is of course a certain degree of overlap between this and
other sections of Moeran's output - with the exception of
the piano pieces he did not write for unaccompanied solo instruments.
It is therefore in the interests of helpfulness that all works
where there is an identifiable instrumental soloist involved
have been included in this category.
Written during what is roughly the first half
of his career, Moeran's music for solo piano is just about
sufficient to fit onto a Compact Disc - indeed an excellent
recording of these works has been made by Eric Parkin. Several
of the pieces were published grouped together, and these have
been presented here in those original groupings. The works
span the years 1919 to 1933, and vary from relatively playable
two or three minute pieces to the technically challenging
fifteen minute Theme and Variations. In addition he wrote
a Piano Trio in 1920, and much later on, the Third Rhapsody
for Piano and Orchestra, completed in 1943.
Moeran's three sonatas often seem to explore
areas untouched by his other works. The better known of the
three, those for Violin and Piano
and for Cello and Piano both
offer a starkness of voice not often apparent in Moeran's
other work. Of great interest to historians and true Moeran
nuts is the Sonata for Two Violins.
Written largely from his hospital bed, this work comes from
a vital time as he attempted to turn from the Delius-influenced
harmonies of the 1920s and find a new voice. Despite receiving
good reviews on its debut, the work has, more than any other,
been the subject of neglect. In an attempt to rectify this,
I have been able to track down a copy of the score and commission
a world première recording of this fifteen minute piece, now
available on the site.
Moeran's Violin Concerto
is, for me, one of the great works of this genre. If there
is one piece which justifies Moeran receiving greater recognition
it is surely this - a work which can swing you from delight
to tears in minutes. The Cello Concerto
was one of Moeran's last major works, written for his wife
- the cellist Peers Coetmore - in 1945, and stands as a robust
and sweeping confirmation of his compositional brilliance.
The Fantasy Quartet
for Oboe and Strings was written in 1946 for the great
oboe player Leon Goossens, and is one of a very small number
of works for this particular combination of instruments. This
piece is also to be found in the Chamber Music section.