E.J. Moeran: Complete Solo Folksong Arrangements




Adrian Thompson tenor
Marcus Farnsworth baritone
John Talbot piano
Members of the Weybridge Male Voice Choir
(Conductor: Christine Best)

Six Folksongs from Norfolk
1 Down by the Riverside
2 The Bold Richard
3 Lonely Waters
4 The Pressgang
5 The Shooting of His Dear
6 The Oxford Sporting Blade
7 The North Sea Ground
8 High Germany
9 The Sailor and Young Nancy
10 The Little Milkmaid
11 The Jolly Carter
12 Parson and Clerk
13 Gaol Song

Six Suffolk Folksongs
14 Nutting Time
15 Blackberry Fold
16 Cupid’s Garden
17 Father and Daughter
18 The Isle of Cloy
19 A Seaman’s Life

Songs from County Kerry
20 The Dawning of the Day
21 My Love Passed Me By
22 The Murder of Father Hanratty
23 The Roving Dingle Boy
24 The Lost Lover
25 The Tinker’s Daughter
26 Kitty, I am in Love with You


Ernest John (‘Jack’) Moeran (1894-1950) was the last major representative of the group of English composers who, in the first decade of the twentieth century, sought musical inspiration in the melodic beauty of traditional folksong. In addition to using folksong-related material in a number of his original works, Moeran also made many direct arrangements of folksongs he collected throughout his lifetime, principally in areas of East Anglia and the south-west of Ireland, including the 25 for solo voice and piano recorded here together for the first time.

Included in the programme, which contains a number of première recordings, are Six Folksongs from Norfolk, Six Suffolk Folksongs, Songs from County Kerry, and a further six individual folksong arrangements. A première recording of Moeran’s earliest known and only recently discovered solo song, The North Sea Ground, provides an attractive and historically significant bonus to this delightful recital. The 24-page booklet accompanying the CD contains an essay on E.J. Moeran and Folksong by Roy Palmer of the English Folk Dance and Song Society, as well as an extended note by Ian Maxwell on his edition of The North Sea Ground. Full song texts are available for download (see below). The recording is released on the sixtieth anniversary of Moeran’s death on 1 December 1950.


“Vividly truthful sound – and a special word of praise for Roy Palmer’s painstakingly researched annotation, which strikes me as a model of its kind. A job well done!” Andrew Achenbach, Gramophone

“Everything feels just right…an essential companion to the Moeran songs on Chandos (CHAN10596)…booklet is superbly done…your Moeran collection is incomplete without this disc,” Rob Barnett, MusicWeb International

“… the artists perform these songs with affection and great distinction. The disc is a welcome companion to the 2CD set of the Complete Solo Songs of Moeran, released earlier this year on the Chandos label with most of the same artists,” Brian Blyth Daubney, BMS News

“… you should get hold of this outstanding disc. It is not far short of a revelation… Both singers (the baritone has the lion’s share) are a pleasure to listen to… John Talbot is a wholly sympathetic accompanist…The resulting disc has a touch of alchemy about it… this beautiful collection….” Piers Burton-Page, International Record Review

“The two singers, Marcus Farnsworth and Adrian Thompson, are crystal clear in their diction, and bring constantly varied expression, giving vitality to the songs; and we owe a great debt to the pianist, John Talbot, who not only plays the piano superbly, but has rescued from near oblivion many fine works of Moeran through publication and recording, which had fallen out of print – thus reminding us of the sterling worth of this under-appreciated composer,” Richard Carder, BMS News 136