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John Ireland: A Downland Suite ()

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The music of John Ireland is as good as it gets for the generation of English composers who peaked in the years between the two World Wars. Compared with Ireland, Walton sounds too nervous, Holst sounds too tentative, and Vaughan Williams sounds too eccentric. Along with a great lyrical gift, Ireland had a powerful compositional personality and the masterful technique with which to express himself. Best of all, while Ireland was clearly an English composer writing English music, he was also a modernist writing modernist music. There's plenty of pastoralism, but Ireland's lines are lucid, his colors are clear, and his rhythms are clean. All of which makes Ireland the English composer to like for people who don't like English composer. This 1994 recording by Richard Hickox and the City of London Sinfonia presents one of Ireland's best-known works in a new arrangement, two of Ireland's lesser but still representative works, and a premiere recording of a reconstructed work. In Hickox and the Sintonia's... Hide synopsis

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