Published

Chester, 1946


Recordings

Leon Goosens,
Carter Trio

(1947 broadcast, CD
)

Nicholas Daniel,
Vanbrugh Qt

(1998, CD )

Sarah Francis/English String Qt

(1984, CD )

 

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Fantasy Quartet
for Oboe and Strings (1946)
R90

Notes by Barry Marsh

By 1946 Moeran had achieved a considerable reputation. With three major works behind him - a symphony and two concertos - he now resumed work on a second symphony for John Barbirolli. There were other projects in gestation; first sketches for "Leon's oboe piece" - a request from Leon Goossens - were made in March, but just as soon laid aside.

A visit to old haunts in Norfolk in early May seems to have have rekindled Moeran's interest. "I have now decided that the work will be a Quartet... I think I am getting the shape of it. Anyhow, I want the weekend to let the general atmosphere soak in" he wrote to his wife. To Dick Jobson at Radnor he wrote: "I board and lodge in this little pub overlooking Rockland Broad... in the evening I go out rowing on these 'Lonely Waters'... this reedy neighbourhood seems to suggest oboe music". Norfolk had been Moeran's childhood home; the opening idea immediately recalls the style of the A minor String Quartet composed there in 1921.

The whole work is cast in the form of a fantasy, a single movement evolving from one melodic shape, although there are two clearly defined sections coloured by snatches of Norfolk folksong. "Sunshine over rural England" was how The Times critic applauded it at the first performance by Leon Goossens and the Carter String Trio on December 8th 1946.

 

 

"I board and lodge in this little pub overlooking Rockland Broad... in the evening I go out rowing on these 'Lonely Waters'... this reedy neighbourhood seems to suggest oboe music"

©2001 The Worldwide Moeran Database