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Ernest J. Moeran

Born: 1894

Died: 1950

Nationality: British

Publisher: Novello & Co

The rich and vigorous stream of E.J. Moeran's music rose from two main springs - his heritage and the natural surroundings of his own country. He had always been a keen collector and arranger of folk music. The composer's frank avowal that his symphony 'may be said to owe its inspiration to the natural surroundings in which it was written' shows how markedly the English and Irish landscapes swayed his musical thought.

In July 1945 he married Peers Coetmore, the well-known cellist, for whom he wrote his Cello Concerto; from 1934 onwards he made southern Ireland his second home.

It was the folk-song that liberated the lyrical part of Moeran's young mind, and he never lost that lyrical power of song which showed itself as early as the beginning of the 1920's in the slow movement of his String Quartet No 1. Here already we come across that new use of the diatonic scale, with suspensions and secondary sevenths, of which Moeran was a master.

Yet, though he has amply covered the field of orchestral music, chamber music, concertos, and smaller vocal works, one would not describe Moeran's as a thinly-spread talent. He keeps to his centre, which is a purely musical one.

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