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Jack Reclaims His Irish Heritage

Donald Macleod focuses on Moeran's reappraisal of his music following the death of Peter Warlock, as well as his increased interest in his Irish heritage.

"Old Raspberry", commonly known as Jack Moeran, was a pioneer in the collecting of British folk music - as a composer he was greatly inspired by nature - and was involved in many tales of nudity, drunkenness and reckless driving that originated from his time living with Peter Warlock.

Many friends were convinced that Peter Warlock had led the thoroughly decent Jack Moeran astray. However, with Moeran leaving Eynsford and Warlock later taking his own life, Jack began to compose again and reappraise his work. At last, after many years, he finished his first symphony, which was premiered by the conductor Leslie Heward.

Moeran also started to take a much greater interest in Ireland, in particular Kenmare in County Kerry, where the local inhabitants were very fond of Jack, even feeling that he'd make a good Mayor. It was the surroundings of this Irish landscape and culture that greatly inspired his Violin Concerto, which often exhibits lyrical Irish folksong tendencies.

During this programme there is an extract of Moeran in interview from 1947, where he discusses his love for Ireland.

1 hour

Music Played

  • Ernest John Moeran

    Jubilate Deo in E flat major (1930)

    Performer: Norwich Cathedral Choir Performer: Neil Taylor, organ Performer: Michael Nicholas, director

    • Priory PRCD934.
  • Ernest John Moeran

    Lento (2nd mvt) from the Symphony in G minor (1924-37)

    Performer: Halle Orchestra Performer: Leslie Heward, conductor

    • Divine Art 27808.
  • Ernest John Moeran

    The Roving Dingle Boy, from Songs from County Kerry (1950)

    Performer: Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano Performer: Graham Johnson, piano

    • Forlane 16784.
  • Ernest John Moeran

    Kity, from Songs from County Kerry (1950)

    Performer: Ann Murray, mezzo-soprano Performer: Graham Johnson, piano

    • Forlane 16784.
  • Ernest John Moeran

    Violin Concerto (1937-41)

    Performer: Lydia Mordkovitch, violin Performer: Ulster Orchestra Performer: Vernon Handley, conductor

    • Chandos CHAN8807.

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