Published

Augener, 1924

Recordings

Benjamin Luxton (bar.)
David Willison (piano)

2 songs only:
The Pressgang,
The Shooting of his Dear

(1990, CD )

 

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Six Folk Songs from Norfolk (1923)
R23
  1. Down by the Riverside
  2. The Bold Richard
  3. Lonely Waters
  4. The Pressgang
  5. The Shooting of his Dear
  6. The Oxford Sporting Blade

"Maybe to the townsman they are bawdy, but to the countryman who sings as he works in the fields, they are just a natural and simple expression of fact", concluded Moeran in a 1947 BBC broadcast. He was well qualified to make such a statement, having been an avid folk-song collector since the age of 15. Starting in his home county of Norfolk, he had collected some 150 songs by 1924. His relaxed manner with the locals soon dispensed with any formality - in contrast to the academic approach of other collectors at the time, it is Moeran’s collection that retains something of the spontanaeity of the Saturday night "frolics" as they were known locally. "The company...assemble in a low-ceiling’d room, and through a haze of smoke from strong shag tobacco the chairman can be seen presiding over the sing-song. He maintains absolute discipline, talking must cease during the singing of a song....he has such a personality that he succeeds in producing conditions like those of Wigmore Hall during a quartet recital!"

A collection of six songs appeared in February 1924 in which singers like Harry Cox, Walter Gales and Robert Miller (‘Old Jolt’) are acknowledged, in addition to "Mr.George Lincoln, landlord of the ‘Windmill’, Sutton". Two songs of the set were to provide inspiration for work on a wider canvas - the orchestral piece ‘Lonely Waters’ and, as Geoffrey Self has pointed out, ‘The Shooting of his Dear’ became the framework for much of the Symphony in G minor.

Notes by Barry Marsh

 

 

"to the countryman who sings as he works in the fields, they are just a natural and simple expression of fact"

©2001 The Worldwide Moeran Database