Author Topic: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)  (Read 14956 times)

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Offline Dundonnell

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Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« on: December 18, 2008, 06:06:42 PM »
No..not George Butterworth, the English composer killed in World War One..but Arthur :)

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/Sept08/King_Arthur.htm

Another of these neglected British composers? Yes!

Anything of his on disc? Yes-the Symphony No.1 on the Classico label CLASSCD 274 coupled with the Symphony No.2 by Ruth Gipps(Munich Symphony Orchestra/Douglas Bostock). What does it sound like? Short answer-Sibelius.

Review-http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/jun99/butterworth.htm

If you like Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, E.J. Moeran, Douglas Lilburn...and there are a few here who do ;D this symphony is tailor-made for your tastes :) I can't add to the review linked above; if what is said there doesn't whet your appetite....!

And the good news is that Butterworth-who is well-known in music circles in the North of England-will be getting attention from Dutton shortly with the imminent release of his Symphony No.4 and Viola Concerto(Royal Scottish National Orchestra/the composer).

Of only local interest? Well, Butterworth's Symphony No.6 will probably be premiered next year by the St.Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra no less.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #1 on: December 19, 2008, 05:47:05 AM »
No..not George Butterworth, the English composer killed in World War One..but Arthur :)

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2008/Sept08/King_Arthur.htm

Another of these neglected British composers? Yes!

Anything of his on disc? Yes-the Symphony No.1 on the Classico label CLASSCD 274 coupled with the Symphony No.2 by Ruth Gipps(Munich Symphony Orchestra/Douglas Bostock). What does it sound like? Short answer-Sibelius.

Review-http://www.musicweb-international.com/classRev/jun99/butterworth.htm

If you like Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, E.J. Moeran, Douglas Lilburn...and there are a few here who do ;D this symphony is tailor-made for your tastes :) I can't add to the review linked above; if what is said there doesn't whet your appetite....!

And the good news is that Butterworth-who is well-known in music circles in the North of England-will be getting attention from Dutton shortly with the imminent release of his Symphony No.4 and Viola Concerto(Royal Scottish National Orchestra/the composer).

Of only local interest? Well, Butterworth's Symphony No.6 will probably be premiered next year by the St.Petersburg Philharmonic Orchestra no less.

I have the Classico CD and have to say that I find the Ruth Gipps to be the more interesting and enjoyable work, but I will listen to the Butterworth again.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #2 on: February 03, 2009, 05:29:34 PM »
Arthur Butterworth's Symphony No.4 and Viola Concerto are due for release shortly by Dutton in a coupling with a 1958 recording of the Symphony No.1 played by the Halle under Barbirolli.

Barbirolli's performance just might do more to convince vandermolen of Butterworth's merits ;D

http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=CDLX7212

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #3 on: February 03, 2009, 11:37:10 PM »
Arthur Butterworth's Symphony No.4 and Viola Concerto are due for release shortly by Dutton in a coupling with a 1958 recording of the Symphony No.1 played by the Halle under Barbirolli.

Barbirolli's performance just might do more to convince vandermolen of Butterworth's merits ;D

http://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/proddetail.asp?prod=CDLX7212

