John Ireland (composer)

All Sources -
Updated Media sources (0) About encyclopedia.com content Print Topic Share Topic
views updated

Ireland, John (Nicholson) (b Bowdon, Ches., 1879; d Washington, Sussex, 1962). Eng. composer and pianist. Org., St Luke's, Chelsea, 1904–26. Prof. of comp. RCM 1923–39, pupils incl. Britten, Bush, Moeran, Searle, and Arnell. He made his reputation with chamber mus. and with pieces for pf. solo in which his understanding of the instr. is paramount. His songs are in the best Eng. tradition and are typical of Ireland's style, which nevertheless owes more to French influences than to English and has an individual restraint and austerity which is highly attractive. He did not compose syms. or large-scale choral works, but his orch. tone-poems and ovs. are colourfully scored and his pf. conc., with its racy jazz interludes, is among the best in the genre by an Eng. composer. Prin. works:ORCH.: Tritons, symphonic prelude (1899); Orchestral Poem in A minor (1904); The Forgotten Rite, prelude (1913); Bagatelle (orig. for vn., pf. 1911, arr. orch. 1916); Mai-Dun, symphonic rhapsody (1920–1); pf. conc. in E♭ (1930); Downland Suite, str. (1932); Legend, pf., orch. (1933); A London Overture (re-working of Comedy Overture, brass, 1936); arr. brass, unpubd., no date); Concertino Pastorale, str. (1939); The Holy Boy, orig. pf. prelude (1913), str. (1941); Epic March (1941–2); Satyricon, ov. (1944–6); The Overlanders, suite (1965, arr. Mackerrras from film mus. 1946–7).CHORUS & ORCH.: Vexilla Regis (1898); Greater Love Hath No Man, motet (1911, orch. 1922); These Things Shall Be, cantata, bar. (or ten.), ch., orch. (1936–7); Man in his labour rejoiceth, ch., brass band (1947).BRASS BAND: A Downland Suite (1932); Comedy Overture (1934, re-worked as A London Overture 1936, arr. for wind band 1986); Maritime Overture (1944); The Holy Boy (orig. pf. prelude 1913), arr. by Robert E. Stepp (1950).VOICES: Te Deum in F, ch., org. (1907); Greater Love Hath No Man (sometimes called Many Waters cannot quench Love), motet, treble, bar., ch., org. (1911, with orch. 1922); Jubilate in F, ch., org. (1914); An Island Hymn, male vv. (1915, rev. as Island Praise, 1955); They Told Me, Heraclitus, unacc. male vv. (1924); New Prince, New Pomp, carol, unacc. male vv. (1927); The Holy Boy, unacc. carol (orig. pf. prelude 1913–15), arr. vv. (1941); Adam Lay Ybounden, unacc. carol (1956); Island Praise, unacc. male vv. (1955, rev. of An Island Hymn, 1915).CHAMBER MUSIC: sextet, cl., hn., str. qt. (1898); str. qts.; No.1 in D minor (1897), No.2 in C minor (1897); Cavatina, vn., pf. (1904); Phantasy Trio in A minor (1908); vn. sonata No.1 in D minor (1908–9, rev. 1917), No.2 in A minor (1915–17); Bagatelle, vn., pf. (1911, arr. orch. by L. Bridgewater, 1916); pf. trio in E (1917); vc. sonata in G minor (1923, arr. for va. by Tertis, 1941); pf. trio in E minor (1938, based on unpubd. trio of 1912–13); Fantasy Sonata, cl., pf. (1943); The Holy Boy (orig. pf. prelude, 1913), arr. vc., pf. (1919), va. (by L. Tertis, 1925), str. qt. (1941), fl., pf. (by J. Galway, 1987).SONGS & SONG-CYCLES: 5 Songs of a Wayfarer (c.1905–11); Marigold (1913); Sea Fever (1913); I Have Twelve Oxen (1918); If there were Dreams to sell (1918); The Land of Lost Content (6 Housman poems) (1920–1); The Vagabond (1922); When I am dead, my dearest (1924, arr. v., str. qt. 1924); 3 Hardy Songs, v., pf. (1925); 5 Poems by Thomas Hardy, bar., pf. (1926); We'll To The Woods No More (3 Housman poems), v., pf. (1926–7); 6 Songs Sacred and Profane, v., pf. (1929–31); The Holy Boy (orig. pf. piece, 1913, arr. as song to poem by Herbert S. Brown 1938); Five 16th Century Poems, v., pf. (1938).PIANO: Decorations (3 pieces incl. The Island Spell) (1912–13); 3 Dances (1913); 4 Preludes (No.3 is The Holy Boy) (1913–15); Rhapsody (1915); 3 London Pieces (No.1 is Chelsea Reach) (1917–20); Merry Andrew (1918); The Towing-Path (1918); Sonata in E minor-major (1918–20, rev. 1951); Summer Evening (1919); The Darkened Valley (1920); 2 Pieces (For Remembrance and Amberley Wild Brooks) (1921); On a Birthday Morning (1922); Equinox (1922); Prelude in E♭ (1924); 2 Pieces (1925); sonatina (1926–7); Ballade of London Nights (c.1929, pubd. 1968); Indian Summer (1932); Green Ways (3 Lyric Pieces) (1937); Sarnia: An Island Sequence (3 pieces) (1940–1); 3 Pastels (1941); Columbine (1949).ORGAN: Intrada (1904); Villanella (1904, arr. for orch. by L. Bridgewater 1941 and by R. Binge 1949); Menuetto-Impromptu (1904); Marcia popolare (1904); Alla marcia (1911); Capriccio (1911); Sursum corda (1911); The Holy Boy, orig. pf. prelude 1913 (1919).

