Ireland, John: Sea Fever. Freely transcribed by Roderick Williams for piano solo
Among the most famous of twentieth-century art songs, Sea Fever has been imaginatively recreated for solo piano by Roderick Williams, whose accomplishments as a master of English lieder are matched by a composer’s ear for the latent potential of an existing work. In this case, the inspiration was the playing of the dedicatee, the notable British pianist Maria Marchant, and the suggestion of Bruce Phillips of the John Ireland Trust for a ‘free arrangement’ in the manner of Liszt. In fact, the new version remains true to the original while offering the performer a degree of poetical bravura by no means superfluous or transcendental. It could well be programmed with other piano music by John Ireland, or stand alone as a highly effective and instantly recognised encore.
A recording by Maria Marchant is now available from SOMM Recordings (SOMMCD 0174)