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John Ireland

August 13, 1879 - June 12, 1962
born in Inglewood, Bowden, Cheshire, England, composed during the Modern period
John Ireland was a conservative British composer whose music developed from a style that looked backward and forward toward Beethoven, Brahms, and other Classical and Romantic influences towards a post-Romantic manner, rich in lyricism, but having absorbed Impressionist and Neo-Classical elements. He is best known for his chamber music, solo piano compositions, and his songs. Yet, even in these genres, he was not consistent. In the orchestral realm he composed relatively few works, though several were of high quality, including the Piano Concerto in E flat and A London Overture. Ireland wrote not a single symphony or opera, and produced a single cantata, These Things Shall Be, a work which he came to dislike. In the end, Ireland must be assessed an important composer, who at his best could stand with his countrymen and contemporaries Vaughan Williams and Walton.

John Ireland was born near Manchester. As a youth he exhibited musical talent early, despite his parents' involvement in the literary world. They had many friends who were writers, including Ralph Waldo Emerson. This literary connection would surface later in many of Ireland's songs, many being settings of poems by Thomas Hardy, A.E. Housman, John Masefield, Christina Rosetti, and other English poets. At the age of fourteen he entered the Royal College of Music and shortly afterward suffered the loss of both parents. At the RCM he studied piano (with Frederick Cliffe), organ, and composition. In the latter realm, his teacher was the difficult but thorough Stanford, with whom he began study in 1897.

Ireland wrote a fair number of compositions during his student years, but later destroyed most of them. One work of significance from this period that has survived, though, was the Sextet for Clarinet, Horn and String Quartet (1898). After Ireland ended his studies with Stanford in 1901, he worked as an organist and choir director. He served in that dual capacity at St. Luke's Church in Chelsea, beginning in 1904, holding the post until 1926.

Ireland's Phantasie Trio (1906) and his Violin Sonata No. 1 (1908-1909) helped establish his reputation. The influence of Impressionism was taking hold of him in the early part of the new century, though largely affecting his piano works. Ireland composed his orchestral piece, The Forgotten Rite, in 1913, a work that reflected his interest in pagan mysticism. In the period 1915-1917 he produced his Violin Sonata No. 2, regarded by many as among the greatest chamber works to emerge from wartime England.

Ireland took a faculty post in composition at the RCM in 1923. Over the years, his students there would include Britten, Searle, and Moeran. In 1927, the composer married, but only briefly, the ceremony subsequently being annulled and thus swiftly ending a most unpleasant episode in his personal life.

Ireland left the RCM in 1939, but continued composing, turning out works like the brilliant Fantasy-Sonata for clarinet and piano in 1943. After he composed the film score for The Overlanders in the years 1946-1947, however, he wrote nothing more. It has been said that Ireland led a relatively uneventful life, landing no conducting post, traveling very little, never startling his audiences with a bold new composition, or exhibiting outrageous personal behavior. He was a self-critical, introspective man, haunted by memories of a sad childhood. He spent the latter part of his retirement in Rock Mill, Sussex, where he purchased a converted wind mill in 1953, where he died nine years later. ~ Robert Cummings, Rovi
full bio

Selected Discography

x

Track List: Ireland: Piano Works, Vol 2

Title: Merry Andrew, For Piano

1. Merry Andrew, For Piano: Merry Andrew

Title: The Towing Path, For Piano

2. The Towing Path, For Piano: The Towing-path

Title: Rhapsody, For Piano

3. Rhapsody, For Piano: Rhapsody

Title: Pieces (2), For Piano (1925)

