Silver Apples of the Moon
Anyone with a penchant for Warlock or Moeran will surely lap up the opening item on this enterprising collection, namely the fragrant Meath Pastoral (1944) by Arthur Duff (1899-1956). Both it and the Irish Suite of four years earlier (which actually bears a dedication to Duff’s friend, Moeran) evince surprisingly little in the way of native colour, unlike the pleasingly contrasted 1940 diptych of Mac Ananty’s Reel and The Dirge of Ossian by John F. Larchet (1884-1967). Both Larchet and Aloys Fleischmann (1910-92) were important figures in Irish musical life earlier this century: Larchet taught for many years at Dublin’s University College and the Royal Irish Academy of Music, while Fleischmann was appointed to the post of Professor of Music at University College, Cork when he was only 24. The latter is represented by his Elizabeth MacDermott Roe: this affecting threnody was originally the slow movement of a 1941 suite for strings entitled The Humours of Carolan, which in turn utilized original airs by the blind harper and travelling bard, Carolan (1670-1738). Music by the same legendary figure inspired the five-movement O’Carolan Suite in Baroque Style (1978), a late offering by Thomas C. Kelly (1917-85). Kelly’s much earlier Three Pieces (1949) prove more rewarding, while a similarly unpretentious charm inhabits the 1953 Suite for Strings by another Larchet-pupil, Joan Trimble (b.1915).
Lovely performances from the Limerick-based Irish Chamber Orchestra are admirably recorded. Well worth seeking out.'