Hyperion Records

Moore, Thomas (1779-1852)  

Thomas Moore

born: 28 May 1779
died: 26 February 1852
country: Ireland

Thomas Moore (1779-1852) was the son of an Irish grocer. He was a published poet by his teens. After training as a lawyer at Trinity College, Dublin, he came to London and made the acquaintance of Byron and other important literary figures. In 1803 he went to Bermuda in an Admiralty post but soon returned via Canada, taking an interest in that country’s folk traditions on the way. His talents as a sweet-voiced singer and accomplished musician enabled him to provide words suited to Irish tunes, mainly from the eighteenth century. Many of these originally had humorous texts, but Moore furnished them with lyrics of deeper significance. These Irish Melodies, issued in instalments between 1801 and 1834, were published by William Power (who had noted the success of George Thomson’s folksong project with Burns, among others) and eventually earned the poet a good deal of money. As something of a multi-national sequel, six instalments of National Melodies were issued by the same publisher between 1818 and 1828, which included the two Venetian poems set in Myrten. For his Lallah Rookh of 1817 he obtained the unheard-of advance of £3000 as well as much public approbation (even though Lady Holland said to the author ‘Mr. Moore, I have not read your Larry O’Rourke; I don’t like Irish stories’). One of this sequence of orient-inspired tales was used by Schumann as the basis of his large choral work, Das Paradies und die Peri, in 1843. As a result of a financial scandal Moore temporarily fled England and lived abroad between 1818 and 1822. He was left as the custodian of Byron’s Memoirs but, together with the publisher John Murray, he burnt these in the interest of protecting Byron’s posthumous reputation. As if to compensate for this tragedy in the history of English literature, in 1830 he brought out his own life of his great friend and contemporary. He had started as a radical and a popular hero of Irish nationalists (whose cause was given a more sympathetic ear in London society as a result of the popularity of the Irish Melodies) but he died in Wiltshire, on a government pension – something of an establishment figure, and the English establishment at that.

Apart from Schumann’s debt to Moore, the names of Weber, Mendelssohn, Jensen, Cornelius and Hindemith may be added to a list of composers charmed by his verse. Slightly less expected is the influence of Moore’s poems on French composers such as Berlioz and Duparc. (Berlioz’s interest in Irish culture had been awoken and inflamed by his passion for the Irish actress, Harriet Smithson.) Such was the success of Berlioz’s setting of Moore’s Irish Melodies (where the piano was given a new and important role that exceeded anything known in the archaic form of the romance) that people spoke of Berlioz’s mélodies as representing a new and special form. It is thus indirectly thanks to Moore that the correct French word for the genre of piano-accompanied art song is not ‘chanson’ (a common error of English-speaking writers who, in using this word, mistakenly refer to lighter song or cabaret), but mélodie.

