Great Uncle John Burley Waring

Ireland’s great uncle on his mother’s side was the architect John Burley Waring – brother to his grandmother Annie Elizabeth Waring.

Waring (1823–75) was, like most of his siblings, born in Lyme Regis. In 1840, having already studied the art of water colour, he became apprenticed to a London architect, Henry Edward Kendall. As with a number of members of the family J.B.Waring’s health was delicate, therefore he spent the winter of 1843–4 in Italy, and again travelled to southern Europe in 1847, after which he published a fine volume of drawings, Architectural Art in Italy and Spain (1850). The success of this work led to a spell in Burgos and further published drawings.

Waring was superintendent of the works of ornamental art and sculpture in the 1857 Manchester Exhibition and of much of the International Exhibition at Kensington in 1862, following which he published the lavish three-volume Masterpieces of Industrial Art and Sculpture.

Like Ireland’s grandfather John Nicholson and the composer’s Aunt Fanny, Waring was an admirer of Swedenborg. However, he was also drawn to publishing his own personal, somewhat mystical statements, wrote poetry and played the violin. The V&A owns one of his drawings of boxers. Waring lived in London for a short time in 1853, as described in his own words in A Record of Thoughts on religious, political, social, and personal subjects, from 1843 to 1873:

It is getting far into the night; the wind sweeps stormily round the nooks and chimney-stacks of these old creaking houses, yet not strongly enough to drown the sound of busy life in the great streets. I hear the dull pattering of feet, and the more distant rumble of the wheels. In this great, throbbing city what feasting, dancing, acting, singing, go on around me: a whole beating mass of human souls.

One of nine distinguished siblings, among whom were medics and majors, John Burley Waring died in Hastings in 1875.

 

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On this day: 9 April 1923

On this day in 1923 Ireland opened the Pump Room Spring Festival with a programme of his own piano works. Others who appeared in Bath this week included Daisy Kennedy and Eugene Goossens.

The Enoch ballad concerts

On 20 November 1920 two of Ireland’s songs were performed in a ballad concert. The composer was at the piano to accompany his friend and regular singer of his music, George Parker. Parker also performed three of Stanford’s Songs of a Roving Celt.

Enoch & SonsThe Enoch ballad concerts were held on Saturday afternoons at Westminster’s Central Hall, founded by the music publishing firm Enoch & Sons. Through these concerts they aimed to ‘make the best of both worlds’, in the sense that they were intended to attract and please a non-specialist audience.

Unfortunately for the composer, his new songs were on this occasion not very positively received. This reviewer hoped that Ireland was not about to embark on a career as a balladist, and indeed that was not the route he took after 1920!

JI Nov 1920

 

Source: ‘New Songs by John Ireland’, The Observer, 21 November 1920, p.17.

Christmas Eve, 1904

For many years the month of December was, for John Ireland, one associated with carols and the church. On 24 December 1904, in his new role as organist and choir director at St Luke’s, Chelsea, he managed his first full choral evensong for Christmas Eve, ‘when the warmth and brightness of the large Church within must have contrasted pleasantly with the murky, misty atmosphere outside’ (St Luke’s parish magazines, 1905, p.12). To begin, the hymn ‘All my heart this night rejoices‘ was sung. The usual anthem was replaced with the carol ‘The manger throne’, and the offertory hymn was ‘It came upon the midnight clear’. After the blessing Ireland and his choir performed ‘A Virgin unspotted, the prophet foretold‘. The church was richly decorated with laurel and holly. Red tulips stood in dramatic contrast to white chrysanthemums and narcissus flowers.