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CD Review

Classic British Performances

Works for Piano

  • Ernest John Moeran:
  • Irish Love Song
  • Theme and Variations
  • 3 Fancies
  • 3 Pieces
  • On a May Morning
  • Summer Valley
  • Gordon Jacob: Piano Sonata
Iris Loveridge, piano
Lyrita REAM1103 60m ADD mono
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E.J. Moeran is one of those musicians, who between the wars produced many light and sweet sounding pieces that were not only entertaining but also put a gentle smile on the public's face, a face that was often frowned with hardship, doubt and fear of a greater conflagration.

His piano output is small but significant, and the works recorded on this disc are a testimony to his love of nature and his innate melodic genius. "Irish Love Song ", "On a May Morning" and "Summer Valley" are typical of his miniature creations full of serene beauty.

Gordon Jacob, an almost exact contemporary of Moeran (He was born in 1895, one year after EJ) belongs to the same category of British composers, and his style is lucid and melodious, establishing an endearing rapport with the listener. His use of dissonance is more of a spice rather than an end in itself, and his considerable oeuvre is a source of constant pleasure throughout.

His 1957 Piano Sonata is a mature work dedicated to Iris Loveridge, the soloist on this recording. It is a fascinating exploration of contrasts framed within a sensitively creative use of piano technique. The performances are stylish and poetic, and Loveridge proves to be a fine interpreter of both composers. Although recorded in mono, the sound is good enough for its age and the disc is recommended for lovers of British piano music by a rather underrated performer.

Copyright © 2008 by Gerald Fenech