Entry from A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians - 1924


MOERAN, Ernest John.
English compr. b. Osterley, near London, 31 Dec. 1894. Comes of an Irish family, but has lived much in Norfolk since his childhood. Educated at Uppingham where he began to compose at age of 17. Practically self-taught as regards music, but spent 18 months at the R.C.M. London, 1913-14. Served in the army, 1914-19. Has collected a large number of folk-songs in Norfolk, some of which were publ. in the Folk-Song Society's journal, 1922. Gave a concert of his works at Wigmore Hall, London, 1923.

Rhapsody for orch. (Hallé concert, Manchester, by Hamilton Harty, 1924) (Chester); str. 4tet (id.); sonata, vn. and pf. (id.); Toccata and Stalham River, pf. (id.); songs v. and pf. (id.); Variations, pf. (Schott); 3 books of pf. pieces (id.); 6 folk-songs from Norfolk, arr. for v. and pf. (Augener). In ms.: 4 str. 4tets; 2 vn. sonatas; 2 trios for pf. vn and cello; Serenade-Trio for str.; Cushinsheean, symph. impression for orch.; Lonely Waters, for small orch.; a large number of songs and pf. pieces.*E.-H.

(From A. Eaglefield-Hull, A Dictionary of Modern Music and Musicians, London and Toronto, J.M. Dent & Sons. Ltd., 1924, p. 333.)


Note: There has been some discussion about this early reference to Moeran on the Forum. Some of this discussion is reproduced here:

...The second trio is perhaps the one referred to by Hubert Foss in his Compositions of E.J. Moeran (1948) for which Self (p. 31) can trace no other reference...

...'Cushinsheean' was the original title for 'In the Mountain Country' - the word can be seen lightly pencilled in at the top of the mss.score. The 'Foss' reference remains puzzling, but EJM was apt to mislay scores, rewrite pieces, only to have the originals turn up! (Lonely Waters, the Cello Concerto) Possibly he gave Foss his personal 'opus list' but later, for official catalogues, forgot to cross-reference what was probably one and the same work, albeit with revisions...

It would appear that at least some of the other unpublished works listed here were juvenalia, much of which was destroyed.

As can be deduced, this book entry does throw up a few questions with regard to unpublished works. Moeran was not known for being particularly efficient in keeping track of his works - a letter written to Lionel Hill in the early 1940's in which Moeran lists his compositions manages to completely ignore major works such as the Symphony and the Violin Concerto! A complete list of known unpublished works is available here.

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See also:

List of Unpublished Works