Author Topic: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist  (Read 43965 times)

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Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #340 on: July 13, 2017, 02:09:16 PM »
My brand new cd of Daniel Jones' Symphonies 1 & 11 is in the post,apparently. I'm looking forward to receiving this. The off air tape had some wobbly bits. I can at last hear it in all it's glory. I would have liked to have purchased it earlier;but I've got to keep the old wolf from the door!! ::) :( ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #341 on: July 13, 2017, 02:22:54 PM »
My brand new cd of Daniel Jones' Symphonies 1 & 11 is in the post,apparently. I'm looking forward to receiving this. The off air tape had some wobbly bits. I can at last hear it in all it's glory. I would have liked to have purchased it earlier;but I've got to keep the old wolf from the door!! ::) :( ;D
No 1 is great and No.11 is growing on me. You should really like the disc.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #342 on: July 14, 2017, 03:55:39 AM »
Of course,I should have said No's 1 & 10. I was in bed by the time I remembered!! So far,I prefer No's 1-9. Not that I dislike the later ones. I feel that Daniel Jones and Havergal Brian have something in common here. The cragginess,but not without lyricism. There's a good deal of variety in the orchestration. We're not talking Rubbra,Cooke or Wordsworth here. Brian and Jones' orchestration is often quite colourful;but both with that craggy,slightly tough hewn exterior. Daniel Jones' early symphonies are more romantic,though. I see the lanscapes and seascapes of South Wales in the symphonies of Daniel Jones. Brian's evoke a more internal landcape. Although,his first and third,especially the third,are an exception. The Gothic being very romantic in places. Particularly the third movement. His third,often cited as 'Brucknerian',evoking the obvious landcapes (and forests). The later symphonies of Daniel Jones,like those of Brian,are less easy to follow in this respect. They are much more concentrated,the logic more elliptical;although the shifts in direction and mood are less abrupt and disconcerting than those of Brian. I think Daniel Jones just gets allot tougher. Brian alleviates some of his later symphonies with more colour and even some lyricism (No's 11-21?). Not that Daniel Jones doesn't. The use of bells in the tenth? Anyway,I need to listen allot more before I can really get to grips with this. Having all the symphonies of Daniel Jones on cd really should help in this respect. As to the sound quality! Thank you very much to whoever provided those off air tapes;but there really is no comparison.
I must add. I do find it slightly shocking that it has taken this long to get more Daniel Jones symphonies on cd. Just listening to his First symphony. This really is a most excellent,satisfying symphony to listen to. I'm really impressed. The tenth will be a tougher nut;but,like late Brian,I think it's one worth cracking!!

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #343 on: July 14, 2017, 04:38:02 AM »
I'm listening to the tenth symphony. This has a brooding lyricism. It's just sterner and more concentrated. There was even a bit of Herrmann popping,very briefly, in one place. (I'm listening via cordless headphones,so I can't see the cd display!) The logic is easier to flow than late Brian. The 'brooding lyricism' I do like! This is the sort of premiere release that really does make you think,"Why,oh why,hasn't this been recorded before?!!" ::) Hearing these symphonies in such good sound quality really is a revelation after those off air tapes. BIS should be recording a brand new cycle forthwith!! But no matter,we've got these! :)

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #344 on: August 09, 2017, 02:51:53 AM »
On now. I find his symphonies very absorbing listening. A bit like Brian in a way. Craggy,but plenty of colourful orchestration to keep me listening. I can see the seascapes and landscapes of South Wales in this music;but there's no Baxian nature painting,as such. The first symphony has a rather nordic feel to it,in some ways, I think vandermolen referred to it as Sibelian (?). Maybe? It doesn't sound like Sibelius,though. A little austere in demeanour,but very lyrical. I love it. (I like the tenth,too). So much,I bought the new Lyrita cd of his Symphony No 2 & 11,last night.


Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #345 on: August 09, 2017, 04:49:18 AM »
I've often felt,listening to this music,that Daniel Jones is a composer who might appeal to Brianites. There's the craggy,ruggedness of his creations;tempered with a degree of lyricism and colour. Also the gradual evolution towards more terse,compact structures. That said,they don't get quite as tough and craggy as Brian's later symphonies!! A review in Records International,of Daniel Jones' Second Symphony,on the newly released Lyrita cd,seems to 'agree' with me. The slow movement beginning gently  enough,then moving into "a brooding landscape with the granitic ruggedness of Havergal Brian at his sternest,and something of the gloom of Sibelius' darkling crepuscular forests." Again,I can recognise that last part of his description. There is a Sibelian feel to the landscapes of the first and second symphonies. That brooding,desolation. The introspection. Daniel Jones,like Brian,has his own voice,though. While the symphonies of Daniel Jones are full of the beauty and ruggedness of the sea and landscapes of South Wales (especially the sea) this isn't nature literal painting. It's more of a landscape of the mind. Not sure about those forests,though! Wales has got some lovely woodland,but,on the whole,most of them are disappointingly small! :(
« Last Edit: August 09, 2017, 05:13:12 AM by cilgwyn »

