Author Topic: EJ Moeran  (Read 27469 times)

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Offline J

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #180 on: January 12, 2019, 01:33:50 PM »
I have always seen Delius and Brian as complementary. Moeran and Bax are in the Delian orbit, although there is an epic side to Bax which intersects with Brian. Delius, to me, is unalloyed Beauty, and Brian sheer Power (at their characteristic best). Moeran is smaller, but within his limits he plunges the depths. When I listened to the Symphony today I was again struck by how masterly and self-assured it is. And how moving.

Delian beauty is an especially transient type beauty though, isn't it, - one might say (varying your terms) "a beauty alloyed with transience"?  It's not some frozen or Platonic like "form" or archetype, but suffused with the temporal. 

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #181 on: January 12, 2019, 01:36:50 PM »
Delian beauty is an especially transient type beauty though, isn't it, - one might say (varying your terms) "a beauty alloyed with transience"?  It's not some frozen or Platonic like "form" or archetype, but suffused with the temporal.


Spot on. Yes,  it's the transience of life and earthly beauty which suffuses everything Delius wrote and which makes his music so poignant.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #182 on: January 12, 2019, 03:53:52 PM »
Dilkes is my own favorite too, Jeffrey, and your contrasting his interpretation's "intimacy" with that of Boult's "majesty" a perfect characterization of their difference.
Thank you Greg. I think that the Dilkes has a special quality to it which is difficult to pin down and I must be aware that my very positive opinion of it may well be determined, or at least influenced, by it being my first contact with the work in its EMI LP manifestation (with its fine Ring of Kerry cover photograph). However, I know that someothers admire it as well. I'm not aware of many other recordings conducted by Neville Dilkes, except some shorter British works including Walter Leigh's charming and poignant (he was killed in World War Two) Harpsichord Concerto.
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Offline J

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #183 on: January 12, 2019, 05:11:13 PM »
Thank you Greg. I think that the Dilkes has a special quality to it which is difficult to pin down and I must be aware that my very positive opinion of it may well be determined, or at least influenced, by it being my first contact with the work in its EMI LP manifestation (with its fine Ring of Kerry cover photograph). However, I know that someothers admire it as well. I'm not aware of many other recordings conducted by Neville Dilkes, except some shorter British works including Walter Leigh's charming and poignant (he was killed in World War Two) Harpsichord Concerto.

I'd known the Handley recording before discovering Dilkes, and was just so happy to find an alternative.  Now, Handley's read of Moeran's Violin Concerto (with Mordkovich) I've always loved, but in the Symphony he comes off unrelieved and overbearing, - too loud and "in-your-face" for me, almost vulgar at times (a minority judgment, I'm aware).  With my "inner ear" I could still apprehend the underlying beauty, - Moeran's vision and its contrasts beneath Handley's hulking mass of sounds, - but it was Dilkes' distinction to exemplify that in performance, with a pacing and flow, with affirmation accompanied by the often necessary reticence (not weakness) I feel in-sync with.  His rhythm is my rhythm, and in nowise would I respond to the work as ecstatically as I do without him.  As you say, he's an almost "one-off" conductor, come along (in terms of recording legacy) to provide this and this alone.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2019, 05:29:16 PM by J »

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #184 on: January 12, 2019, 05:31:54 PM »
Really?! Wow! :o I really don't hear that,at all. Handley's recording of the Moeran Symphony was the first one I ever heard,and I still love it! The Chandos recording is a little resonant;which may have something to do with it?!! Although I don't have a problem with it. But unrelieved and overbearing?!! Again! Wow! ??? I think his reading is full of drama,poetry and the evocation of glorious scenery! Although,years later,and having heard other recordings since then,I'd say Leslie Heward's my favourite,followed by Dilkes and Boult. And probably Dilkes,before Boult;which might put me in a minority?! :( ;D

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #185 on: January 12, 2019, 08:08:52 PM »

OK.


If you know (and love) Delius, you know about his intense chromaticism. It evokes both Eros and landscape. Moeran's lyricism is also chromatic, but there is no Eros, but something tortured, and the landscape you see is not sunny, but dark. It's like Tolkien's dream-England, the Shire, taking on some of the features of Mordor. Moeran survived World War I, it probably accounted for his drinking problem. He also had a plate in his head where shrapnel had hit it.