4. Pieces (2), For Piano (1925): April

5. Pieces (2), For Piano (1925): Bergomask

Title: Decorations, Pieces (3) For Piano

6. Decorations, Pieces (3) For Piano: The Island Spell

7. Decorations, Pieces (3) For Piano: Moon-glade

8. Decorations, Pieces (3) For Piano: The Scarlet Ceremonies

Title: Leaves From A Child's Sketchbook, Pieces (3) For Piano

9. Leaves From A Child's Sketchbook, Pieces (3) For Piano: By The Mere

10. Leaves From A Child's Sketchbook, Pieces (3) For Piano: In The Meadows

11. Leaves From A Child's Sketchbook, Pieces (3) For Piano: The Hunt's Up

12. Leaves From A Child's Sketchbook, Pieces (3) For Piano: The Darkened Valley

Title: Piano Sonatina

13. Piano Sonatina: Moderato

14. Piano Sonatina: Quasi Lento-

15. Piano Sonatina: Rondo: Ritmico, Non Troppo Allegro

Title: Pastels (3), For Piano

16. Pastels (3), For Piano: A Grecian Lad

17. Pastels (3), For Piano: The Boy Bishop

18. Pastels (3), For Piano: Puck's Birthday

Title: Pieces (2), For Piano (1929-30)

19. Pieces (2), For Piano (1929-30): February's Child

20. Pieces (2), For Piano (1929-30): Aubade

Title: Summer Evening, For Piano

21. Summer Evening, For Piano: Summer Evening

x

Track List: Ireland: Piano Works, Vol. 1

Title: In Those Days ("Daydream"; "Meridian"), Pieces (2) For Piano

1. In Those Days ("Daydream"; "Meridian"), Pieces (2) For Piano: Daydream

2. In Those Days ("Daydream"; "Meridian"), Pieces (2) For Piano: Meridian

Title: Sarnia: An Island Sequence, Pieces (3) For Piano

3. Sarnia: An Island Sequence, Pieces (3) For Piano: Le Catioroc

4. Sarnia: An Island Sequence, Pieces (3) For Piano: In A May Morning

5. Sarnia: An Island Sequence, Pieces (3) For Piano: Song Of The Springtides

Title: Prelude, For Piano In E Flat Major

6. Prelude, For Piano In E Flat Major: Prld In E-flat

Title: London Pieces, Pieces (3) For Piano

7. London Pieces, Pieces (3) For Piano: Chelsea Reach

8. London Pieces, Pieces (3) For Piano: Ragamuffin

9. London Pieces, Pieces (3) For Piano: Soho Forenoons

Title: Month's Mind, For Piano

10. Month's Mind, For Piano: London Pieces: Month's Mind

Title: Ballad, For Piano

11. Ballad, For Piano: Ballade

Title: Columbine, For Piano

12. Columbine, For Piano: Columbine

x

Track List: Ireland: String Quartets; The Holy Boy

Title: String Quartet No. 1 In D Minor

1. String Quartet No. 1 In D Minor: I. Allegro

2. String Quartet No. 1 In D Minor: II. Molto Allegro

3. String Quartet No. 1 In D Minor: III. Andante Moderato

4. String Quartet No. 1 In D Minor: IV. Finale: Vivace

Title: The Holy Boy, Version For String Orchestra Or String Quartet

5. The Holy Boy, Version For String Orchestra Or String Quartet: Pezzo Ostinato

Title: String Quartet No. 2 In C Minor

6. String Quartet No. 2 In C Minor: String Quartet No.2 In C Minor. 1. Allegro Moderato

7. String Quartet No. 2 In C Minor: II. Nocturne: Andante

8. String Quartet No. 2 In C Minor: III. Scherzo. Presto

9. String Quartet No. 2 In C Minor: IV. Poco Allegro

x

Track List: The Songs Of John Ireland

Disc 1
Title: Songs Sacred And Profane, Songs (6) For Voice & Piano

1. Songs Sacred And Profane, Songs (6) For Voice & Piano: The Advent

2. Songs Sacred And Profane, Songs (6) For Voice & Piano: Hymn For A Child

3. Songs Sacred And Profane, Songs (6) For Voice & Piano: My Fair

4. Songs Sacred And Profane, Songs (6) For Voice & Piano: The Salley Gardens

5. Songs Sacred And Profane, Songs (6) For Voice & Piano: The Soldier's Return

6. Songs Sacred And Profane, Songs (6) For Voice & Piano: The Scapegoat

Title: Santa Chiara (Palm Sunday, Naples), For Voice & Piano

7. Santa Chiara (Palm Sunday, Naples), For Voice & Piano: Santa Chiara (Palm Sunday: Naples)

Title: Songs (2), For Voice & Piano (1928)

