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Ireland: Piano Concerto in E flat / Legend for piano and orchestra / Mai Dun, symphonic rhapsody

John Ireland , Bryden Thomson , London Philharmonic , Eric Parkin Audio CD
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Price: $15.34 & FREE Shipping on orders over $35. Details
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MP3 Music, 5 Songs, 1986 $8.99  
Audio CD, 1992 $15.34  

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Songs from this album are available to purchase as MP3s. Click on "Buy MP3" or view the MP3 Album.

Song TitleArtist Time Price
listen  1. Piano Concerto in E-Flat Major: I. In tempo moderatoEric Parkin 9:19Album Only
listen  2. Piano Concerto in E-Flat Major: II. Lento espressivoEric Parkin 7:38$0.99  Buy MP3 
listen  3. Piano Concerto in E-Flat Major: III. AllegroEric Parkin 8:50Album Only
listen  4. LegendEric Parkin13:22Album Only
listen  5. Mai-DunLondon Philharmonic Orchestra13:42Album Only

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Product Details

  • Performer: Eric Parkin
  • Orchestra: London Philharmonic
  • Conductor: Bryden Thomson
  • Composer: John Ireland
  • Audio CD (October 28, 1992)
  • SPARS Code: DDD
  • Number of Discs: 1
  • Label: Chandos
  • ASIN: B000000AEG
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,190 in Music (See Top 100 in Music)

Editorial Reviews

Ireland is one of those "one work" composers who actually wrote a goodly bit of music, but most if it in small forms. To the extent he's at all well known now, it's either for this piece or his film score to The Overlanders. In any case, this very attractive, slightly jazzy piano concerto is a more or less the English equivalent to Prokofiev's Third, and if you enjoy that work, or Gershwin, you'll want to hear this one. It's clearly the best English work of it's type to come from the interwar period, and Eric Parkin, a friend of the composer, plays it was well as anyone ever has. The other two works are colorful minor masterpieces. --David Hurwitz

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A beautiful disc of lttle known music May 28, 2004
Format:Audio CD
I was driving home late one night when I heard the piano concerto recorded here. It was a beautiful companion then and it remains one now. It's a conservative piece with lots of melodic touches, one that is sure to please when you need something lovely to accompany, say, a glass of wine on a quiet evening. Even more attractive, however, is the piece the composer calls "Legend." Out of very simple materials--a single theme, really--Ireland fashions a 10 minute piece that builds to a climax that lifts you out of your chair and then drifts into quiet nothingness. If the tone of this review sounds rhapsodic, it was meant to. I continue to be moved by this CD and recommend it highly.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars great music superceded by earlier recordings December 21, 2011
By jsa
Format:Audio CD
First, the amazon blurb from David Hurwitz claiming that Ireland's piano concerto is "more or less the English equivalent to Prokofiev's Third, and if you enjoy that work, or Gershwin, you'll want to hear this one" reflects a lack of insight into Ireland's music. Ireland was gloriously mysterious, not "jazzy," whereas Prokofiev was frenetic and dissonant. As much as I like Gershwin - and I assume Hurwitz had his Concerto in mind - I would never connect him with Ireland either. Ireland's concerto is English "modern" and while the composer may have been influenced by Prokofiev's Third, which premiered nine years before Ireland's concerto, it's not in any way "equivalent."

Anyway, Eric Parkin is the foremost champion of Ireland's output for piano, so it almost goes without saying that these are authoritative performances. The only issue is that Parkin's earlier recordings with Adrian Boult of both the piano concerto and "Legend" for piano and orchestra are better (Boult conducts John Ireland). Parkin and Boult deliver marginally tighter readings than Parkin/Thomson who tend towards slightly romanticized phrasing here and there. On the other hand, if you want "Mai Dun," another Ireland essential which appears on this disc, then you'll have to get Boult Conducts Ireland. Both Boult/Ireland discs are wonderful, and the mid-1960's sound is fine (Lyrita was known for their exceptional sonics).

If you want Mai Dun, Legend and the Concerto, which are hang together very well, and want only one Ireland disc, then you'll be fine going with Parkin/Thomson. Otherwise, I would recommend buying both of the Boult discs on Lyrita.
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5.0 out of 5 stars John Ireland's Piano Concerto and tone poems July 21, 2013
Format:Audio CD
Of the 20th century Romantic piano concertos, that by John Ireland, composed in 1930 is not often heard in public performance or on record. This is a pity because it is a fine work with a unique beauty of sound in its melodies and harmonies. The concerto was written for the young pianist Helen Perkin, who gave the first performance, also in 1930. If there are any parallels to be made in the sound world of the work it would surely be with the G Major Piano Concerto of Ravel. The soloist is a pianist well-known for his association with the piano works of English composers - Eric Parkin.

The concerto takes up nearly half the playing time of this Chandos CD and the other half is divided between two orchestral tone poems by Ireland: Legend for Piano and Orchestra and the Symphonic Rhapsody, Mai-Dun. In 1906 Ireland had met the Welsh writer Arthur Machen and this meeting inspired Ireland to explore the scenery and literature of Wales. The Legend is dedicated to Machen, though its composition was inspired by the scenery of the Sussex Downs, where Ireland lived for some time, and in part by Machen's short story, `The Happy Children'. The title Mai-Dun is taken from Thomas Hardy for a medieval hill-fort near Dorchester that Hardy described in `The Mayor of Casterbridge'. The atmospheric orchestral playing on this CD is provided by the London Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Bryden Thomson.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Beautifully played and recorded! June 23, 2013
Format:MP3 Music|Verified Purchase
I wasn't familiar with Ireland. If you like romantic, programatic music you will be pleased. I'm happy to have added this recording to my collection!
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