Author Topic: EJ Moeran  (Read 81099 times)

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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #660 on: July 31, 2021, 09:02:13 PM »
Good question. I'm a Delian as well. From what I have read (don't know Mr Maxwell's Moeran book yet) it's Heseltine/Warlock who was in contact with Delius. Moeran wasn't.
Interested in Mr Maxwell's answer. 
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Offline J

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #661 on: August 02, 2021, 07:54:25 AM »
Good question. I'm a Delian as well. From what I have read (don't know Mr Maxwell's Moeran book yet) it's Heseltine/Warlock who was in contact with Delius. Moeran wasn't.
Interested in Mr Maxwell's answer.

Speaking of 1929 the lengthy Wiki article about Moeran says "that same year he went with Heseltine and others to France, ostensibly to meet Delius.  The trip degenerated into a drunken binge, during which Moeran passed out in the street."

I wonder about the circumstances of that trip (if it happened, - this being Wiki).  Were there prior communications between them? 

BTW, Johann, "Dr" Maxwell is the proper mode of reference.                                                                                             
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 08:03:54 AM by J »

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #662 on: August 02, 2021, 08:36:32 AM »
The book quotes Eric Fenby's "Delius as I knew him"  pgs 59-63:  "One morning, on going down to lucnh, I discovered that Heseltine and several other people had arrived unexpectedly.  They were not at their full strength, they told us for they had missed 'Old Raspberry' [the nickname for Moeran] on the way; he would probably be coming along later in the day...... Our rowdy friends had not been gone for more than a few minutes when 'Old Raspberry' drove up in a taxi; but we pushed him in again and directed the driver to Marlotte.  Delius had had enough for one day...."

Apparently during this same trip through France Moeran lost the original version of Whythorne's Shadow due to having dropped it while drunk........

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #663 on: August 02, 2021, 08:48:56 AM »
More sad than funny, that story. Pity Heseltine and the gang had to make such fools of themselves.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline J

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #664 on: August 02, 2021, 09:14:11 AM »
The book quotes Eric Fenby's "Delius as I knew him"  pgs 59-63:  "One morning, on going down to lucnh, I discovered that Heseltine and several other people had arrived unexpectedly.  They were not at their full strength, they told us for they had missed 'Old Raspberry' [the nickname for Moeran] on the way; he would probably be coming along later in the day...... Our rowdy friends had not been gone for more than a few minutes when 'Old Raspberry' drove up in a taxi; but we pushed him in again and directed the driver to Marlotte.  Delius had had enough for one day...."

Apparently during this same trip through France Moeran lost the original version of Whythorne's Shadow due to having dropped it while drunk........

Very interesting, - thank you for that.  How extensively does Maxwell write of the Moeran/Delius relationship otherwise?

I have "the book" now (in a secluded place), but resolutely waiting for impressions of its author to fade away somewhat before reading.
« Last Edit: August 02, 2021, 09:15:50 AM by J »

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #665 on: August 02, 2021, 10:04:42 AM »
Very interesting, - thank you for that.  How extensively does Maxwell write of the Moeran/Delius relationship otherwise?

I have "the book" now (in a secluded place), but resolutely waiting for impressions of its author to fade away somewhat before reading.

Delius is a recurring reference in the book - after all Moeran's only work for chorus and orchestra - The Nocturne - was dedicated to the older composer.  However, a theme throughout the book is that Moeran had a "two-way" relationship with composers in the sense that he often had an influence (musically) on them as much as they did on him.  Maxwell cites Ireland as a prime example.  A common criticism of Moeran has been that he "cribbed" other composers.  Maxwell does not avoid that observation - indeed he quoes letters where Moeran specifically requested copies of scores by Sibelius (for the end of the symphony) Ireland & Rachmaninov (the piano rhapsody) explicitly to see how other composers achieved their effects.  However, he also gives examples of situations where Moeran pre-empted certain stylisitc characteristics associated with other composers thereby showing that he was a composer capable of very original musical thought. 

My own sense is that apart from occasional musical gestures Moeran is very different from Delius aesthetically/emotionally/technically.  I love them both but don't feel there is much linkage.....

