MusicWeb International One of the most grown-up review sites around

  2022
 57,903 reviews
   and more ... and still writing ...

Search MusicWeb Here
Acte Prealable Polish CDs

Presto Music CD retailer
 
Founder: Len Mullenger                                    Editor in Chief:John Quinn             

Some items
to consider

 

paid for
advertisements

Acte Prealable Polish recordings

Forgotten Recordings
Forgotten Recordings
All Forgotten Records Reviews


TROUBADISC
Troubadisc Weinberg- TROCD01450

100th birthday of Mieczyslaw Weinberg on December 8, 2019.
Renate Eggbrecht has recorded all 3 violin Sonatas
All Troubadisc reviews


FOGHORN Classics

Alexandra-Quartet
Brahms String Quartets

All Foghorn Reviews


All HDTT reviews


Clarissa Bevilacqua plays
Augusta Read Thomas

all Nimbus reviews

Brahms Dvorak
Brahms 2 Dvorak 7
all tudor reviews

 

 


Follow us on Twitter

Subscribe to our free weekly review listing
sample

Sample: See what you will get

Editorial Board
MusicWeb International
Founding Editor
   
Rob Barnett
Editor in Chief
John Quinn
Contributing Editor
Ralph Moore
Webmaster
   David Barker
Postmaster
Jonathan Woolf
MusicWeb Founder
   Len Mullenger

 

Discs for review may be sent to:
Jonathan Woolf
76 Lushes Road
Loughton
Essex IG10 3QB
United Kingdom

jonathan_woolf@yahoo.co.uk


 

John Ireland’s The Island Spell: A Possible Premiere Concert Performance?
By John France

In his indispensable John Ireland: A Catalogue, Discography and Bibliography (Ashgate, Aldershot, 2007, p.34), Stewart R. Craggs writes that he was unable to trace the premiere of John Ireland’s Decorations for piano. He notes Joyce Ansell’s early performance at the Wigmore Hall in London on 4 June 1919, and Miss Chilton-Griffin’s recital at the same venue on 12 June 1919. The piece was published in the summer of 1915, as noted in several journals at the time. The three movements – The Island Spell, Moon-glade and The Scarlet Ceremonies – were published individually in 1919. The first of them is often played alone.
 
The Island Spell was completed in the summer of 1911, when Ireland was on holiday at Fauvic in Jersey, but Ireland was not satisfied with the ending. The revised solution suddenly came to him the following year, when he was back on holiday in the Channel Islands.

I recently came across an unsigned review (Western Daily Express, 4 April 1916, p.5) for a Clifton Chamber Society concert on 3 April 1916 at the Victoria Rooms, Clifton, Bristol. The evening, dedicated to British music, was presented by the Clifton Quintet: Herbert Parsons (piano), Maurice Alexander (first violin), Edgar Hawke (second violin), Alfred Best (viola) and Percy Lewis (cello).

The concert began with John Blackwood McEwen’s remarkable Biscay Quartet (1913); the reviewer noted that it was still in manuscript. There followed York Bowen’s Suite in D minor op.28 for violin and piano (1909). Three piano solos came next: Paul Corder’s Preludes in A major and E major (1906), The Island Spell and R.O. Beachcroft’s Impromptu No.2 in C (1910). (Beachcroft, the music master of Clifton College, dedicated the work to Herbert Parsons.) The critic wrote: “the ‘Spell’ is a fascinating example, though somewhat peculiar.” The concert ended with James Friskin’s Phantasy in F minor (1910).

So, was this the premiere performance of The Island Spell? There is no way of knowing, but it pushes Craggs’s date back by nearly three years.

A look at this programme almost 106 years later gives a good impression of British music that was making headway at the time. Sadly, only Ireland’s masterpiece remains securely in the repertoire. All the other works, save Beachcroft’s piece, have been recorded.



Advertising on
Musicweb


Donate and keep us afloat

 

New Releases

Naxos Classical
All Naxos reviews

Chandos recordings
All Chandos reviews

Hyperion recordings
All Hyperion reviews

Foghorn recordings
All Foghorn reviews

Troubadisc recordings
All Troubadisc reviews


all cpo reviews

Divine Art recordings
Click to see New Releases
Get 10% off using code musicweb10
All Divine Art reviews


All APR reviews

Lyrita recordings
All Lyrita Reviews

 

Wyastone New Releases
Obtain 10% discount

Recordings of the Month

November 2022
Bach
Bach Orchestral Suites

del Cinque
Del Cinque Cello sonatas

Fujita Mozart
Mao Fujita Mozart

Stanczyk
Stanczyk Acousmatic Music

Oropesa

October 2022

Berg Violin Concerto
Violin Concerto Elmes

DEbussy Jeux
Debussy Jeux

Romantic pioano masters
Romantic Piano Masters

The future is female - Vol 2
Volume 2 - The Dance

impromptu harp music
Complete Harp Impromptus