from notes by Graham Johnson

Albums
'Moore: Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies' (CDA66774)
Moore: Thomas Moore's Irish Melodies
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66774  Archive Service   Download currently discounted
'Brahms & Schumann: Voices of the Night' (CDA66053)
Brahms & Schumann: Voices of the Night
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66053  Archive Service  
'Britten: Complete Folk Song Arrangements' (CDA66941/2)
Britten: Complete Folk Song Arrangements
Buy by post £27.98 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66941/2  2CDs Archive Service  
'Cornelius: The Three Kings & other choral works' (CDA67206)
Cornelius: The Three Kings & other choral works
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67206  Download currently discounted
'Duparc: Songs' (CDA66323)
Duparc: Songs
Buy by post £10.50 CDA66323 
'Echoes of Nightingales' (CDA67813)
Echoes of Nightingales
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67813 
'Ives: Romanzo di Central Park & other songs' (CDA67644)
Ives: Romanzo di Central Park & other songs
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67644 
'Mendelssohn: Songs and Duets, Vol. 1' (CDA66906)
Mendelssohn: Songs and Duets, Vol. 1
Buy by post £10.50 CDA66906 
'Schumann & Brahms: Voices of the Night' (CDA66053)
Schumann & Brahms: Voices of the Night
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66053  Archive Service  
'Schumann: The Complete Songs' (CDS44441/50)
Schumann: The Complete Songs
Buy by post £38.50 CDS44441/50  10CDs Boxed set (at a special price)  
'Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 7 – Dorothea Röschmann & Ian Bostridge' (CDJ33107)
Schumann: The Complete Songs, Vol. 7 – Dorothea Röschmann & Ian Bostridge
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDJ33107  Archive Service  
'Songs my father taught me' (CDA67290)
Songs my father taught me
Buy by post £10.50 CDA67290 
'Souvenirs de Venise' (CDH55217)
Souvenirs de Venise
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55217  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'Sure on this shining night' (CDA66920)
Sure on this shining night
Buy by post £10.50 CDA66920 
'The last rose of summer' (CDH55210)
The last rose of summer
Buy by post £5.50 CDH55210  Helios (Hyperion's budget label)  
'The Sea' (CDA66165)
The Sea
Buy by post £13.99 (ARCHIVE SERVICE) CDA66165  Archive Service  
Alphabetical listing of all musical works
A Night Song (Ives)
An Celias Baum in stiller Nacht  First line to Der Blumenkranz (Mendelssohn)
At the mid hour of night (Anon/Britten)
At the mid hour of night (Anon/Stevenson)
Avenging and bright (Anon/Britten)
Avenging and bright (Anon/Stevenson)
Believe me if all those endearing young charms (Anon/Moore/Stevenson)
Come o'er the sea (Anon/Stevenson)
Come, rest in this bosom (Anon/Stevenson)
Dear harp of my country 'The Farewell to My Harp' (Anon/Stevenson)
Dear harp of my country! (Anon/Britten)
Der Blumenkranz (Mendelssohn)
Echo (Hindemith)
Élégie (Duparc)
Erin! the smile and the tear in thine eyes (Anon/Stevenson)
Fill the bumper fair! (Anon/Stevenson)
Fly not yet (Anon/Stevenson)
How dear to me the hour (Anon/Stevenson)
How sweet the answer (Anon/Britten)
How sweet the answer Echo makes  First line to Echo (Hindemith)
How sweet the answer Echo makes (Anon/Stevenson)
Leis' rudern hier, mein Gondolier! Die Flut vom Ruder sprühn  First line to Zwei Venetianische Lieder I, No 17 of Myrthen, Op 25 (Schumann)
Leis' rudern hier, mein Gondolier, Op 50 No 4 (Jensen)
Martha (Anon/Moore/Flotow)
Myrthen, Op 25 (Schumann)
Nicht die Träne kann es sagen  No 2 of Trauerchöre, Op 9 (Cornelius)
O the sight entrancing (Anon/Britten)
Oft in the stilly night (Anon/Britten)
Oh! ne murmurez pas son nom!  First line to Élégie (Duparc)
Rich and rare (Anon/Britten)
Rich and rare were the gems she wore (Anon/Stevenson)
Sail on, sail on (Anon/Britten)
She is far from the land (Anon/Stevenson)
She is far from the land (Lambert)
Silent, oh Moyle! be the roar of thy water 'The Song of Fiionnulala' (Anon/Stevenson)
Six Songs, Op 57 (Mendelssohn)
The harp that once, thro' Tara's halls (Anon/Stevenson)
The last rose of summer  Song of Martha (Anon/Moore/Flotow)
The last rose of summer (Anon/Britten)
The last rose of summer (Anon/Moore/Stevenson)
The meeting of the waters (Anon/Moore/Stevenson)
The minstrel boy (Anon/Britten)
The Minstrel-Boy (Anon/Stevenson)
The valley lay smiling before me 'The Song of O'Ruark, Prince of Breffni' (Anon/Stevenson)
The young May moon is beaming, love  First line to A Night Song (Ives)
Those evening bells (Ives)
'Tis believed that this harp 'The Origin of the Harp' (Anon/Stevenson)
'Tis the last rose of summer  First line to The last rose of summer, Song of Martha (Anon/Moore/Flotow)
'Tis the last rose of summer (Anon/Stevenson)
Trauerchöre, Op 9 (Cornelius)
Venezianisches Gondellied  No 5 of Six Songs, Op 57 (Mendelssohn)
Wenn durch die Piazzetta  First line to Zwei Venetianische Lieder II, No 18 of Myrthen, Op 25 (Schumann)
Wenn durch die Piazzetta  First line to Venezianisches Gondellied, No 5 of Six Songs, Op 57 (Mendelssohn)
Wenn durch die Piazzetta, Op 50 No 3 (Jensen)
What the bee is to the floweret (Anon/Stevenson)
Zwei Venetianische Lieder I  No 17 of Myrthen, Op 25 (Schumann)
Zwei Venetianische Lieder II  No 18 of Myrthen, Op 25 (Schumann)
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