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John Ireland - April

Discussion in 'Submission Room' started by MarkB, Mar 27, 2010.

  1. MarkB

    MarkB Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello,

    here is my recording of "April" by John Ireland, a British composer. He wrote a significant amount of piano music which is excellent but is rarely heard outside of England.

    This piece is one of two pieces which were completed in February 1925.

    "April" evokes the return of Springtime.

    I hope you enjoy it.

    Mark B


    Ireland - April
     
  2. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Great to have more Ireland on the site ! At the onset of spring, this nicely complements my recording of 'In a May morning'. Which I now see I have never put on the site :shock:
    Yes, Ireland wrote excellent piano music, and it's a mystery to me that it is not wider known outside of the UK. He is often dubbed an 'English impressionist' but I'd choose Ireland over Debussy anytime.
    Excellent recording, clean and clear. All I wished for was a little more ambiance. It sounded just a little constricted.
     
  3. Rachfan

    Rachfan Active Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hi Mark,

    I just now listened. This is a deeply felt and well articulated rendition of "April". It has that English fresh air feel to it. I too have always enjoyed Ireland's piano music, and am glad that you have added this recording to the offerings here. Thanks for sharing it!

    David
     
  4. MarkB

    MarkB Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello,

    thanks for the comments.

    Techneut wrote :
    I noticed the link to Sarnia on your listings but was mystified why no recordings were there. I look foward to hearing your recording. Sarnia is a wonderful piece. Have you recorded all the movements ?

    Tehneut wrote :
    When you refer to ambiance, I'm not sure what you mean here. Do you mean you are looking for a little more freedom in the playing ? We English march everywhere you know !

    Rachfan wrote :
    It certainly has and we have had plenty of that recently over here ! Perhaps that's one of the reasons why I was moved to play the Ireland and Bridge - relief that the winter was over.

    I think "April" captures the change in the year exquisitely. Ireland's feeling for nature, countryside and coast is a common theme and he is very good at communicating that. Amberley Wild Brooks, The Almond Trees, Spring Will Not Wait, Sarnia, Decorations / The Island Spell etc.. are all fine examples and all terrific pieces.


    Thanks.
    Mark
     
  5. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Only the first two. The Catioroc was a try-out, too buggy to publish. The May Morning was sort of ok and I will put that on the site (even though I'll probably redo it). I'm still a bit daunted by this set... Catioroc and Springtides are quite difficult.

    Nope, I just meant the sound. It seemed a little close. But then I am known to like a big reverb.
    Now that you mention it, it can't harm to be a bit looser yet, get rid of the old stiff upper lip ;-)
     
  6. MarkB

    MarkB Member Piano Society Artist

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    I've posted a video recording of April on YouTube here : http://www.youtube.com/user/MarkBPiano

    It's a different performances to the MP3 I submitted earlier.

    Techneut wrote :
    I could add reverberation I suppose. I used it on the first two or three recordings I submitted but have not used it since. Maybe I'll try that with my next submission.

    Techneut wrote :
    .
    Yes indeed !

    Also, I have a 78 rpm recording of John Ireland himself playing April. It is the final side of a set of 78 rpm discs which I bought some years ago with the main feature being his cello sonata with himself on piano and Antoni Sala on cello. I'll transcribe it and submit for interest. I found this review from the musical times of the recordings from 1929 http://www.jstor.org/pss/914253 (see the right hand column, 2nd to last paragraph). I like the comment regarding "April" : "a piece in an attractive vein that many of us wish Ireland would discover more frequently".

    Mark
     
  7. MarkB

    MarkB Member Piano Society Artist

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    Hello,

    as promised, for interest, I've attached a copy of John Ireland himself playing "April".

    I transcribed it from a Columbia record L2316 which is part of the set mentioned previously. I don't believe that there are any copyright issues because the recording is greater than 70 years old but if there is any doubt then it would be best to remove it.

    Mark
     
  8. techneut

    techneut Active Member Piano Society Artist Trusted Member

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    Thanks for that Mark, it's always nice to hear a composer play. Evidently Ireland was a splendid pianist, and he plays with considerable freedom.
     

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