Friday 17 April 2009


I thought I would begin my blogging career with my views on one of my favourite composers. Anyone who knows me will tell you I am one for the obscure. I always want the underdog to win the FA cup tie. I love knowing weird and wonderful facts. This is not to say that I have a 'niche' which I devote myself to no end (although my relationship with the music of John Adams comes close...), rather I just like knowing lots of things on a wide variety of subjects.

My musical tastes are no different. This combined with an odd musical growing up in a cathedral choir has meant I have little time for Beethoven, Mozart and Haydn. This is not to say that I think their music is bad, in fact I will happily acknowledge that these are great composers who did brilliant things for music. But on the whole I would rather listen to something else.

This attitude has meant that one of my favourite composers is E.J Moeran. If you have never heard of him background reading can be found here and if you have heard of him no I don't know the correct pronunciation either! Moeran for me is one of the great english composers of the 20th century. His style may have not been that forward thinking, but neither is it unoriginal, as can be said of the vast majority of English composers of that period (except maybe for Bridge, and even he took a while to get radical).

I have recently been thinking a lot about what it means to be English after visiting a friend on exchange in Canada and I believe the music of Moeran and others (Whitlock, Delius, VW etc) epitomises this more than any other composer. I think we should be proud of these composers and play their music more. Certainly at the time I got into the music of Moeran and the like this sort of music was played rarely, now it is a lot better, see the proms programme this year.

I guess his post has been rambling but my quest is two fold. Firstly to encourage people to try and do something different in music, don't just assume that the only good English music is Elgar. And secondly to listen to the music of Moeran and others (Stanford and Alwyn's symphonies are other recommendations). Prom 9 includes his symphony and I'm going to be there (it's live on BBC 4 as well). After all the next time it will be performed is most likely when I persuade an orchestra to do it...


  1. Forgot to say if you want to listen to the music of Moeran the there are free downloads here

  2. Welcome to the blogosphere. Have to say you never suggested Moeran for Sinfonia, I might have considered it, although knowing you it's probably ridiculously hard. Will have to get downloading and listening.