Moeran: Symphony in G Minor / Sinfonietta

September 12, 2002 | Format: MP3

Also available in CD Format
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Product Details

  • Original Release Date: September 12, 2002
  • Release Date: September 12, 2002
  • Label: Naxos
  • Copyright: (C) 2002 Naxos
  • Total Length: 1:07:13
  • Genres:
  • ASIN: B000QQT9KK
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #38,333 Paid in Albums (See Top 100 Paid in Albums)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Thomas F. Bertonneau on February 10, 2003
Format: Audio CD
Edward John Moeran (1894 - 1950) liked country living, and he lived simply, without ostentation, for his art. He belonged more or less to the folksong school of English composers, but spread his net wider than Vaughan Williams or Holst, collecting tunes not only from the vanishing rural preserves of England just after the First World War - in which he was wounded - but also from Ireland, to which he had a strong paternal attachment. (Moeran's father was an Irish-Anglican minister.) Like Vaughan Williams, Moeran took a cue now and then from Sibelius. He worked steadily but slowly so that the oeuvre he left at the time of his premature death (he drowned in the River Kenmare) is enough to establish his profile but cannot be described as large. Yet almost every opus is a gem, not least the beautiful Symphony in G-Minor that occupied its author for more than a decade, finally appearing in 1937. Despite arguments that it is derivative of Sibelius, Bax, or (believe it or not) Stenhammar, the G-Minor stands apart from all of these and shows many original touches. Leslie Heward and the Hallé Orchestra recorded the Symphony in 1942 (the reading is legendary) and since then three other recordings have appeared: one with Neville Dilkes and the English Sinfonia (EMI), one with Sir Adrian Boult and the London Symphony (Lyrita), and one with Vernon Handley and the Ulster Orchestra (Chandos). Dutton has reissued Heward - it is a remarkable interpretation with gorgeous restored sonics - while both Dilkes and Handley have migrated from LP to CD, but only Handley is currently available. Boult languishes (with so much else, alas) in the Lyrita vaults. A new "reading" of the G Minor will compete, then, with those of Heward and Handley. And how does Hugh Lloyd-Jones do in comparison?Read more ›
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By J Scott Morrison HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on March 9, 2003
Format: Audio CD
I have little to add to the terrific review here by Thomas F. Bertonneau. But he skimped a little bit on the Sinfonietta in his enthusiasm (well-deserved) for this new recording of Jack Moeran's G Minor Symphony. So I wanted to add a word or two about it.
The Sinfonietta (1944) is essentially Moeran's Second Symphony and was written quickly in a burst of creativity, in contrast to the fourteen years it took to complete the earlier Symphony. It was commissioned by Sir Arthur Bliss, then director of music for the BBC. Its première was conducted by Sir John Barbirolli (and Moeran expressed his delight that the première was NOT handed over to Adrian Boult, for whom he had some antipathy). It is only a little slighter than the large G minor symphony, and is more lightly scored. It does share with its older brother its musing on nature and the use of folk-tinged materials. It has appeared on recordings at least four times - by Beecham and the Philharmonia (1946 - from a radio broadcast), by Boult (a 1963 BBC recording), by Norman del Mar (1986) with the Bournemouth orchestra also heard here, and by Richard Hickox and the Northern Sinfonia. Only the Hickox is easily available. The present recording need not hang its head in the company of the others. Indeed, it is quite a good recording, beautifully catching the spirit of this work; the size of the string tone, occasionally a problem with the Bournemouth group, is more than adequate, and the CD's sonics are very good, better than any others, although the del Mar is acceptable, if a bit bright.
I well recall that my first exposure to the music of Moeran was an execrable recording of his cello concerto played by his wife, Peers Coetmore; and I well remember writing him off on its account.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Firebrand on June 21, 2014
Format: Audio CD Verified Purchase
The Moeran symphony has been well represented in outstanding recordings, notably versions conducted by Adrian Boult, Leslie Heward, and Vernon Handley. This performance by David Lloyd-Jones and the Bournemouth joins this good company, offering an interpretation with strengths of its own.

Here is a clear, precise, alert reading that renders Moeran's unique colors brilliantly with a forceful, taut drive (in faster passages) and a translucent, crystalline beauty (in the more introspective), combining the propulsion of Handley with some of the shapeliness of Boult (at times), but tighter and crisper than either, with a neoclassical modernism that is different than previous interpretations. The first movement, for instance, is a wild ride, both tense and driven, pristinely beautiful with the second theme, and then almost noisily brash. The Sibelian second movement especially brings to mind the kind of clarity that Paavo Berglund applied to Sibelius. The Sinfonietta is handled with the same clarity, extremely pointed and much quicker and clipped in phrasing than Boult's grander, more natural version. Most noteworthy is the precision Lloyd-Jones gets out of the Bournemouth players. Executionwise, the staccato passages are breathtaking (if intepretatively exaggerated).

Which recording of the Moeran symphony to choose is a matter of taste. For grand sweep and Vaughan Williams-esque lyricism, my pick is Boult. For drama and romanticism, Handley. For a crisp modernist approach, Lloyd-Jones will satisfy.
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