Moeran, Ernest John

Period: Early 20th Century

Born: Monday, December 31, 1894 in Heston, Middlesex, England

Died: Friday, December 1, 1950 in Kenmare, County Kerry, Ireland

Nation of Origin: United Kingdom

Major Works:
Ludlow Town - a song cycle (1920)
Trio for Violin, Cello, and Pianoforte in D Major (1925)
String Quartet in A Minor (1921)
Fancies for solo piano (1922)

  1. Windmills
  2. Elegy
  3. Burlesque
Sonata for Violin and Piano in E Minor (1923)
Six Norfolk Folksongs (1923)
Seven Poems of James Joyce (1929)
Sonata for two unaccompanied violins (1931)
Trio for Violin, Viola, and Cello in G Major (1931)

Orchestral Rhapsodies from 2 pieces for Small Orchestra
Whythorne's Shadow (1931)
Lonely Waters (1931)
Vocal works:
Blue-eyed Spring for baritone and chorus (1931)
Songs of Springtime (1934)

Symphony in G Minor (1937)
Phyllida and Corydon - a choral suite (1939)
Four Shakespeare Songs (1940)
Concerto for Violin and Orchestra (1942)
Overture for a Masque (1944)
Sinfonietta (1944)
Concerto for Cello and Orchestra (1945)
Sonata for cello and pianoforte in A minor (1947)
Serenade in G Major - for orchestra (1948)

Other Information:
Quick Facts

  • His father, an Anglican clergyman, was born in Ireland. His mother was born in Norfolk.
  • His music shows influences of both Ireland and East Anglia.
  • Early music training in piano, violin, and church music.
  • Enrolled in Uppingham School at 14. Played in the school string quartet. Composed a sonata for cello.
  • Studied at Royal College of Music.
  • Fought in the army in World War I. He was injured badly and discharged.
  • Went to London in 1920 to learn from John Ireland until 1923.
  • Mature works were influenced by the works of Frederick Delius, Peter Warlock, and Jean Sibelius.
  • Folk songs are a prominent influence on his works.
  • 1924 to 1930 he composed mostly songs, a few solo piano works, and a few folksong arrangements.
  • 1930 to 1945 he composed works in a variety of forms and mediums.
  • He married Peers Coetmore, a cellist, in 1945.
  • Moeran enjoyed country life and his music is inspired by nature and simple folksongs.
  • In 1950 Moeran died and fell into the Kenmare river where he was found floating. Despite the appearance of drowning, an investigation showed he was dead before hitting the water.

General Bibliography:
Slonimsky, Nicolas, Music Since 1900, Schirmer Books, July 1994, ISBN: 0028724186

Salzman, Eric, Twentieth Century Music: An Introduction, Pearson, October 2001, ISBN: 0130959413

Slonimsky, Nicolas and Kuhn, Laura; Editors, Baker's Biographical Dictionary of Musicians, Gale Group, December 2000, ISBN: 0028655257

Sadie, Stanley and Tyrrell, John; Editors, The New Grove Dictionary of Music and Musicians, Groves Dictionaries, Inc., January 2004, ISBN: 0195170679

Rutherford-Johnson, Tim, Kennedy, Michael, and Kennedy, Joyce The Oxford Dictionary of Music, Oxford University Press, 6th Edition, 2012, ISBN: 0199578109


Links to essays at other sites:

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Biographical essay from Wikipedia
The Worldwide Moeran Database


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