Yes, I thought of you when I saw this advertised and am tempted to investigate it along with the David Matthews symphonies, also on Dutton.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2009, 03:35:46 AM »
I have listened again to Arthur Butterworth's Symphony No 1(Classico recording) and certainly enjoyed it more than before - it is undoubtedly atmospheric and very effectively scored, but for me the stumbling block is the paucity of any memorable thematic material. This is made more obvious because it is coupled (on Classico) with the very tuneful Second Symphony by Ruth Gipps. Yesterday I went for a walk in the countryside and was able to recall, with much pleasure, melodic material from the Gipps Symphony but nothing from the Butterworth. Of course this does not mean that the Gipps is the greater work (the Penguin Record Guide, for example, is full of praise for the Butterworth - whereas the Gipps is described as enjoyable but derivative of Vaughan Williams), but I certainly find it (Gipps) more enjoyable - it is much shorter than the Butterworth (about half the length) but I think that this is a case where 'less is more'. I am not giving up on Butterworth and I'd be very interested to hear what Colin (or anyone else) makes of the new Dutton CD with Barbirolli's recording of Symphony No 1 and Symphony No 4.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #5 on: February 20, 2009, 02:02:42 PM »
I have listened again to Arthur Butterworth's Symphony No 1(Classico recording) and certainly enjoyed it more than before - it is undoubtedly atmospheric and very effectively scored, but for me the stumbling block is the paucity of any memorable thematic material. This is made more obvious because it is coupled (on Classico) with the very tuneful Second Symphony by Ruth Gipps. Yesterday I went for a walk in the countryside and was able to recall, with much pleasure, melodic material from the Gipps Symphony but nothing from the Butterworth. Of course this does not mean that the Gipps is the greater work (the Penguin Record Guide, for example, is full of praise for the Butterworth - whereas the Gipps is described as enjoyable but derivative of Vaughan Williams), but I certainly find it (Gipps) more enjoyable - it is much shorter than the Butterworth (about half the length) but I think that this is a case where 'less is more'. I am not giving up on Butterworth and I'd be very interested to hear what Colin (or anyone else) makes of the new Dutton CD with Barbirolli's recording of Symphony No 1 and Symphony No 4.
Butterworth praised Bax consistently; somewhere I read that Butterworth claimed that his work is significantly Baxian. I found very little of Bax's influence.  The 1st Symphony was OK, but I didn't think it was great, (unique?) enough to listen to several times. I may try again.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #6 on: February 20, 2009, 04:43:05 PM »
Try the new Barbirolli recording :)

Offline J

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #7 on: February 20, 2009, 06:09:50 PM »
Try the new Barbirolli recording :)

Have you heard the Viola Concerto?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2009, 01:52:09 AM »
A fellow CD nutter friend liked Symphony No 4 ('sibelian, powerful and moving') and the talk by Butterworth on the new CD.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2009, 04:33:51 AM »
I am still waiting for Presto to send me my order of the Butterworth Symphonies Nos. 1 and 4/Viola Concerto, the David Matthews Symphonies Nos. 1, 3 and 5 and the Arnell Violin Concerto :(

MDT don't appear to sell Dutton CDs :o

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2009, 04:56:19 AM »
A colleague has lent me the new Dutton CD. Symphony No 4 is indeed very good. The funny thing is that Butterworth writes that his symphonic works do not show the influence of Vaughan Williams, Moeran and Bax - actually I was constantly reminded of Moeran in this work. Also Shostakovich and Sibelius (part of the second movement is more or less directly taken from Sibelius's music for Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'). I still think that the thematic material is still a little deficient is tunes , but, make no mistake, this is a fine, craggy and ultimately memorable symphony. I listened to the opening of symphony No 1 and Barbirolli's is certainly a more urgent performance to that of Douglas Bostock on Classico. The interview with Butterworth is interesting (he sounds like Alan Bennett) but something, I guess, that you would only want to hear once (he has a rather annoying sing-songy voice).
« Last Edit: February 28, 2009, 11:53:03 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #11 on: February 28, 2009, 02:02:54 PM »
Very pleased to hear that you are impressed by the Butterworth 4th, Jeffrey :) And also to hear that-as I suspected-the Barbirolli 1st is more urgent than the Bostock. What about the Viola Concerto?

Your review is making more impatient with the fact that my copy of this cd has still not arrived >:(

Where did your colleague buy the cd, Jeffrey?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #12 on: February 28, 2009, 02:49:44 PM »
Very pleased to hear that you are impressed by the Butterworth 4th, Jeffrey :) And also to hear that-as I suspected-the Barbirolli 1st is more urgent than the Bostock. What about the Viola Concerto?

Your review is making more impatient with the fact that my copy of this cd has still not arrived >:(

Where did your colleague buy the cd, Jeffrey?

