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John Ireland: Piano Concerto; Legend; Sea Idyll; First Rhapsody / John Lenehan, piano

> Piano Concerto in E flat major - I. In tempo moderato
> Piano Concerto in E flat major - II. Lento espressivo
> Piano Concerto in E flat major - III. Allegretto giocoso
> Legend - Legend
> First Rhapsody in F sharp minor - First Rhapsody in F sharp minor
> Pastoral - Pastoral
> Indian Summer - Indian Summer
> A Sea Idyll - I. Poco andante
> A Sea Idyll - II. Allegro appassionato
> A Sea Idyll - III. Mesto
> 3 Dances - No. 1. Gypsy Dance
> 3 Dances - No. 2. Country Dance
> 3 Dances - No. 3. Reapers' Dance

Album Summary

>Ireland, John [Composer] : Concerto for Piano in E flat major
>Ireland, John [Composer] : Legend, for piano & orchestra (also 2 pianos)
>Ireland, John [Composer] : First Rhapsody, for piano in C sharp major
>Ireland, John [Composer] : Pastoral, for piano
>Ireland, John [Composer] : Indian Summer, for piano
>Ireland, John [Composer] : A Sea Idyll, 3 movements for piano
>Ireland, John [Composer] : Dances (3), for piano
Performer Conductor Ensemble Composer

Notes & Reviews:

John Ireland's radiant Piano Concerto was written for his protégée Helen Perkin, and is infused with her sense of vitality. The result is a brilliant work of high spirits and expressive longing. Perkin also premièred Legend, a dark, brooding evocation of the ancient landscape of Harrow Hill on the Sussex Downs. Of the solo piano works, the First Rhapsody is earlier, virtuosic, and in the Lisztian tradition, whereas Indian Summer is a rural postcard of beguiling simplicity. John Lenehan has recorded three volumes of Ireland's solo piano music (8553700, 8553889 and 8570461) to universal admiration: 'Lenehan offers a uniquely vital and dramatic reading of the sonata.' (MusicWeb International on Vol. 3)

"John Ireland was an exceptional composer for the piano, as was his contemporary York Bowen. He may not have been a "major" composer in a conventional sense, but his work deserves to be better known, especially outside of England. His Piano Concerto is a masterpiece. Sure, the influence of Prokofiev is obvious, but Ireland embraces it and makes it his own. Written in 1930, it offers a combination of romantic glamor, saucy wit, and lyrical expressiveness that's quite personal and memorable. John Lenehan plays it as well as anybody has to date, with a very winning combination of fluidity in passagework and an easy rhythmic precision in the finale that sounds just right." -Classics Today (10/10)

"John Ireland’s Piano Concerto of 1930 receives a thoroughly sympathetic, lucid performance, as does the ominously darker Legend of three years later...A delightful disc." -The Telegraph

"Alert to the work's many changes of mood and wide range of pianistic demand. I particularly like [Lenehan's] musing, elegiac take on the haunting slow movement, and the orchestrla playing is impressively responsive throughout...It's good to have new recordings of the Sea Idyll and the cheerful Three Dances, too." -BBC Music Magazine

MusicWeb International
Listening to Lenehan's reading of the concerto... it's not difficult so see why it's one of Ireland's most enduring works. There's no mistaking the ardour of that opening tune, or the heart's ease of the piano's first entry. But then this music is a wellspring of delights, Lenehan's bright, bubbly playing matched by that of the orchestra... This is a an excellent bargain... Absolutely no such qualms about the solo pieces, which are as good as you're likely to find anywhere. As for John Lenehan, I can't imagine how I've missed a pianist of such talent, and I look forward to hearing more from him. As ever, the liner-notes are well written, and at budget price this CD is a good introduction to Ireland's changing musical landscapes.

American Record Guide
This is obviously an addition to the excellent series Lenehan has been giving us of Ireland's piano music. Two of the solo piano items ('Pastoral' and 'Indian Summer') are recorded here... Ireland collectors who value his infinitely lovely Impressionist images will definitely want to acquire them, as will everyone already collecting the series.

Fanfare
John Lenehan plays all of this music with consummate artistry and technical skill, and there's not a single work on this disc that doesn't give enormous pleasure.

Ritmo
In one of the volumes of works for solo piano by John Ireland. "the music of Ireland London breathes from every pore, On this record we find works for solo piano ( First Rhapsody in F sharp minor , Pastoral , Indian Summer , A is Idyll , 3 Dances ), but the hard work is the star of the great concert of 1930, written for his young and beautiful student (left over details) Helen Perkin. It is a work in which we find a strong influence of Gershwin. three connections are in Ireland a curious combination, which attracted the admiration and interpretations in Curzon day and Rubinstein. in an interpretation, as the concert , dazzling, a wonderful orchestral richness. Lenehan, in these as in the works for solo piano (beautiful A Sea Idyll ) maintains his title as the largest specialist in the music of Ireland.