That's behind what I wrote.

Food for thought, Johan. :)
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Offline kyjo

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #186 on: January 12, 2019, 09:29:26 PM »
Always good to see Moeran alive and well, being listened to. Thanks to you all, I went back to the Symphony and the Sinfonietta, and still love them very much. In Moeran the pastoral is warped by pain. RVW's pastoral Third may reflect WW1, but in Moeran it gets into the harmonies. Moeran is shellshocked Delius. Hence the poignant quality of even an upbeat piece like the Overture for a Masque. To put it in Tolkienian fashion: in Moeran the Shire is invaded by the Shadow.

What a fantastic analogy, Johan - I totally agree! I wish I had your way with words! :D
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #187 on: January 12, 2019, 09:32:18 PM »
If you know (and love) Delius, you know about his intense chromaticism. It evokes both Eros and landscape. Moeran's lyricism is also chromatic, but there is no Eros, but something tortured, and the landscape you see is not sunny, but dark. It's like Tolkien's dream-England, the Shire, taking on some of the features of Mordor. Moeran survived World War I, it probably accounted for his drinking problem. He also had a plate in his head where shrapnel had hit it.

Once again, a most vivid and strikingly accurate description! :o
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline kyjo

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #188 on: January 12, 2019, 10:12:54 PM »
Also, quick question: is Moeran pronounced MOOR-en or moor-ANN?
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline J

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #189 on: January 13, 2019, 12:00:56 AM »
Also, quick question: is Moeran pronounced MOOR-en or moor-ANN?

MOOR-en

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #190 on: January 13, 2019, 12:07:45 AM »
MOOR-en


The OE isn't an OO. It's More-an.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #191 on: January 13, 2019, 12:43:00 AM »

The OE isn't an OO. It's More-an.

I've always said Moy (as in boy) - ran

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #192 on: January 13, 2019, 12:47:18 AM »
'Moran' is the way I heard it pronounced several times on British radio. And I remember reading about it in Geoffrey Self's study about the composer. It certainly is a curious name.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline vandermolen

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #193 on: January 13, 2019, 12:58:08 AM »
I'd known the Handley recording before discovering Dilkes, and was just so happy to find an alternative.  Now, Handley's read of Moeran's Violin Concerto (with Mordkovich) I've always loved, but in the Symphony he comes off unrelieved and overbearing, - too loud and "in-your-face" for me, almost vulgar at times (a minority judgment, I'm aware).  With my "inner ear" I could still apprehend the underlying beauty, - Moeran's vision and its contrasts beneath Handley's hulking mass of sounds, - but it was Dilkes' distinction to exemplify that in performance, with a pacing and flow, with affirmation accompanied by the often necessary reticence (not weakness) I feel in-sync with.  His rhythm is my rhythm, and in nowise would I respond to the work as ecstatically as I do without him.  As you say, he's an almost "one-off" conductor, come along (in terms of recording legacy) to provide this and this alone.
You've expressed this much better than I could Greg. I think that I would say that Handley's recording if the Moeran Symphony is too 'beefy' compared with Dilkes's more nuanced account. I don't want to be too negative about Handley as I have the highest opinion of many of his recordings and the greatest respect for him introducing me to many composers whom I otherwise may never have come across (Rootham, Bainton, Clifford, etcetc) also his recording of Patrick Hadley's 'The Trees so High' is one of the most beautiful recordings I know of that very poignant work (I think that Finzi fans would admire it if they don't already know it).
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Offline Biffo

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #194 on: January 13, 2019, 03:33:38 AM »
'Moran' is the way I heard it pronounced several times on British radio. And I remember reading about it in Geoffrey Self's study about the composer. It certainly is a curious name.

It is an Irish name and not uncommon. I am sure I encountered it long before I had heard of the composer. Wikipedia suggest MOOR-an which is how I would have pronounced it. There are several other websites giving guidance and ,needless to say, several variants of pronunciation. I think we need an Irish speaker for enlightenment.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #195 on: January 13, 2019, 03:39:45 AM »
Any Irishman with a Moeran obsession here?!