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #666 on: August 02, 2021, 10:20:20 AM »

My own sense is that apart from occasional musical gestures Moeran is very different from Delius aesthetically/emotionally/technically.  I love them both but don't feel there is much linkage.....
I agree. Moeran's Nature music is more melancholy, less obsessed by transience as Delius's is. There is also no eroticism in Moeran's music, as far as I know...
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 #667 on: August 03, 2021, 04:36:23 AM »
On February 12th 1971 the arts series "Anthology" on RTE (Irish National Television) broadcast a documentary simply entitled E J Moeran.  For those who have never seen this hour long film here is a link.  The video recording/picture quality is pretty poor.  However the interest lies in the people who could still be interviewed in 1971 and what they have to say........

here is a link

https://drive.google.com/file/d/17DNQhHK-N1J6EqVfibeOeam57jzr6oiT/view?usp=sharing

below is the cover of the copy of the ripped DVD I found in a music shop some years ago......

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #668 on: August 03, 2021, 04:47:40 AM »
Excellent! Many thanks!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #669 on: August 03, 2021, 01:20:54 PM »
... However, a theme throughout the book is that Moeran had a "two-way" relationship with composers in the sense that he often had an influence (musically) on them as much as they did on him.  Maxwell cites Ireland as a prime example.  A common criticism of Moeran has been that he "cribbed" other composers.  Maxwell does not avoid that observation - indeed he quoes letters where Moeran specifically requested copies of scores by Sibelius (for the end of the symphony) Ireland & Rachmaninov (the piano rhapsody) explicitly to see how other composers achieved their effects.  However, he also gives examples of situations where Moeran pre-empted certain stylisitc characteristics associated with other composers thereby showing that he was a composer capable of very original musical thought. 


I remember listening to the Symphony in G minor a few years ago and noting that there were references to Vaughan Williams' 4th Symphony in it (don't ask me to quote bar numbers!). But equally there were passages which must have influenced Vaughan Williams when he came to write his 5th Symphony!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #670 on: August 03, 2021, 09:24:09 PM »
Yesterday I listened to the Sonata for Violin and Piano, which I hardly knew, and found it to be a wonderful discovery. The abrupt chords at the end of the Symphony and the 'Tapiola'-like storm in the finale are the most obvious references to Sibelius I think although Moeran possessed a very original style which those other references (Delius/VW) are integrated into.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Irons

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #671 on: August 03, 2021, 11:01:56 PM »
Yesterday I listened to the Sonata for Violin and Piano, which I hardly knew, and found it to be a wonderful discovery. The abrupt chords at the end of the Symphony and the 'Tapiola'-like storm in the finale are the most obvious references to Sibelius I think although Moeran possessed a very original style which those other references (Delius/VW) are integrated into.

I recall on another forum, Gramophone I think, Moeran received quite a mauling being accused of plagiarism, "guess the composer" whilst listening to his symphony. Plagiarism is miles too strong, but as you allude Jeffrey the work is open to criticism. The abrupt chords you mention are such a crib on the Sibelius 5th they always when I hear them leave me slightly uncomfortable. The Moeran Symphony is my favourite work by him and in my top five by any English composer. So not that bothered by the odd slight indiscretion.
This only applies far as I'm aware to the Symphony as for example the concerti for cello and violin have no direct influence from other composers. So many questions, must be a long book! 
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #672 on: August 04, 2021, 12:54:15 AM »
I recall on another forum, Gramophone I think, Moeran received quite a mauling being accused of plagiarism, "guess the composer" whilst listening to his symphony. Plagiarism is miles too strong, but as you allude Jeffrey the work is open to criticism. The abrupt chords you mention are such a crib on the Sibelius 5th they always when I hear them leave me slightly uncomfortable. The Moeran Symphony is my favourite work by him and in my top five by any English composer. So not that bothered by the odd slight indiscretion.
This only applies far as I'm aware to the Symphony as for example the concerti for cello and violin have no direct influence from other composers. So many questions, must be a long book!

The book is quite a treasure trove of information!  Moeran seems to have lacked a bit of confidence as far as how to handle certain aspects of orchestration throughout his career.  He specifically asked for a score of Sibelius 5 so he could see how the final chords were voiced etc.  For the Piano Rhapsody he asked for copies of the Ireland Concerto and Rach. 2 and for the cello concerto Maxwell draws parallels with the Dvorak (also B minor) but also the Elgar.  My response to such occurences is exactly the same as yours - I'm aware of them but somehow the sum of the whole far outweighs a fleeting "sounds like...."

