String Quartet No.1 in a minor
Ernest Moeran's String Quartet No.1 dates from the end 1921 a short time after he finished his studies. It was hailed as a highly accomplished work, received good reviews and considerable praise and then sadly forgotten.
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, staying there under John Ireland. It was from Ireland that. Moeran was came to be heavily influenced by English folk-song and thus belongs to the lyrical tradition. The influence of the nature and landscapes of Norfolk and Ireland are also often evident in his music.
The opening movement, Allegro, energetic and full of lovely melodies, conjures up broad panoramas of the countryside. The following Andante con moto is quieter and basically autumnal in mood. The closing Rondo is restless, alternating between nervous excitement and refective pensiveness.
This is truly a fine work, representative of the English rival from the early 20th century. A shame that it has not been heard in concert and better known. We are pleased to make this long out print work available again and hope that it will be of interest to professionals and amateurs alike.