Ireland: Orchestral Songs and Miniatures

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3.0 out of 5 star rating 3.0

COMPOSERS: Elgar,Ireland,Murrill & Collins,Pehkonen,Sainsbury,Tranchell
LABELS: Dutton
WORKS: Orchestral Songs and Miniatures
PERFORMER: Roderick Williams (baritone), Charles Mutter (violin); BBC Concert Orchestra/John Wilson, Martin Yates; Royal Ballet Sinfonia/Gavin Sutherland, Paul Murphy


Epoch’s cover is more than a little misleading. It announces John Ireland: Orchestral Songs and Miniatures. In fact two-thirds or more of the disc is not by Ireland at all, but an assortment of ‘world premiere recordings’ by composers ranging from Elgar – two lightweight patriotic numbers – to worthy but minor figures such as Cambridge don Peter Tranchell and light music composer Walter Collins, and living composers Sainsbury and Pehkonen, under three different conductors.

There’s no apparent attempt at offering any programme or theme, least of all any discernible relation to Ireland. And the Ireland pieces are mostly orchestrations by other hands of his less significant piano pieces. 


Roderick Williams declaims his own orchestration of the melodrama Annabel Lee rather well, and enjoys two robust sea songs, like The Holy Boy in Ireland’s own arrangements. The others are rather uninspiring – which is the general tone of this odd programme. Michael Scott Rohan