Offline vandermolen

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #673 on: August 04, 2021, 01:08:40 AM »
The close of Walton's 1st Symphony (another of my favourite symphonies, along with the Moeran) also references the end of Sibelius's 5th Symphony. Coming across the LP of the Moeran Symphony (Dilkes recording) was one of my most memorable classical discoveries along with VW Symphony No.6 (LPO/Boult) and Miaskovsky Symphony No.6 (Kondrashin). My brother had the PYE LP (Boult) of Walton's First Symphony in his collection, so that I was always familiar with that work. His LP of Copland's 3rd Symphony (Everest LP/Copland) was one of my first forays into classical music.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 01:13:36 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #674 on: August 04, 2021, 01:22:04 AM »
The close of Walton's 1st Symphony (another of my favourite symphonies, along with the Moeran) also references the end of Sibelius's 5th Symphony. Coming across the LP of the Moeran Symphony (Dilkes recording) was one of my most memorable classical discoveries along with VW Symphony No.6 (LPO/Boult) and Miaskovsky Symphony No.6 (Kondrashin). My brother had the PYE LP (Boult) of Walton's First Symphony in his collection, so that I was always familiar with that work. His LP of Copland's 3rd Symphony (Everest LP/Copland) was one of my first forays into classical music.

The Everest/Copland/LSO recording still sounds remarkably fine on CD.  My LP encounters with the Everest label were always circumscribed by some truly dreadful pressings.  Those same recordings on CD are revelatory


Offline vandermolen

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #675 on: August 04, 2021, 03:52:53 AM »
The Everest/Copland/LSO recording still sounds remarkably fine on CD.  My LP encounters with the Everest label were always circumscribed by some truly dreadful pressings.  Those same recordings on CD are revelatory


Yes, I agree. I still think that it is one of the finest performances of Copland's 3rd Symphony - much better than Bernstein's much admired CBS/Sony recording.
There are another couple of Everest CD manifestations - I like the one which replicated the original LP sleeve, which I recall had some connection with the producer of military weapons!
Thanks for posting the Moeran video by the way.
« Last Edit: August 04, 2021, 03:57:53 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #676 on: August 05, 2021, 12:46:53 PM »
Ok so I'm thinking about performances of the Symphony I have heard. The first one I heard was back in the early 80s on a cassette tape from EMI that had a green spine (there was a whole series of different EMI green spine recordings I think).

Which orchestra/conductor would that have been?

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #677 on: August 05, 2021, 10:01:13 PM »
Ok so I'm thinking about performances of the Symphony I have heard. The first one I heard was back in the early 80s on a cassette tape from EMI that had a green spine (there was a whole series of different EMI green spine recordings I think).

Which orchestra/conductor would that have been?

Dilkes/English Sinfonia without a doubt.  When it got re-released on EMI's cheaper "Greensleeves" label;



The Moeran Symphony has been relatively lucky - all of the performances are good - excellent.  The surprise/shame is that his music does not seem to have "travelled" much if at all.  Its such attractive and accessible music but I'm not sure there's been much attention given to it outside of the UK & Ireland (Hurwitz did a 'survey' but I mean actual performances).  I wonder if Falletta took any of it back to play with her orchestras in the US or Sinaisky to Russia!?

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #678 on: August 05, 2021, 10:44:19 PM »
Dilkes/English Sinfonia without a doubt.  When it got re-released on EMI's cheaper "Greensleeves" label;



The Moeran Symphony has been relatively lucky - all of the performances are good - excellent.  The surprise/shame is that his music does not seem to have "travelled" much if at all.  Its such attractive and accessible music but I'm not sure there's been much attention given to it outside of the UK & Ireland (Hurwitz did a 'survey' but I mean actual performances).  I wonder if Falletta took any of it back to play with her orchestras in the US or Sinaisky to Russia!?

That's the one!

Offline Irons

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #679 on: August 05, 2021, 11:51:45 PM »
Dilkes/English Sinfonia without a doubt.  When it got re-released on EMI's cheaper "Greensleeves" label;



The Moeran Symphony has been relatively lucky - all of the performances are good - excellent.  The surprise/shame is that his music does not seem to have "travelled" much if at all.  Its such attractive and accessible music but I'm not sure there's been much attention given to it outside of the UK & Ireland (Hurwitz did a 'survey' but I mean actual performances).  I wonder if Falletta took any of it back to play with her orchestras in the US or Sinaisky to Russia!?

I find the two Falletta Naxos issues most impressive. The idiom is spot-on. Hopefully she will get around to recording the symphony one day.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.