Monday, 22 December 2008

John Ireland: An early Review

I recently came across this review of John Ireland’s Violin Sonata in A minor. This has long been one of my favourite works and is regarded as having established the composer’s reputation.

“John Ireland’s Sonata in A minor [1] was produced here by Herbert and Mary Dittler as a Princess Theatre recital yesterday afternoon [4/6/1920], following by a day another formal work, that of Cyril Scott [2], given on Saturday by Percy Grainger.
The young English group of composers has made haste slowly in reaching America, though Mr. Ireland’s “Fantasy” was performed not long ago by a local chamber music organization. His more genial music stems from Franck, as Scott’s harmonies do from Debussy. But an original vein of melody is in the present score for violin and piano, suggesting the songs and the dances now and again, in its “tempo moderato” and “con brio.” The work won a response of applause thrice renewed from Mr. and Mrs. Dittler’s audience. The two players were also heard in sonatas of Bach and Dohnanyi.”

New York Times Jan 5 1920

[1] Composed 1915-1917
[2] Sonata for Piano No. 1 Op. 66 by Cyril Scott

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