Geoffrey Norris reviewed John Lenehan’s Ireland disc as follows…..
John Ireland’s Piano Concerto of 1930 receives a thoroughly sympathetic, lucid performance, as does the ominously darker Legend of three years later. The concerto, while infused with Prokofiev’s zest, is pure Ireland in spirit, an amalgam that Lenehan captures ideally, as he does the passion of the First Rhapsody and A Sea Idyll. A delightful disc. (5 stars)
John Lenehan’s new recording of the music of John Ireland has gone straight into the classical specialist chart at number 9. BBC Radio 3 played a world premiere broadcast of “Indian Summer” (very appropriate given our recent weather). “Indian Summer” is one of two works on the disc receiving their first recordings and is an early version of “Cherry Trees” – the opening piece of the suite “Green Ways”. The other premiere is one of Ireland’s earliest surviving manuscripts (discovered as recently as 1999 in the library of the Royal College of Music). “Pastoral” dates from 1896 and is a student work that already shows how Ireland had an understanding of piano writing far more perceptive than his contemporaries. The remaining works on the disc are the “Legend for piano and orchestra”, the “First Rhapsody in F# minor” (only the second recording of this virtuoso tour de force), “Three Dances” and “A Sea Idyll”.