On this day in 1926 Ireland returned to his birthplace in Bowdon to give a concert at the Assembly Rooms (shown above). The programme was a showcase for his music, and included chamber works, piano solos and songs. Ireland took with him baritone John Goss (1894–1953) and violinist Laurance Turner. The latter had recently joined the Catterall Quartet, and went on to lead the Hallé Orchestra. While the complete Second Violin Sonata was an obvious choice, perhaps oddly, they also performed only two movements from the First Sonata. In both, ‘the ensemble was perfect, and the composer played his brilliant part superbly’. Goss ‘sang with much charm’ a number of Ireland’s songs, among them the new five Hardy settings, as well as popular numbers such as ‘Sea Fever’, ‘Her Song’ and ‘I have twelve oxen’, ‘a fine song of folk-like idiom’ At the piano for the entire event, Ireland played several of his own keyboard works:
- The Island Spell
- Amberley Wild Brooks
- The Holy Boy
Source: The Manchester Guardian, 15 November 1926, p. 11.