc-8acb-4406-b4c0-51053d3a0c8f
Ernest John Moeran

Ernest John Moeran Biography (BBC)

Though born in Heston, west of London, Moeran was largely brought up in the village of Bacton, on the Norfolk coast, where his father was parish priest. He spent five years at Uppingham School, then in 1913 he went to the Royal College of Music, studying piano and composition under Charles Villiers Stanford. But at the outbreak of the First World War 18 months later, he joined the Norfolk Regiment as a despatch rider. In 1917 he was severely wounded in the head and, after some frighteningly primitive surgery, he was declared unfit for active service and discharged. The experience, almost certainly complicated by neural damage, affected his behaviour and psychological stability in the years to come.

After a brief period teaching music at Uppingham, Moeran returned to the RCM, now studying with John Ireland. He also began collecting folk music in East Anglia (particularly in its country pubs) and making arrangements of the melodies he heard. These left an imprint on the character of his own music, especially the two orchestral Rhapsodies (1922 and 1924). After conducting the second of these, Hamilton Harty commissioned Moeran to write a symphony, but the formal challenge appears to have been too intimidating for this relatively untried young composer, and the project stalled.

It was about this time that Moeran became close friends with the brilliant, hard-drinking and almost certainly manic-depressive composer and writer Peter Warlock (real name, Philip Heseltine), and developed the dependence on alcohol that blighted his later years. During this period Moeran wrote little but after Warlock's probable suicide in 1930 significant works began to appear again, notably two atmospheric orchestral pieces - Whythorne's Shadow (1931) and Lonely Waters (1932) - and the String Trio (1931). At the same time Moeran's interest in his Irish roots intensified. He spent more and more time in Ireland, finding out about its music and developing an abiding love for the mountains and coasts of County Kerry in south-west of the country. Buoyed up by this, he was able to return to the long-abandoned Symphony, completing it in 1937.

Two more fine works followed: the Violin Concerto (1937-42) and Sinfonietta (1944) - both brighter and more extrovert in character than the troubled, melancholic Symphony. In 1945 Moeran married the English cellist Peers Coetmore, composing a cello concerto for her the same year, and a still more impressive sonata in 1947. But the marriage was not happy and Moeran's mental health declined still further. In 1950 he was found dead in the River Kenmare, having suffered a heart attack.

Interest in Moeran's work dwindled after his death, but in more recent times his melodic vitality and romantic flair for creating richly atmospheric moods, combined with refined, inventive craftsmanship, have brought him new admirers.

Profile © Stephen Johnson


Ernest John Moeran Performances & Interviews


Featured Works


Ernest John Moeran Tracks

Ernest John Moeran
Songs of Springtime: Under the Greenwood Tree
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Songs of Springtime: Under the Greenwood Tree

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Ernest John Moeran
To Daffodils (Songs of Springtime)
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To Daffodils (Songs of Springtime)
Ernest John Moeran
Sinfonietta (1st mvt)
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Sinfonietta (1st mvt)
Ernest John Moeran
Prelude for Cello & Piano
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Prelude for Cello & Piano

Prelude for Cello & Piano

Performer
Gerald Peregrine
Antony Ingham
Ernest John Moeran
The White mountain, arr. for piano from Irish folk-song
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The White mountain, arr. for piano from Irish folk-song
Ernest John Moeran
The White Mountain
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The White Mountain
Ernest John Moeran
Stalham River
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Stalham River
Ernest John Moeran
Serenade in G major - Galop
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Serenade in G major - Galop
Ernest John Moeran
Lonely Waters
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Lonely Waters
Ernest John Moeran
Violin Concerto iii: Lento
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Violin Concerto iii: Lento
Ernest John Moeran
Irish Rhapsody no. 2 in E major
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Irish Rhapsody no. 2 in E major
Traditional English, Ernest John Moeran, Marcus Farnsworth & John Talbot
The North Sea Ground
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The North Sea Ground

The North Sea Ground

Composer
Traditional English
Music Arranger
Performer
Last played on
Ernest John Moeran
Quartet in A minor for strings: 3rd mvt Rondo; Allegro vivace
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Quartet in A minor for strings: 3rd mvt Rondo; Allegro vivace
Ernest John Moeran
The River-God's Song (Songs of Springtime)
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The River-God's Song (Songs of Springtime)
Ernest John Moeran
Lonely waters (Two Pieces for small orchestra)
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Lonely waters (Two Pieces for small orchestra)
Ernest John Moeran
Nutting Time (6 Suffolk Folksongs)
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Nutting Time (6 Suffolk Folksongs)
Ernest John Moeran
Cello Concerto - 2nd mvt: Adagio
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Cello Concerto - 2nd mvt: Adagio
Ernest John Moeran
Songs from Kerry: The Roving Dingle Boy; The Tinker's Daughter
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Songs from Kerry: The Roving Dingle Boy; The Tinker's Daughter
Ernest John Moeran
When smoke stood up from Ludlow [Ludlow Town]
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When smoke stood up from Ludlow [Ludlow Town]
Ernest John Moeran
Good wine for chorus and piano
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Good wine for chorus and piano
Ernest John Moeran
The White Mountain
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The White Mountain
Ernest John Moeran
Bank Holiday
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Bank Holiday
Ernest John Moeran
To Daffodils (Songs of Springtime)
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To Daffodils (Songs of Springtime)
Ernest John Moeran
Spring, the sweet Spring (Songs of Springtime)
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Spring, the sweet Spring (Songs of Springtime)
Ernest John Moeran
Cello Concerto - 3rd mvt 'Allegretto deciso, alla marcia'
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Cello Concerto - 3rd mvt 'Allegretto deciso, alla marcia'
Trad.
The roving Dingle boy
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The roving Dingle boy
Ernest John Moeran
Lonely Waters
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Lonely Waters
Herbert Hughes
The Gartan Mother's Lullaby / The Roving Dingle Boy
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The Gartan Mother's Lullaby / The Roving Dingle Boy
Ernest John Moeran
Phyllida and Corydon - choral suite (1939)
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Phyllida and Corydon - choral suite (1939)
Traditional, Iain Burnside, Ernest John Moeran & Ailish Tynan
Trad. arr. Moeran - The Lost Lover
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Trad. arr. Moeran - The Lost Lover
Ernest John Moeran
Lonely Waters
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Lonely Waters
Ernest John Moeran
In the mountain country - symphonic impression
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In the mountain country - symphonic impression
Ernest John Moeran
Rhapsody No 2 in E major
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Rhapsody No 2 in E major
Ernest John Moeran
Windmills from Three Fancies
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Windmills from Three Fancies

Windmills from Three Fancies

Performer
Duncan Honeybourne
Last played on
E. J. Moeran, The Finzi Singers & Paul Spicer
Songs of Springtime
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Songs of Springtime
Ernest John Moeran
Overture to a Masque
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Overture to a Masque
Ernest John Moeran
Lonely Waters
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Lonely Waters
Trad.
The sailor and young Nancy
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The sailor and young Nancy

The sailor and young Nancy

Composer
Music Arranger
Ernest Moeran
Conductor
Last played on
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Past BBC Events

Proms 1929: Prom 29
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/e9bmxj
Queen's Hall
1929-09-12T08:22:58
12
Sep
1929

Proms 1929: Prom 29

Queen's Hall
Proms 1924: Prom 16
https://www.bbc.co.uk/events/erjhzc
Queen's Hall
1924-08-27T08:22:58
27
Aug
1924

Proms 1924: Prom 16

Queen's Hall

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