Author Topic: EJ Moeran  (Read 78677 times)

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Offline Irons

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #700 on: August 14, 2021, 05:40:37 AM »
Yes, of course we are, and that is exactly my point - we are reliant on the composer to explain his or her music, because without such explanation, we have no objective points of reference. If an abstract artist says that their creation of seemingly random red lines on an alternating black and dark blue background represents a response to the view from the summit of Mount Snowden, we are constrained to accept that, no matter how sceptical we may be. But if the artist simply shows us the painting and says nothing, how could a view from Mount Snowden - or anywhere else for that matter - occurs to us. It is exactly the same for music. With programme music, we as listeners are provided with an explanation of what the music is intended to represent. However, like the painting, we are at liberty to accept or reject that because there are no semiotic indicators inherent in the music. Middle C followed by G followed by B cannot "mean" anything, nor can the harmonic sequence Cm7, Gm7flat9, Ddim, Eflat7sus4, nor the use of flute and bassoon in unison for two bars. These are all effects that combine to produce a temporally changing sequence of sounds that, ultimately, either pleases (satisfies) us or doesn't.

I get the impression most composers dislike intensely the need to explain their music. Even when obviously a programme work they will deny the fact and claim it to to be just music and listened as such (Stravinsky). Or failing that they will create a red herring, for example RVW with his "Pastoral" symphony. A case of a title of a work that is misleading and deliberately so.   
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline relm1

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #701 on: August 14, 2021, 03:26:03 PM »
I get the impression most composers dislike intensely the need to explain their music. Even when obviously a programme work they will deny the fact and claim it to to be just music and listened as such (Stravinsky). Or failing that they will create a red herring, for example RVW with his "Pastoral" symphony. A case of a title of a work that is misleading and deliberately so.   

It isn't so much that we intensely dislike explaining the music, just that saying too much weakens the intention.  It's really the same for any art form.  You don't want a wine creator to say "at first, the fermentation is sour but a few seconds later, the fruitiness of the grapes have a hind of mint that will make you think of summer since these grapes were picked during the summer months" type of thing.  It would be preferable to describe the flavor as nostalgic and leave it to you to know what that means.  Same with music.

Offline J

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #702 on: August 15, 2021, 09:41:37 AM »
Pardon me, I was looking for discussion concerning the English composer EJ Moeran, if anyone could kindly offer directions.

Offline HotFXMan

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #703 on: August 15, 2021, 11:42:28 PM »
I get the impression most composers dislike intensely the need to explain their music. Even when obviously a programme work they will deny the fact and claim it to to be just music and listened as such (Stravinsky). Or failing that they will create a red herring, for example RVW with his "Pastoral" symphony. A case of a title of a work that is misleading and deliberately so.   
"In the Mountain Country" is very interesting in this respect, in as much as the title may be regarded as "explaining" the music. Geoffrey Self criticised the work for failing to live up to expectations as to what "mountain music" might reasonably be expected to be. However, as I show in my book, the original title of the work and the landscape that inspired its composition has no connection with mountains. Thus, an interpretation of the music has been asserted - quite reasonably of course - that is not grounded in the reality of its composition.

Offline Irons

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #704 on: August 16, 2021, 06:20:07 AM »
"In the Mountain Country" is very interesting in this respect, in as much as the title may be regarded as "explaining" the music. Geoffrey Self criticised the work for failing to live up to expectations as to what "mountain music" might reasonably be expected to be. However, as I show in my book, the original title of the work and the landscape that inspired its composition has no connection with mountains. Thus, an interpretation of the music has been asserted - quite reasonably of course - that is not grounded in the reality of its composition.

If Mr Self was judging Moeran's work against the Alpine Symphony or maybe even Novak's "In the Tatras" then yes "In the Mountain Country" as a travelogue may come up short. If, as I think you are hinting, Moeran is using some subterfuge with the title then who can blame him? The last thing most composers wish to be is an open book. I will listen to "In the Mountain Country" with added interest.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline HotFXMan

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #705 on: August 17, 2021, 06:49:42 AM »
If Mr Self was judging Moeran's work against the Alpine Symphony or maybe even Novak's "In the Tatras" then yes "In the Mountain Country" as a travelogue may come up short. If, as I think you are hinting, Moeran is using some subterfuge with the title then who can blame him? The last thing most composers wish to be is an open book. I will listen to "In the Mountain Country" with added interest.
Self's comparison work was Delius "Song of the High Hills". His somewhat dismissive assessment of Moeran's music was "... Moeran aspires to mountain music and his earth-bound and wooden little tune does not have within it the potential for ecstasy inherent in the Song of the High Hills and thus can never soar to reach that rapt contemplation of nature in solitary splendour which we would reasonably expect from the title." However, Self was clearly unaware of the compositional history of the piece. Nevertheless, I disagree with his blatantly subjective judgement, for which he provided no objective support. It was just his opinion, to which he was of course entitled, but this was in a book purporting to be an authoritative biographical examination of Moeran's music, and such subjectivity would no longer be acceptable in an academic work.

My own opinion, for which I provide ample support in my book, is that In the Mountain Country is an assured, original and imaginative work that effectively paints a tone picture of the landscape that inspired it.