Colin,

I think probably at Fine Records in Hove. I have been waiting a long time for the David Matthews (ordered directly from Dutton), so maybe there is some kind of distribution problem. The Viola Concerto has a nice slow movement and may grow on me if I buy the CD (which I almost certainly will). It is not, however, in the same class as the Stanley Bate VC, which is a magnificent score. Symphony No 4 is the best thing on it - notwithstanding its direct quotations from Sibelius.The audience for Barbirolli's 1957 Cheltenham performance of Symphony No 1 is wildly enthusiastic at the end. Whilst your waiting for the Butterworth I suggest you track down the Simonsen CD. It arrived today and I have listened to it c 5 times already (Katy is away)  ;D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #13 on: February 28, 2009, 03:18:53 PM »
I shall order the Simonsen from CPO direct. German efficiency always ensures that their cds arrive on time ;D

Presto is still not showing the Dutton cds in stock(I have ordered the Butterworth, the Arnell Violin Concerto and the David Matthews symphonies) ???

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #14 on: February 28, 2009, 04:19:45 PM »
I shall order the Simonsen from CPO direct. German efficiency always ensures that their cds arrive on time ;D

Presto is still not showing the Dutton cds in stock(I have ordered the Butterworth, the Arnell Violin Concerto and the David Matthews symphonies) ???

I'll phone Dutton on Monday and let you know what they say. I was very surprised how quickly the CPO CD arrived from Germany.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #15 on: February 28, 2009, 08:09:46 PM »
A colleague has lent me the new Dutton CD. Symphony No 4 is indeed very good. The funny thing is that Butterworth writes that his symphonic works do not show the influence of Vaughan Williams, Moeran and Bax - actually I was constantly reminded of Moeran in this work. Also Shostakovich and Sibelius (part of the second movement is more or less directly taken from Sibelius's music for Shakespeare's 'The Tempest'). I still think that the thematic material is still a little deficient is tunes , but, make no mistake, this is a fine, craggy and ultimately memorable symphony. I listened to the opening of symphony No 1 and Barbirolli's is certainly a more urgent performance to that of Douglas Bostock on Classico. The interview with Butterworth is interesting (he sounds like Alan Bennett) but something, I guess, that you would only want to hear once (he has a rather annoying sing-songy voice).

Just acquired the 4th Symphony in rapid time from Amazon.UK.  Only three days in fact.  I heard the Symphony and the Viola Concerto and was reasonably impressed. The 4th as well as the Concerto are quite Nordic with considerable Sibelian presence.  The Baxian influence tends to be somewhat more noticeable here than in the 1st.  I have yet to hear the Barbarolli's performance on the second disc.  At first hearing I appreciated the modality, the harmonies and the Sibelianism; however, much of what I did surmise was a certain lack of direction.  But, then again, this was assumed after one listening. The 4th and the Viola concereto both suggested considerable English as well as Nordic persuasions.
« Last Edit: March 01, 2009, 05:39:07 AM by schweitzeralan »

Sean

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #16 on: February 28, 2009, 08:24:34 PM »
I persevered with a recording of the Fifth symphony. So-so.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #17 on: February 28, 2009, 11:17:20 PM »
Just acquired the 4th Symphony in rapid time from Amazon.UK.  Only three days in fact.  I heard the Symphony and the Viola Concerto and was reasonably impressed. The 4th as well as the Concerto are quite Nordic with considerable Sibelian presence.  The Baxian influence tends to be somewhat more noticeable here than in the 1st.  I have yet to hear the Barbarolli's performance.  At first hearing I appreciated the modality, the harmonies and the Sibelianism; however, much of what I did surmise was a certain lack of direction.  But, then again, this was assumed after one listening. The 4th and the Viola concereto both suggested considerable English as well as Norerdic persuasions.

I agree totally about the Bax influence in No 4 (and Sibelius and Moeran - less so Vaughan Williams I think). I have played it through three times now, with much enjoyment.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #18 on: March 01, 2009, 05:41:58 AM »
I agree totally about the Bax influence in No 4 (and Sibelius and Moeran - less so Vaughan Williams I think). I have played it through three times now, with much enjoyment.
Yes, the VW presence is strong.  Again appreciate your replies.  Sorry about the typo errors.  I tend to correct them well after others have reviewed my comments.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Arthur Butterworth(1923-)
« Reply #19 on: March 01, 2009, 06:54:56 AM »
I persevered with a recording of the Fifth symphony. So-so.

The Fifth??