Moeran: Symphony in G minor; Sinfonietta; Overture to a Masque

Reviewed on Wed 19 Jun, 2013

Written between 1934 and 1937, the Symphony in G minor by Ernest John (“Jack”) Moeran (1894-1950) is one of the most sheerly lovable works to have emerged from Britain between the two world wars. With its echoes of Elgar, Sibelius and Bax, this a work of breathtaking beauty and sweep, magnificently orchestrated and quite gloriously evocative of the wild seaboard of south-west Ireland (which the composer so adored). Moeran's big-hearted, unashamedly epic conception requires a firm hand on the structural tiller – in which respect Sir Adrian Boult's toweringly cogent 1973 recording has never been surpassed. The veteran maestro also draws some fabulous playing from the New Philharmonia and brings comparable insight and dedication to the scarcely less appealing Sinfonietta and boisterous Overture to a Masque (both set down with the LPO a few years earlier). Don't miss out on this undisputed jewel from the Lyrita catalogue.
–Andrew Achenbach