Frequently Asked Questions

There are of course many questions which arise about Moeran, so here are some of the most regular, together with the best answers I can come up with! There's an e-mail link at the bottom of the page in case your question has not been addressed.


1: How do you pronounce Moeran?

There is no easy answer to this, and it's likely that Moeran himself would have heard many different renditions. Personally I tend to side with Peter Warlock writing in 1924, Eamonn Andrews in discussion with Moeran in 1947, and Bill Skinner in his film documentary of 1971 and say "MOOR-an" - with MOOR stressed and pronounced as in Dartmoor.

2: Is anybody ever going to complete the 2nd Symphony (after Anthony Payne's work on Elgar's 3rd)?

So little of the Second Symphony (R99) survives, and in such little detail, that to this point everyone who has actually seen it has come to the swift conclusion that there's not enough to go on. The only hope for it is that somewhere in a dark attic corner in Ireland a more complete score might one day be found, but for now this is not an option.

3: Moeran's death - did he jump or did he fall?

Hard to say - he was certainly in a very depressed and mentally unstable state of mind at the end of his life, and may well have contemplated suicide. One has to ask what he was doing at the end of Kenmare Pier in a storm at dusk in December. Yet as a strong swimmer it's hard to believe the human survival instinct wouldn't have kicked in and seen him swimming for his life. Those around him at the time had mixed opinions too, though the potential stigma caused some to hold their tongues. Official verdict: he fell. Unofficial verdict? open.

4: Is there a Moeran Society?

It was me asking this question which kicked off this site. At present there is not, and a letter from the holder of Moeran's estate in Australia suggests very little money coming in with which to fund one. The Virtual Moeran Society at this site is a good opportunity to regiuster interest, but little more than that - but a good starting point for anyone wishing to start a Society. This site would certainly support such a move but lacks the time or resources to organise a Society properly. Volunteers required!

5: Where can I hear concert performances of Moeran?

You probably can't - at least not very often. There is a steady trickle of performances but they are few and far between. This site relies on eagle-eyed Moeranites to pass on the news of any forthcoming concerts...

6: Where can I buy sheet music?

The availability in the UK is poor. Thames Publishing did put together volumes of the complete piano and vocal music for Moeran's anniversary in 1994, and these can be obtained directly from their distributer. However, a search of London's music shops reveals little else, so one has to look to the USA where Sheet Music Plus do carry a range of Moeran scores published there by Shawnee Press, shipped internationally.

7: Has all of Moeran's music been recorded?

Although most of the instrumental music has seen commercial release and is currently available on CD, there are huge gaps in the vocal music. For such a fine song writer and folk music arranger as Moeran this is surely an oversight on the part of singers. Of the instrumental music not available, the major oversight is the Sonata for Two Violins (R53). There is now an unreleased professional recording of this available from this site.

8: What about those wonderful Lyrita recordings of the 60's and 70's?

These do come up from time to time on vinyl at auction sites like e-bay and are well worth getting - the Boult interpretations of Moeran's orchestral music are superlative, and the Georgiadis recording of the Violin Concerto is wonderful. Alas it seems these are destined never to see the light of day again as CDs. I understand through Internet rumour that the owner of the tapes and former head of Lyrita is so disillusioned with the record business that he intends to keep his tapes to himself.

9: What are all these R numbers suddenly appearing on the site?

These refer to a new attempt to catalogue Moeran's music chronologically. Although Moeran was meticulous in his writing he was very disorganised in his storage and often seemed even to forget about quite major compositions. He did not assign Opus numbers, therefore it can only be up to researchers to try and unravel and document his output. The R numbers refer to this site's attempt to do just that.


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