views updated

Ireland, John (Nicholson)

Ireland, John (Nicholson), eminent English composer and teacher; b. Inglewood, Bowdon, Cheshire, Aug. 13, 1879; d. Rock Mill, Washington, Sussex, June 12, 1962. A member of a literary family (both his parents were writers), he received a fine general education. As his musical inclinations became evident, he entered the Royal Coll. of Music in London in 1893, studying piano with Frederick Cliffe (until 1897) and composition with Stanford (1897-1901). He obtained positions as organist in various churches; the longest of these was at St. Luke’s, Chelsea (1904-26). In 1905 he received the degree of Bac.Mus. at the Univ. of Durham; was awarded an honorary Mus.Doc. there in 1932. He taught at the Royal Coll. of Music (1923-39); Benjamin Britten, Alan Bush, E. J. Moeran, and other British composers were his pupils. He began to compose early in life; during his student years, he wrote a number of works for orch., chamber groups, and voices, but destroyed most of them; 2 string quartets (1895, 1897) came to light after his death. His early compositions were influenced by the German Romantic school; soon he adopted many devices of the French impressionist school; his rhythmic concepts were enlivened by the new Russian music presented by the Diaghilev Ballet. At the same time, he never wavered in his dedication to the English spirit of simple melody; his music re-creates the plainsong and the usages of Tudor music in terms of piagal modalities and freely modulating triadic harmonies.