Did some checking. There was an article on Moeran.net, which aims to settle the matter. But the site is no longer there... I must have read the article a long time ago.
« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 03:56:07 AM by J.Z. Herrenberg »
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Offline cilgwyn

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #196 on: January 13, 2019, 06:16:35 AM »
You've expressed this much better than I could Greg. I think that I would say that Handley's recording if the Moeran Symphony is too 'beefy' compared with Dilkes's more nuanced account. I don't want to be too negative about Handley as I have the highest opinion of many of his recordings and the greatest respect for him introducing me to many composers whom I otherwise may never have come across (Rootham, Bainton, Clifford, etcetc) also his recording of Patrick Hadley's 'The Trees so High' is one of the most beautiful recordings I know of that very poignant work (I think that Finzi fans would admire it if they don't already know it).
I think allot of it's just the 'boomy' sounding Chandos engineering,not Handley's conducting. Which is one of the criticisms that have been made toward's Thomson's recordings of Bax,over the years;and some of the earlier Chandos recordings,which seem to emphasise all the louder bits. I think it's a good recording;and a refreshingly,different perspective on this work. Handley has the same sort of approach to Bax. Which is why I prefer Thomson. But I think it works quite well for Moeran. That said,I've got to know the other recordings,since then,and I would now choose Heward or Dilkes as my first stop;then Boult. I think Handley is good if you want a more epic approach,though. I think some of the recording is quite thrilling. But,I'll admit you get more of the grandeur of the scenery,than the poetry! ::) ;D And I've got to say,here. I love the photograph on the front! :) Not that it's important,of course! ;D Actually,talking about Handley's conducting,of the Moeran Symphony,makes me wonder what it would have sounded like if Solti had ever recorded it?! Unlikely! But his conducting was often described as "hard driven". His recordings of the Elgar symphonies are hated by some,for that very reason. As someone who isn't a big fan of the Elgar symphonies,I actually quite enjoy them (now and again! ::) ;D. Elgar's own recordings  (including his acoustic recording of No 2) are my first port of call;followed by Barbirolli's mono recording (on emi) of No 2;which is my favourite Elgar symphony.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #197 on: January 13, 2019, 08:08:32 AM »
In 2009 I saw Moeran's Symphony performed at the proms by Vassily Sinaisky and it was so great to hear it live. I even wrote to BBC Music Magazine asking them if they could include it on their cover CD but probably there is not a wide enough appeal to do that. I think Dilkes's remains my favourite recording with the Heward and Boult close behind. My least favourite is the one which appeared on Naxos by Lloyd Jones. I really liked the Ring of Kerry image on the original Dilkes LP and on its original CD manifestation. I'd love to go there one day.

Here is a video, without commentary featuring places associated with Moeran, including his pub, his grave and the pier from which he sadly fell to his death in Kenmare.

As to pronouncing his name I think that I mispronounced it for decades but I think it should be 'Moyran' rather than 'Mooran' or at least that's how it tends to be pronounced in broadcasts:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=s2F-kc6ZQBA
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Offline André

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #198 on: January 13, 2019, 09:54:05 AM »
I have the Lloyd-Jones version  :( :D . I guess I need something better !

My hunch for the pronunciation would have been to follow other words with « oe », such as toe, toe-tapping, hoe-down. So, no hoo or hoy for me. We have similar surnames here, Moran or Morand. I have no idea if they, too, are of irish/celtic origin (very common among French Canadians).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #199 on: January 13, 2019, 11:26:16 AM »
I have the Lloyd-Jones version  :( :D . I guess I need something better !

My hunch for the pronunciation would have been to follow other words with « oe », such as toe, toe-tapping, hoe-down. So, no hoo or hoy for me. We have similar surnames here, Moran or Morand. I have no idea if they, too, are of irish/celtic origin (very common among French Canadians).
That was my subjective reaction Andre but I guess I think that Dilkes and Boult are much better.

« Last Edit: January 13, 2019, 11:40:20 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).