Offline Irons

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #706 on: August 18, 2021, 07:13:52 AM »
Self's comparison work was Delius "Song of the High Hills". His somewhat dismissive assessment of Moeran's music was "... Moeran aspires to mountain music and his earth-bound and wooden little tune does not have within it the potential for ecstasy inherent in the Song of the High Hills and thus can never soar to reach that rapt contemplation of nature in solitary splendour which we would reasonably expect from the title." However, Self was clearly unaware of the compositional history of the piece. Nevertheless, I disagree with his blatantly subjective judgement, for which he provided no objective support. It was just his opinion, to which he was of course entitled, but this was in a book purporting to be an authoritative biographical examination of Moeran's music, and such subjectivity would no longer be acceptable in an academic work.

My own opinion, for which I provide ample support in my book, is that In the Mountain Country is an assured, original and imaginative work that effectively paints a tone picture of the landscape that inspired it.

After reading your comments I did re listen "In the Mountain Country" with an open mind ignoring the title. Plain and simply my guess the "Mountain Country" of the title is Ireland. I am aware that is not a revelation to anyone who has the slightest interest in Moeran and far from being an insight but that is subjectively what I heard in the piece.   
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Online calyptorhynchus

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #707 on: August 21, 2021, 05:21:39 PM »
I have just uploaded a performance of the Sonata for Two Violins to the AMF.

This was from that defunct website (Moeran.net or something) and was of an Australian radio performance from the 1990s. (Very good).

If anyone can't access it through AMF let me know and I'll send you the link.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #708 on: August 22, 2021, 12:26:10 PM »
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline André

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #709 on: August 22, 2021, 02:04:37 PM »

Offline HotFXMan

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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #711 on: August 23, 2021, 03:31:56 AM »
There is another review on the British Music Society website:

https://www.britishmusicsociety.co.uk/2021/07/ernest-john-moeran-his-life-and-music/
Thanks. I now remember having read that. There is an Ernest John Moeran Appreciation Group on Facebook, where I'll share this one, too. A few members there are also reading the book (in appreciation) or intend to do so.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #712 on: September 04, 2021, 09:50:24 AM »
'Lonely Waters', a radio documentary about Moeran, from 1994. And yes, it's MORE-an...

https://youtu.be/t_whHkIQ0A8
« Last Edit: September 04, 2021, 10:12:23 AM by J.Z. Herrenberg »
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #713 on: September 04, 2021, 05:55:57 PM »
The Violin Concerto melted my heart once again. The recording with Mordkovitchplaying so wonderfully is worth enjoying second by second. Wow! So endearing and noble.
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline HotFXMan

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #714 on: September 11, 2021, 08:46:47 AM »
To all that have bought my book, I would like to draw your attention to the following correction:

An important omission has been noted in Ernest John Moeran: His Life and Music. A section of the Select Bibliography was inadvertently removed prior to publication. The following should have been included in the Bibliography:

Music Editions
Talbot, John, E. J. Moeran, Centenary Edition (Revised Version 2011), Collected Solo Piano Music, Vols. 1-2, (originally Thames Publishing, London, 1994)
Talbot, John, E. J. Moeran, Centenary Edition (Revised Version 2011), Collected Solo Songs, Vols. 1-4 (originally Thames Publishing, London, 1994)
Talbot, John, E. J. Moeran, Centenary Edition (Revised Version 2011), Collected Folksong Arrangements, Vols. 1-2 (originally Thames Publishing, London, 1994)
Talbot, John, E. J. Moeran, Centenary Edition (Revised Version 2011), Collected Choral Music, Vols. 1-5 (originally Thames Publishing, London, 1994)

The author expresses his apologises to Mr Talbot for this error.

Offline aligreto

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #715 on: October 02, 2021, 06:02:32 AM »
Moeran: Symphony in G minor [Dilkes]





This is my first listen to the orchestral music of Moeran.

I like the opening movement of this work. It is both exciting and expansive. I like its broad sweep and its large expansive palette. The opening movement is powerful and it has a big presence. The orchestral scoring is both engaging and absorbing. I am particularly attracted to the woodwind scoring. The rhythmic element and the forward momentum of the movement are both well driven here; it is powerful, ebullient and exciting. The scoring for the woodwinds in the slow movement is wondrous. The musical language here is also very interesting and engaging. There is also great drama and tension here and it is all richly and powerfully presented. This is a wonderfully sweeping piece of music. The Scherzo is a suitably animated affair which is richly scored, particularly for the woodwinds. It is a very finely crafted piece of music which, once again, has that very engaging sweeping and expansive element. The final movement opens with some wonderful orchestral scoring; this wonderful scoring continues throughout the movement. Drama and tension soon build up into a wonderfully exciting sound world. Both the brass and the timpani play their part in the development of the inherent atmosphere of movement but the ubiquitous woodwinds also have their contribution to make. I like the fine conclusion: it is quite resolute.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #716 on: October 02, 2021, 06:41:26 AM »
If this is your first listen, you have listened very well indeed! That about covers it...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline aligreto

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #717 on: October 02, 2021, 06:56:05 AM »
If this is your first listen, you have listened very well indeed! That about covers it...

Yes, my first listen. I will definitely explore more of this composer's music.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #718 on: October 02, 2021, 07:04:38 AM »
Yes, my first listen. I will definitely explore more of this composer's music.


Very good! I'd suggest the Sinfonietta next, and Lonely Waters...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline aligreto

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Re: EJ Moeran
« Reply #719 on: October 02, 2021, 07:47:40 AM »

Very good! I'd suggest the Sinfonietta next, and Lonely Waters...

Thank you very much for your comments and your recommendations.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.