Allmusic.com
uniquely powerful. The small piano works that round out the album are interesting... Ireland specialist John Lenehan's tuneful performance of the piano concerto, with fine backing from the Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra under John Wilson, catches the work's somehow highly personal sense of enthusiasm and is well worth the price of admission.

The Guardian
The piano concerto that John Ireland composed ... is generally regarded as the finest orchestral work of a composer ... John Lenehan's finely nuanced performance with John Wilson and the Liverpool orchestra shows, it's a pleasant enough work, predominantly introspective without extravagant display of virtuosity ...

Infodad.com
Expressive and filled with passages of longing that contrast well with high-spirited ones, it is the major work on a new Ireland CD on which pianist John Lenehan offers very well-played performances of both solo piano works and ones with orchestra.

MusicWeb International
I enjoyed this CD very much indeed and so I think will all enthusiasts of John Ireland's music. John Lenehan gives an excellent and sympathetic account of all the works presented here and I certainly will listen to this disc again. The 'new' pieces are also worthwhile and add extra value to this fine CD.

ClassicsToday.com
Legend, a tone poem for piano and orchestra, lives up to its name. The pieces on offer here really show Ireland's range, from the passionate First Rhapsody to the poetic Sea Idyll and colorful Three Dances. Excellent sonics too.

The Northern Echo
Pianist John Lenehan gives a thrilling performance of Ireland's Piano Concerto in E flat and several other works.

Gramophone
I am delighted to welcome to the catalogue a splendid new recording of what is undoubtedly the finest of all British piano concertos ... Worthy to rank with the finest 20th-century works in this form, its poetic lyricism and distinctive melodic inspiration are in the ageless tradition of the greatest English music. After its jiggy first movement it offers one of the most gently beautiful slow movements of any piano concerto written last century, and its bright finale has an indelible main theme that you won't be able to get out of your head once the work concludes. John Lenehan ... is again at his finest here. ... the RLPO is on first-class form under the understanding direction of John Wilson ...

Classic FM
David Mellor Recommends: Best Bargain - 15 October 2011

The Listener
Naxos had been just a year or two years, started to provide the complete piano music of British composer John Ireland in a very laudable complete work. The "impressionist"-inspired musical language of Ireland's, that of the German-British Frederick Delius was not dissimilar from pianist John Lenehan said as part of the series in a very pleasant and completely immortalized satisfactory recordings.

MusicWeb International
The Piano Concerto is a glowing and powerful work and it receives a performance to match here - one, indeed, to rival its major competitors... The new recording brings us a number of solo piano works. If you prefer these and/or are swayed by the price advantage and generous playing time of the Naxos, I see no reason to hold back.

MusicWeb International
The Concerto is a relaxed floral extravagance, for the most part languid, but at under 24:50 it does not test the patience. The middle movement seems to drift between anticipations of Finzi, pre-echoes of These Things Shall be and Elgar's Serenade. The finale discovers rhythmic grit but plays along in the manner of a Divertimento.



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Works Details

>Ireland, John [Composer] : Concerto for Piano in E flat major
  • Performer: John Lenehan (Piano)
  • Conductor: John Wilson
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, England (02/18/2011-02/19/2011)
  • Running Time: 24 min. 54 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1930

>Ireland, John [Composer] : Legend, for piano & orchestra (also 2 pianos)
  • Performer: John Lenehan (Piano)
  • Conductor: John Wilson
  • Ensemble: Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
  • Notes: Liverpool Philharmonic Hall, England (02/18/2011-02/19/2011)
  • Running Time: 13 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Form: Concerto
  • Written: 1933

>Ireland, John [Composer] : First Rhapsody, for piano in C sharp major
  • Performer: John Lenehan (Piano)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 9 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1905-1906

>Ireland, John [Composer] : Pastoral, for piano
  • Performer: John Lenehan (Piano)
  • Running Time: 4 min. 45 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1896

>Ireland, John [Composer] : Indian Summer, for piano
  • Performer: John Lenehan (Piano)
  • Running Time: 2 min. 14 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1932

>Ireland, John [Composer] : A Sea Idyll, 3 movements for piano
  • Performer: John Lenehan (Piano)
  • Running Time: 12 min. 30 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1899-1900

>Ireland, John [Composer] : Dances (3), for piano
  • Performer: John Lenehan (Piano)
  • Running Time: 6 min. 29 sec.
  • Period Time: Modern
  • Written: 1913