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Sunday, March 5, 2017

Ernest John Moeran - Cello Concerto; Serenade (Guy Johnston; JoAnn Falletta) mp3


Composer: Ernest John Moeran
  • (01-03) Cello Concerto
  • (04-11) Serenade in G (original version)
  • (12) Lonely Waters
  • (13) Whythorne's Shadow

Guy Johnston, cello (1-3)
Rebekah Coffey, soprano (12)
Ulster Orchestra
JoAnn Falletta, conductor

Date: 2013
Label: Naxos



Moeran’s ‘supreme achievement’ from Belfast

Moeran conceived the wistfully lyrical Cello Concerto (arguably his supreme achievement) in 1945 for his wife, the Irish cellist Peers Coetmore. Cogently plotted and scored with canny lightness of touch, it’s full of the most heart-stoppingly beautiful inspiration, which in turn irresistibly evokes the glorious coastal landscape of the composer’s beloved County Kerry. Guy Johnston responds with heaps of poetry and selfless dedication, his manner softer-spoken than that of Raphael Wallfisch on his urgently communicative Chandos version with Norman Del Mar (9/86), and with none of the technical shortcomings that tarnish Coetmore’s otherwise deeply affecting Lyrita account with Boult and the LPO (7/70).

The Ulster Orchestra under JoAnn Falletta are certainly on their toes both here and in the three remaining items, though cherished memories of Vernon Handley’s world premiere recording (Chandos, 3/91) of the 1948 Serenade in its original eight-movement guise are by no means eclipsed. Towards the end of the gorgeous orchestral impression Lonely Waters (1930) soprano Rebekah Coffey delivers the eponymous Norfolk folksong with disarming freshness, though she seems to be placed closer to the front of the platform than the composer requests. Falletta’s distinctively upbeat rendering of Whythorne’s Shadow (1931) rounds off proceedings with a most engaging spring to its step.

The Ulster Hall sound has perhaps fractionally less warmth and lustre than I would have liked (string tone is a touch clinical), though Johnston’s solo contribution is ideally captured. Tiny niggles aside, this is a very welcome release.

-- Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone

More reviews:


Ernest John Moeran (31 December 1894 – 1 December 1950) was an English composer. He studied piano and composition at the Royal College of Music with Charles Villiers Stanford and, after the war, with John Ireland. Moeran came late in the canon of last major British composers heavily influenced by folk-song. By Moeran's time, this style was already seen as somewhat dated and he never made a big breakthrough as a composer despite the success of his Symphony in G minor (1934–1937), generally regarded as his masterpiece.


Guy Johnston (born 1981) is a British cellist. He studied under acclaimed cellist Steven Doane. Johnston came to prominence after winning the BBC Young Musician of the Year competition in 2000, where he notably broke a string playing Shostakovich's Cello Concerto No. 1. He has since performed concertos with leading British and European orchestras. His performances and recordings are regularly broadcast on BBC Radio 3 and Classic FM. He is also a founding member of the Aronowitz Ensemble. Johnston plays a 1714 David Tecchler cello.


JoAnn Falletta (born February 27, 1954 in New York) is an American classical musician and orchestral conductor best known as music directors of the Virginia Symphony (since 1991) and Buffalo Philharmonic orchestras (since 1999). She has also served as music director of the Long Beach Symphony and of the Women's Philharmonic Orchestra (San Francisco). Falletta has recorded over 70 albums. In 2011 she was appointed artistic director of the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. Outside of the USA, Falletta was the 12th principal conductor of the Ulster Orchestra (2011-2014).


MP3, 320 kbps
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  2. Many thanks for these great posts about Moeran!!