John Ireland [1879-1962] was one of the most distinctive and distinguished of a generation of exceptional British composers that included Vaughan Williams, Gustav Holst, Frank Bridge and Arnold Bax. They emerged in the decade before the First World War and, in the inter-war years, produced a remarkable body of music. In Ireland's case his was not only the most popular British Piano Concerto of its time, but he also composed a splendid repertoire of songs, piano music, chamber music and orchestral and choral scores.
This richly illustrated Companion will be essential for all admirers of the composer. Not only for the performer - pianist, singer, conductor - but for the wider musical public, record collectors and music historians, academics and anyone interested in British music of the earlier twentieth century.
Lewis Foreman has drawn on his extensive research into Ireland's life and letters over many years, and, in association with the John Ireland Charitable Trust, has not only commissioned a wide range of chapters from leading performers and writers of today, but has brought together in one convenient format Ireland's own writings on music, the memories of his friends and students (including Britten, Moeran and Arnell) and a selection of important earlier articles.
The Companion also includes a complete list of works and the most comprehensive discography of Ireland ever compiled. The accompanying CD contains historical recordings featuring the voice of John Ireland, with two of his broadcast talks, as well as otherwise unobtainable performances of Ireland's music from the composer himself and from other well-known performers of the past.
LEWIS FOREMAN is author of Bax: A Composer and His Time [Boydell, 2007] and London: a Musical Gazetteer [Yale 2005].
Contributors: FELIX APRAHAMIAN, RICHARD ARNELL, BENJAMIN BRITTEN, JOCELYN BROOKE, ALAN BUSH, GEOFFREY BUSH, GEORGE DANNATT, JULIE DELLER, JEREMY DIBBLE, EDWIN EVANS, LEWIS FOREMAN, NORAH KIRBY, FREDERICK LAMOND, PHILIP LANCASTER, STEPHEN LE PROVOST, STEPHEN LLOYD, CHARLES MARKES, ROBERT MATTHEW-WALKER, E.J. MOERAN, ANGUS MORRISON, ERIC PARKIN, BRUCE PHILLIPS, C. B. REES, FIONA RICHARDS, ALAN ROWLANDS, R. MURRAY SCHAFER, MARION SCOTT, COLIN SCOTT-SUTHERLAND, HUMPHREY SEARLE, FREDA SWAIN, KENNETH THOMPSON, RODERICK WILLIAMS, KENNETH A. WRIGHT
[T]he Ireland enthusiast [...] will enjoy dipping into the contents again and again. FANFARE
[A]n eminently readable [...] volume. MUSICAL TIMES
This impressively large book [...] contains almost everything the reader could wish to know about the composer John Ireland. DELIUS SOCIETY JOURNAL
[An] impressive publication, eagerly awaited and finely produced. BMS NEWS
[A] well constructed and more than comprehensive volume. [...] beautifully produced and copiously illustrated [...] highly recommended. ELGAR SOCIETY JOURNAL
What a cornucopia this is for admirers of Ireland's music, as the 50th anniversary of his death is marked for this year. [...] Many musical examples and some wonderful photographs enhance this splendid, thoroughly recommendable book. CLASSICAL MUSIC
[T]his Companion (and a forthcoming collection of letters) will have to stand as the nearest thing to a true portrait of the man. FINZI JOURNAL
Comprehensive and magisterial. CHURCH TIMES
Any reader interested in the music of John Ireland will find this book a marvellous source of information [...] handsomely illustrated and beautifully produced. RALPH VAUGHAN WILLIAMS SOCIETY JOURNAL
In this substantial hardback, Ireland himself is brought to life through sympathetic explanations and pertinent recollections as well as exhaustive listings of repertoire and recordings [...] Much is revealed - a timely opportunity to stimulate or re-excite interest in a considerable composer. GRAMOPHONE
[T]he latest monument to Lewis Foreman's heroic toil for British music. [...] A very impressive achievement. BBC MUSIC MAGAZINE [5 stars]
Lewis Foreman deserves a medal for his Stakhanovite endeavours. A bouquet is in order, too, for the superb standards of production and proof-reading. ... [A] mighty achievement. John Ireland has come home. INTERNATIONAL RECORD REVIEW
The present volume takes a vitally important place in the relatively sparse bibliographical catalogue of John Ireland's life and music. [...] This book is essential reading for all enthusiasts of John Ireland's music in particular and British music in general. MUSIC WEB INTERNATIONAL