Moeran's Birthday

Dec 31, 2018

Credit SC Public Radio/Mary Noble Ours

Many musical works, and many composers, fall into obscurity for very good reasons. My colleagues and I have been known to joke about pieces we call “justly neglected.” It’s a particular pleasure, then, to discover the truly “un-justly neglected composer or piece.


I suppose my own ignorance of 20th century English music is to blame, but until just a short while ago I had never heard of a composer named Ernest John Moeran. That’s M-O-E-R-A-N. But then I saw his name on a list of composers born on this date, December 31, and I decided to investigate. Moeran was born in 1894 and died in 1950, and he wrote songs, piano pieces, chamber music, concertos, symphonies, and choral works. I listened to a recording of his String Trio and now I can’t wait to play the piece myself. Many of Moeran’s other works have also been recorded, it turns out, and I’m looking forward to more delightful discoveries.

A Minute with Miles – a production of South Carolina Public Radio, made possible by the J.M. Smith Corporation.