Ernest Moeran

Ernest Moeran (1894-1950)

Nationality: English | Irish
Born: December 31, 1894, Heston, Middlesex, England Died: December 1, 1950, Kerry, Ireland (age 56)

String Quartet No. 1 in a minor

(for 2 violins, viola and cello)
8:51 I. Allegro
5:23 II. Andante con moto
6:30 III. Rondo. Allegro vivace
Duration: 20 minutes (approximately)
Composed: 1921 (age 26-27)
2 recordings, 6 videos
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Vanbrugh Quartet
I. Allegro
Vanbrugh Quartet
II. Andante con moto
Vanbrugh Quartet
III. Rondo. Allegro vivace
Maggini Quartet
I. Allegro
Maggini Quartet
II. Andante con moto
Maggini Quartet
III. Rondo. Allegro vivace
From Edition Silvertrust

Ernest Moeran Ernest Moeran's String Quartet No.1 dates from the end 1921 a short time after he finished his studies. It was hailed as a highly accomplished work, received good reviews and considerable praise and then sadly forgotten.

Ernest Moeran (1894-1950) was born in Heston near London. Shortly after his birth, the family moved to the remote Norfolk Fen Country. As a child he learned to play the violin and piano. He subsequently enrolled at the Royal College of Music and studied composition with Charles Villiers Stanford. He fought in World War One and received a received a severe head injury, with shrapnel embedded too close to the brain for removal. He underwent what would now be considered primitive head surgery which involved the fitting of a metal plate into the skull. Unsurprisingly this was to affect him for the rest of his life

After discharge, in 1920 he continued his studies the Royal College, staying there under John Ireland. It was from Ireland that. Moeran was came to be heavily influenced by English folk-song and thus belongs to the lyrical tradition. The influence of the nature and landscapes of Norfolk and Ireland are also often evident in his music.

The opening movement, Allegro, energetic and full of lovely melodies, conjures up broad panoramas of the countryside. The following Andante con moto is quieter and basically autumnal in mood. The closing Rondo is restless, alternating between nervous excitement and reflective pensiveness.

This is truly a fine work, representative of the English rival from the early 20th century. A shame that it has not been heard in concert and better known.

© Edition Silvertrust. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Related Composers

1900 WWI WWII Charles Stanford (1852-1924) John Ireland (1879-1962) Ernest Moeran (1894-1950)
John Ireland (1879-1962)
Nationality: English
Born: August 13, 1879, Bowdon, Cheshire Died: June 12, 1962, Rock Mill, Washington, Sussex (age 82)
Charles Stanford (1852-1924)
Nationality: Irish | English
Born: September 30, 1852, Dublin Died: March 29, 1924, London (age 71)