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #346 on: August 09, 2017, 04:52:00 AM »
Just listened to the Second Symphony. I noticed the theme from the first movement is developed in the finale and also ends the piece. I like the way Jones uses the orchestra. His woodwind writing has a very 'Nordic' feel, a word Colin used and which is quite apt. His harmonic language can be quite dissonant. Jones' style hasn't that generic middle-of-the-century feel, it is quite personal. The percussion is used in a magical way (in the first movement especially), conjuring up a world of wonder and childhood.

First impressions, these.

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #347 on: August 09, 2017, 04:55:45 AM »
I agree with Colin ('Dundonnell') who sadly doesn't post here anymore that there is an appealing 'Nordic' seriousness' about Jones's symphonies which is appealing. I'm also reminded of Holmboe when I listen to his music. Thanks to the recent revival of this thread I've been listening to the Lyrita CD with symphonies 4,7 and 8 and appreciating them as never before even though I owned the original LPs.

By the way cilgwyn I realise that your avatar image is of Daniel Jones. Hitherto I had assumed that it was a photo of yourself!
 8)
Yeeikes!! But Holmboe not Sibelius,perhaps?! ;D The Avatar? Yeah! I wish!! :( ;D

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #348 on: August 09, 2017, 05:02:13 AM »
I think I'm going to listen to that Second Symphony again. I liked it a lot in 2011, but can't remember a thing... 
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #349 on: August 09, 2017, 05:12:14 AM »
I wonder? Is that a good....or bad,thing?!!

Incidentally the transfers of Symphonies No's 1 & 10 on the Lyrita cd,are definitely superior to the off-air recordings uploaded to the Art Music Forum,or the one of the First Symphony on Youtube,which has a "wobble" in one or two places. I think the original tape must have got damaged in some way,at these points. The upload of the Second,and the recordings uploaded to Youtube,are pretty listenable;if you are trying to resist. I did for a few months.................but the wobbly bits got to me in the end!! ??? :( ;D

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #350 on: August 09, 2017, 05:19:45 AM »
Music is an evanescent art - I remember the quality of the music, and the magical atmosphere, but no details. I knew it was a good piece, and I still know it...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #351 on: August 09, 2017, 05:44:32 AM »
I understand what you mean,Johan. And you'll 'know' it,when you hear it again.

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #352 on: August 13, 2017, 05:17:51 AM »
I've listened to the new Daniel Jones cd,now. After listening to it in such greatly improved sound,I can see why vandermolen was a little perturbed,after enjoing the Symphony No 1,so much. It begins innocently enough. A lovely opening,actually. One of his best,possibly? After that things get decidedly more craggy!! Dundonnell,at the Art Music Forum,has listened too! He observes that the Second Symphony is (his words) "perhaps a trifle overlong and discursive". Two listens later,I have to concede that Dundonnell and vandermolen are probably right to feel a little unsure about this opus! Not that it's all bad. Overlong and discursive it may be;but there is still allot of good music making here. One of the other movements has a particularly lovely and arresting opening. Also,it does give you something to wrestle with (metaphorically speaking,Kendo Nagaski,being too old....although,he'd still probably win! ;D). It seems  that Daniel Jones was moving from the more overtly,romantic and expansive style of his first symphony,to the more craggy,compact symphonies that came later. This may explain the inconsistencies here? As such,I do feel this is an important piece of the jigsaw,and I am still very glad I bought it. Furthermore,Dundonnell is impressed by the Eleventh Symphony,describing it as "concise and taut". Although,"perhaps without quite the power of No 10". Who knows,once the cycle is complete on cd,you may finally,be tempted to buy it,after all?!! :-\ ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #353 on: August 13, 2017, 06:10:42 AM »
I've listened to the new Daniel Jones cd,now. After listening to it in such greatly improved sound,I can see why vandermolen was a little perturbed,after enjoing the Symphony No 1,so much. It begins innocently enough. A lovely opening,actually. One of his best,possibly? After that things get decidedly more craggy!! Dundonnell,at the Art Music Forum,has listened too! He observes that the Second Symphony is (his words) "perhaps a trifle overlong and discursive". Two listens later,I have to concede that Dundonnell and vandermolen are probably right to feel a little unsure about this opus! Not that it's all bad. Overlong and discursive it may be;but there is still allot of good music making here. One of the other movements has a particularly lovely and arresting opening. Also,it does give you something to wrestle with (metaphorically speaking,Kendo Nagaski,being too old....although,he'd still probably win! ;D). It seems  that Daniel Jones was moving from the more overtly,romantic and expansive style of his first symphony,to the more craggy,compact symphonies that came later. This may explain the inconsistencies here? As such,I do feel this is an important piece of the jigsaw,and I am still very glad I bought it. Furthermore,Dundonnell is impressed by the Eleventh Symphony,describing it as "concise and taut". Although,"perhaps without quite the power of No 10". Who knows,once the cycle is complete on cd,you may finally,be tempted to buy it,after all?!! :-\ ;D
Thanks cilgwyn for the very helpful review. I'm sure I'll get round to this CD sooner or later but, for the time being, I'll look forward to receiving the Fricker and George Lloyd new releases on Lyrita.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline André