Works

dramatic:Julius Ceasar, incidental music to Shakespeare’s play (BBC, London, Sept. 28, 1942); The Vagabonds, ballet (London, Oct. 29, 1946; based on Mai-Dun and the Concertino pastorale); The Overlanders, film music (1946-47). ORCH.: Tritons, symphonic prelude (1899; London, March 21, 1901); Orchestral Poem (1903-04); The Forgotten Rite, prelude (1913; London, Sept. 13, 1917); Mai-Dun (1920-21; London, Dec. 12, 1921); Piano Concerto (London, Oct. 2, 1930); Legend for Piano and Orch. (1933; London, Jan. 12, 1934); Concertino pastorale for Strings (Canterbury, June 14, 1939); Epic March (1941-42; London, June 27, 1942); Satyricon, overture (1944-46; London, Sept. 11, 1946). brass band:A Downland Suite (London, Oct. 1, 1932); Comedy Overture (London, Sept. 29, 1934; reworked version as A London Overture for Orch., London, Sept. 23, 1936). CHAMBER: 2 string quartets (1897, 1897); Sextet for Clarinet, Horn, 2 Violins, Viola, and Cello (1898; London, March 25, 1960); Berceuse for Violin and Piano (1902); 3 trios for Violin, Cello, and Piano: No. 1, Phantasie-Trio (1906; London, Jan. 26, 1909), No. 2 (London, June 12, 1917), and No. 3 (BBC, London, April 4, 1938); 2 violin sonatas: No. 1 (1908-09; London, March 7, 1913; rev. 1917 and 1944) and No. 2 (1915-17; London, March 6, 1917); Bagatelle for Violin and Piano (1911); Trio for Clarinet, Cello, and Piano (1912-14; London, June 9, 1914); Cello Sonata (1923; London, April 4, 1924; arranged as a Viola Sonata by L. Tertis, 1941; BBC, Bedford, Dec. 14, 1942); Fantasy Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1943; London, Feb. 5, 1944). Piano: In Those Days (1895); Sea Idyll (1899-1900); Rhapsody No. 1 (1905-06) and No. 2 (1915); Decorations (1912-13); The Almond Trees (1913); 3 Dances (1913); [4] Preludes (1913-15; No. 3, The Holy Boy, arranged for String Orch., 1941); [3] London Pieces (1917-20); Leaves from a Child’s Sketchbook (1918); Merry Andrew (1918); The Towing Path (1918); Sonata (1918-20; London, June 12, 1920); Summer Evening (1919); The Darkened Valley (1920); 2 Pieces (1921); On a Birthday Morning (1922); Soliloquy (1922); Equinox (1922); Prelude (1924); 2 Pieces (1925); Sonatina (1926-27; BBC, London, April 19, 1928); Ballade (1929); 2 Pieces (1929-30); Ballade of London Nights (1930); Indian Summer (1932); Month’s Mind (1932); Green Ways: 3 Lyric Pieces (1937); Sarnia: An Island Sequence (1940-41; London, Nov. 29, 1941); 3 Pastels (1941; BBC, Bedford, March 8, 1942); Columbine (1949; rev. 1951). VOCAL: Vexilla Regis, hymn for Passion Sunday for Soloists, Chorus, Brass, and Organ (1898); [5] Songs of a Wayfarer for Voice and Piano (1903-11); Te Deum for Chorus and Organ (1907); Psalm 42 for Soloists, Chorus, and String Orch. (1908); Greater love hath no man, motet for Treble and Baritone Soli, Chorus, and Organ (1911; also with Orch., 1922); Communion Service for Chorus and Organ (1913); Sea Fever for Voice and Piano (1913); The Land of Lost Content, 6 songs for Voice and Piano (1920-21); 3 Songs to Poems by Thomas Hardy for Voice and Piano (1925); 5 Poems by Thomas Hardy for Baritone and Piano (1926); [6] Songs Sacred and Profane for Voice and Piano (1929-31); These things shall be, cantata for Baritone or Tenor, Chorus, and Orch. (1936-37; BBC, London, May 13, 1937); many other sacred works, choral pieces, and songs.

Bibliography

J. Longmire, J. I: Portrait of a Friend (London, 1969); M. Searle, J. I.: The Man and His Music (Tunbridge Wells, 1979); M. Pilkington, Gurney, L., Quilter and Warlock (London, 1989); S. Craggs, J. l.: A Catalogue, Discography, and Bibliography (Oxford, 1993).

—Nicolas Slonimsky/Nicolas Slonimsky/Dennis McIntire

views updated

Ireland, John Nicholson (1879–1962) British composer, influenced by Brahms, Dvořák and Ravel. His works, firmly grounded in Romanticism and often inspired by places and landscape, include The Forgotten Rite (1913), Mai-Dun (1921), These Things Shall Be (1937), the overture Satyricon (1946), and many songs and piano pieces.