8. Songs (2), For Voice & Piano (1928): Tryst (In Fountain Court)

Title: Songs (3) To Poems By Arthur Symons, For Voice & Piano

9. Songs (3) To Poems By Arthur Symons, For Voice & Piano: The Adoration

10. Songs (3) To Poems By Arthur Symons, For Voice & Piano: The Rat

11. Songs (3) To Poems By Arthur Symons, For Voice & Piano: Rest

Title: Tutto È Sciolto, For Voice & Piano

12. Tutto È Sciolto, For Voice & Piano: Tutto E Sciolto

Title: Spring Sorrow, For Voice & Piano

13. Spring Sorrow, For Voice & Piano: Spring Sorrow

Title: Songs (2), For Voice & Piano (1920)

14. Songs (2), For Voice & Piano (1920): The Trellis

15. Songs (2), For Voice & Piano (1920): My True Love Hath My Heart

Title: When I Am Old, For Voice & Piano

16. When I Am Old, For Voice & Piano: When I Am Old

Title: Spleen, For Voice & Piano (from "Marigold")

17. Spleen, For Voice & Piano (from "Marigold"): Spleen

Title: Love Is A Sickness Full Of Woes, For Voice & Piano

18. Love Is A Sickness Full Of Woes, For Voice & Piano: Love Is A Sickness Full Of Woes

Title: If There Were Dreams To Sell, For Voice & Piano

19. If There Were Dreams To Sell, For Voice & Piano: If There Were Dreams To Sell

Title: If We Must Part, A Valedictation For Voice & Piano

20. If We Must Part, A Valedictation For Voice & Piano: If We Must Part

Title: Songs (5) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano

21. Songs (5) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano: Beckon To Me To Come

22. Songs (5) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano: In My Sage Moments

23. Songs (5) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano: It Was What You Bore With You, Woman

24. Songs (5) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano: The Tragedy Of That Moment

25. Songs (5) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano: Dear, Think Not That They Will Forget You

Title: Songs (3) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano

26. Songs (3) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano: Summer Schemes

27. Songs (3) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano: Her Song

28. Songs (3) To Poems By Thomas Hardy, For Voice & Piano: Weathers

Title: I Have Twelve Oxen, For Voice & Piano

29. I Have Twelve Oxen, For Voice & Piano: I Have Twelve Oxen

Title: Great Things, For Voice & Piano

30. Great Things, For Voice & Piano: Great Things

Title: Earth's Call (A Sylvan Rhapsody), For Voice & Piano

31. Earth's Call (A Sylvan Rhapsody), For Voice & Piano: Earth's Call

Title: Hope The Hornblower, For Voice & Piano

32. Hope The Hornblower, For Voice & Piano: Hope The Hornblower

Disc 2
Title: Songs Of A Wayfarer, Songs (5) For Voice & Piano

1. Songs Of A Wayfarer, Songs (5) For Voice & Piano: Memory

2. Songs Of A Wayfarer, Songs (5) For Voice & Piano: When Daffodils Begin To Peer

3. Songs Of A Wayfarer, Songs (5) For Voice & Piano: English May

4. Songs Of A Wayfarer, Songs (5) For Voice & Piano: I Was Not Sorrowful

5. Songs Of A Wayfarer, Songs (5) For Voice & Piano: I Will Walk On The Earth

Title: Ladslove (from "The Land Of Lost Content"), For Voice & Piano

6. Ladslove (from "The Land Of Lost Content"), For Voice & Piano: Ladslove

Title: The Heart's Desire (The Boys Are Up The Woods With Day), For Voice & Piano

