John Ireland (1879-1962)



John Ireland (1879-1962)


Donald Macleod continues his exploration of the music and life of John Ireland with two contrasting celebrations of the composer's beloved Sussex Downs, the sunnily bucolic Downland Suite for brass band, and the brooding Legend for piano and orchestra.

A Downland Suite

The London Brass Virtuosi

David Honeyball (conductor)

Piers Lane (piano)

Ulster Orchestra

David Lloyd-Jones (conductor)

These Things Shall Be

John Carol Case (baritone)

London Philharmonic Orchestra and Choir

Adrian Boult (conductor)



Donald Macleod concludes his exploration of the life and works of Ireland with the composer's final song-cycle, Five 16th Century Poems.

Plus the impressive Concertino Pastorale for strings, composed at the outbreak of the Second World War, and Ireland's first foray into film music, The Overlanders, a wartime story of courage in the face of adversity.

Christopher Maltman (baritone)

Graham Johnson (piano)

Concertino Pastorale (for string orchestra)

City of London Sinfonia

Richard Hickox (conductor)

The Overlanders (Suite from the film, arr.

Charles Mackerras)

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Adrian Boult (conductor)


Donald Macleod surveys the life and work of John Ireland, an undeservedly neglected minor master whose precocious early talent gained him entry to London's Royal College of Music at the age of 14.

The programme includes early essays in all of the genres in which he would later excel.

Sea Fever (Saltwater Ballads)

Bryn Terfel (baritone)

Malcolm Martineau (piano)

String Quartet No 1 in D minor (4th mvt)

Maggini Quartet:

Laurence Jackson, David Angel (violins)

Martin Outram (viola)

Michal Kaznowski (cello)

Vexilla Regis (Hymn for Passion Sunday)

Paula Bott (soprano)

Teresa Shaw (contralto)

James Oxley (tenor)

Roderick Elms (organ)

London Symphony Chorus and Orchestra

Richard Hickox (conductor)

Tritons (Symphonic Prelude)

London Symphony Orchestra

A Sea Idyll

Eric Parkin (piano)

Songs of a Wayfarer: Memory (William Blake); When daffodils begin to peer (William Shakespeare); English May (Dante Gabriel Rossetti); I was not sorrowful (Ernest Dowson); I will walk on the earth (James Vila Blake)

Christopher Maltman (baritone)

Graham Johnson (piano).


Donald Macleod explores how Ireland, a practising Anglo-Catholic, discovered his pagan leanings.

His motet, Greater Love Hath No Man, and his orchestral prelude, The Forgotten Rite, reflect these two apparently divergent sides of his personality.

Michael Pearce (tenor)

Paul Robinson (baritone)

Christopher Hughes (organ)

Choir of King's College, Cambridge

The Forgotten Rite (Prelude for Orchestra)

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Adrian Boult (conductor)

Violin Sonata No 2 in A minor

Paul Barrit (violin)

Catherine Edwards (piano)

The Land of Lost Content (Housman, from A Shropshire Lad)

Peter Pears (tenor)

Benjamin Britten (piano)


Ireland and the Ladies

There was a brief interlude in Ireland's lifelong bachelordom, as in quick succession he married, separated, then sought an annulment.

Ireland's song-cycle, Five Poems by Thomas Hardy, reflects a rather more idealised view of love, while his Piano Concerto was dedicated to the other woman in his life at this time, the pianist Helen Perkin.

Ireland later withdrew the dedication in a fit of pique after she married another man.

When I am Dead My Dearest (Rossetti)

Roderick Williams (baritone)

BBC Concert Orchestra

Martin Yates (conductor)

Benjamin Luxon (baritone)

Alan Rowlands (piano)


John Lenehan (piano)

Piano Concerto in E flat

Eric Parkin (piano)

London Philharmonic Orchestra

Adrian Boult (conductor).