Phantasy Quartet Violin, Viola, Cello & Oboe
The Phantasy Quartet for Oboe and String Trio was composed toward the end of Moeran's life and was dedicated to the famous Oboist Leon Goossens. Though written in one long movement, there are two actually two different sections to the work. While the music remains completely tonal, it does wanter through many keys while reflecting the music and moods of the Norfolk countryside where it was written. Parts of two Norfolk folk tunes---Sunday Come Seventeen and The Pretty Ploughboy---can be heard in this very atmospheric and evocative work.
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, studying there under John Ireland.