7. The Heart's Desire (The Boys Are Up The Woods With Day), For Voice & Piano: The Heart's Desire

Title: When I Am Dead, My Dearest, For Voice & Piano

8. When I Am Dead, My Dearest, For Voice & Piano: When I Am Dead, My Dearest

Title: What Are You Thinking Of?, For Voice & Piano

9. What Are You Thinking Of?, For Voice & Piano: What Art Thou Thinking Of?

Title: During Music, For Voice & Piano (from Two Songs, 1928)

10. During Music, For Voice & Piano (from Two Songs, 1928): During Music

Title: Mother And Child, Cycle Of 8 Songs For Voice & Piano

11. Mother And Child, Cycle Of 8 Songs For Voice & Piano: Newborn

12. Mother And Child, Cycle Of 8 Songs For Voice & Piano: The Only Child

13. Mother And Child, Cycle Of 8 Songs For Voice & Piano: Hope

14. Mother And Child, Cycle Of 8 Songs For Voice & Piano: Skylark And Nightingale

15. Mother And Child, Cycle Of 8 Songs For Voice & Piano: The Blind Boy

16. Mother And Child, Cycle Of 8 Songs For Voice & Piano: Baby

17. Mother And Child, Cycle Of 8 Songs For Voice & Piano: Death-parting

18. Mother And Child, Cycle Of 8 Songs For Voice & Piano: The Garland

Title: The Vagabond, For Voice & Piano

19. The Vagabond, For Voice & Piano: The Vagabond

Title: The Bells Of San Marie, For Voice & Piano

20. The Bells Of San Marie, For Voice & Piano: The Bells Of San Marie

Title: Sea Fever, For Voice & Piano

21. Sea Fever, For Voice & Piano: Sea Fever

Title: The Journey, For Voice & Piano

22. The Journey, For Voice & Piano: The Journey

Title: Bed In Summer, For Unison Voices (or Solo Voice) & Piano

23. Bed In Summer, For Unison Voices (or Solo Voice) & Piano: Bed In Summer

Title: Sixteenth-Century Poems (5), For Voice & Piano

24. Sixteenth-Century Poems (5), For Voice & Piano: A Thanksgiving

25. Sixteenth-Century Poems (5), For Voice & Piano: All In A Garden Green

26. Sixteenth-Century Poems (5), For Voice & Piano: An Aside

27. Sixteenth-Century Poems (5), For Voice & Piano: A Report Song

28. Sixteenth-Century Poems (5), For Voice & Piano: A Sweet Season

Title: The Sacred Flame, For Voice & Piano

29. The Sacred Flame, For Voice & Piano: The Sacred Flame

Title: Remember, For Voice & Piano

30. Remember, For Voice & Piano: Remember

Title: Songs (3), For Voice & Piano (1918-1919)

31. Songs (3), For Voice & Piano (1918-1919): Love And Friendship

32. Songs (3), For Voice & Piano (1918-1919): Friendship In Misfortune

33. Songs (3), For Voice & Piano (1918-1919): The One Hope

Title: We'll To The Woods No More, Songs (3) For Voice & Piano

34. We'll To The Woods No More, Songs (3) For Voice & Piano: We'll To The Woods No More

35. We'll To The Woods No More, Songs (3) For Voice & Piano: In Boyhood

36. We'll To The Woods No More, Songs (3) For Voice & Piano: Spring Will Not Wait

Title: When Lights Go Rolling Round The Sky, For Voice & Piano

37. When Lights Go Rolling Round The Sky, For Voice & Piano: When Lights Go Rolling Round The Sky

Comments

Report as inappropriate
wrk.producti o n
Worship at its peak!
Report as inappropriate
One of my all time favorite hymns..(My Song is Love Unknown)

Re: the bio above -- what does this mean- a conservative British composer ?
Report as inappropriate
Makes my soul sing!
Report as inappropriate
lissalou_a
Wonderful compositions .
Report as inappropriate
Amazing
Report as inappropriate
sbushman
This guy is GOOD!

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