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Greater Love Hath No Man
Ireland: Orchestral and Choral Works
01 Aug 2003
Originally recorded in 2002
London Symphony Orchestra
London Symphony Chorus
St Jude on the Hill, Hampstead, London
Orchestral & Concertos
Total Time - 66:29
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Greater Love Hath No Man
Select Complete Single Disc for
Vexilla Regis (Hymn for Passion Sunday)*
Greater Love Hath No Man†
These Things Shall Be‡
A London Overture
The Holy Boy (A Carol of the Nativity)
This well-loved recording of some of the best orchestral and choral works of John Ireland is now available on Chandos’ Classics label.
"Ireland produced several hymns and church pieces that became well known, none better than the motet Greater Love Hath No Man, a meditation for Passiontide, written in 1912. The words are a patchwork of verses from the New Testament, and the piece opens with text from The Song of Solomon.
These Things Shall Be was composed in response to a commission from the BBC in 1937 for music for a concert marking the coronation of King George VI. Ireland quickly responded with a scheme to set eight of the fifteen verses of the idealistic poem ‘A Vista’ by John Addington Symonds the younger. Ireland remarked that he felt the words were ‘an expression of British national feeling at the present time’. The shadow of the First World War hung long over Ireland, as it did over many of his contemporaries, and it is not surprising that the ‘These things shall be’ motif is also found in other works.
The Hymn for Passion Sunday, Vexilla Regis, is the earliest piece in this programme. Composed in 1898 when the composer was just nineteen, Ireland subsequently withdrew the work and it was not published until the year after his death, although he had approved its revival. A London Overture originated as Comedy Overture, a test piece for the Crystal Palace National Brass Band Contest. Adrian Boult suggested to Ireland that he should orchestrate it for the 1936 Promenade Concerts.The work immediately caught on and the little figure of four notes heard after the slow introduction was recognised as representing the cry of a London bus conductor: ‘’dilly, Piccadilly!’
Richard Hickox is a sympathetic interpreter of the composer and obtains sensitive results (and good singing) in The Holy Boy and These things shall be.The disc is of particular interest in that it brings a rarity, Vexilla Regis for chorus, brass and organ. First-class recorded sound.
The Penguin Complete Guide
This excellent Ireland disc, probably all youll ever need of this prolific Mancunian composer and organist whose pupils included Britten, shows him at his evocative best… Epic stuff.
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