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CD Review

Ernest John Moeran

Divine Art 27808

The Collected 78-rpm Recordings 1923-1946

  • Symphony in G minor (1924-37)
  • String Trio in G Major (1931) 1
  • Song "Diaphenia" 2
  • Song "The Sweet o' the year" 2
  • Song "O Sweet fa's the Eve" 3
  • Song "Can't you dance the Polka" 3
  • Song "Sheep Shearing" 3
1 Jean Pougnet, violin
1 Frederick Riddle, viola
1 Anthony Pini, cello
2 Heddle Nash, tenor
2 Gerald Moore, piano
3 John Goss, baritone
3 Hubert Foss, piano
3 Cathedral Male Voice Quartet
Hallé Orchestra/Leslie Howard
Divine Art Historic Sound 27808 74m ADD (mono)
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Divine Art's Historic Sound series is turning out to be a real corker with a number of extremely rare and out-of-print, carefully-remastered recordings reappearing in the catalogue. This tribute to Moeran is well overdue and interestingly, brings together all of the recordings made in the 78rpm era.

By far the most well known of these recordings is the Symphony in G minor, a sprawling, rambling work full of good tunes that really comes alive in Leslie Heward's magisterial Hallé performance. It was available before on a Dutton CD (CDLX7001) which is still in my possession but Pristine Audio's new transfer has added a little more clarity to the sonic picture.

The String Trio is a rather somber work but it cannot be better interpreted, in my opinion at least especially with the beautiful combination of Pougnet, Riddle and Pini. The same goes for John Goss and Heddle Nash singing those exquisite songs such as 'Sheep Shearing' or 'The Sweet o' the Year'.

Andrew Rose's detailed notes provide a welcome stimulus to the recorded works and as mentioned, the sound is very good indeed for the recording's age. Highly recommended, even though many Moeran enthusiasts will have the Dutton recording of the symphony.

Copyright © 2007, Gerald Fenech

Trumpet