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #354 on: August 13, 2017, 07:53:38 AM »
I have symphonies 2, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9 and 12, as well as a cello concerto. I like everything of his I've heard, but count his achievement in the string quartet medium as totally original and engrossing, probably even more than his symphonic output. That being said, I'm overdue for a re-listen to all of it

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #355 on: August 16, 2017, 08:50:45 AM »
I'm listening to the Lyrita release of the Second Symphony again,now. Hm! It might be a little more discursive than the First,but there's allot to like here. The second movement is particularly good. The opening to it,quite magical. There is an austere beauty here. Very lyrical. A nordic feel to the soundworld;although we're talking South Wales,here! Wonderful! :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #356 on: August 16, 2017, 11:03:15 AM »
I'm listening to the Lyrita release of the Second Symphony again,now. Hm! It might be a little more discursive than the First,but there's allot to like here. The second movement is particularly good. The opening to it,quite magical. There is an austere beauty here. Very lyrical. A nordic feel to the soundworld;although we're talking South Wales,here! Wonderful! :)
Good to know.
PS the combination of your enthusiastic recommendation along with Johan H's positive comment on You Tube has meant that my nerve has cracked and I have now ordered the Daniel Jones Symphony 2 CD on Lyrita along with a surprisingly cheaper Lyrita CD featuring Edmund Rubbra's Violin Concerto.
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 11:59:16 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #357 on: August 16, 2017, 12:19:30 PM »
Try the second movement on it's own. Even if you are unsure about the symphony as a whole,I think you may agree about the opening of that movement.....and possibly,the remainder of it? I went onto enjoy the third movement,but unfortunately,struggling with a 25 year old washing machine that may finally be on it's last lap,took my attention away! (Fingers crossed,it's just clogged!) Interesting to discover,when I was looking for helpful information,on the web,that old washing machines,with mechanical timers,like this have their own equivalent of the GMG. Lot's of enthusiastic debates there about things like square loading doors vs the currently favoured round kind! Perhaps,I'll join. I rather like the way it powers down then revs up when it goes into it's final 1100rpm spin,myself! :o And hopefully,my neighbour likes it too?! Made in Merthyr Tydfil,too! A Welsh washing machine!! ??? ;D

Back to Daniel Jones!!! ??? ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #358 on: August 16, 2017, 12:46:27 PM »
Try the second movement on it's own. Even if you are unsure about the symphony as a whole,I think you may agree about the opening of that movement.....and possibly,the remainder of it? I went onto enjoy the third movement,but unfortunately,struggling with a 25 year old washing machine that may finally be on it's last lap,took my attention away! (Fingers crossed,it's just clogged!) Interesting to discover,when I was looking for helpful information,on the web,that old washing machines,with mechanical timers,like this have their own equivalent of the GMG. Lot's of enthusiastic debates there about things like square loading doors vs the currently favoured round kind! Perhaps,I'll join. I rather like the way it powers down then revs up when it goes into it's final 1100rpm spin,myself! :o And hopefully,my neighbour likes it too?! Made in Merthyr Tydfil,too! A Welsh washing machine!! ??? ;D

Back to Daniel Jones!!! ??? ;D
Actually I listened to more of Symphony 2 on You Tube and liked it a lot more than on first hearing so I know that I will not regret the purchase. Good luck with the washing machine. I've  often fantasised about a microwave oven which also plays classical CDs. There must be an online group somewhere. When one of our cats sadly developed a vaccine associated cancer (which I never heard of) I had incredible practical and emotional support from an online American group devoted to this sad problem. Back to Daniel Jones.  ::)
« Last Edit: August 16, 2017, 12:48:16 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline André

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Re: Daniel Jones(1912-93)-a prolific Welsh symphonist
« Reply #359 on: August 19, 2017, 01:24:07 PM »


Second listening this week of the Lyrita disc of symphonies 4, 7 and 8.

It's hard to to think of a better introduction to the composer than these wonderful works and interpretations. Symphony no 4 from 1954 is dedicated to his close friend Dylan Thomas (Jones wrote some music for him). A 3-movement work that packs loads of emotions and musical substance in a self-imposed severely economical language. Symphony no 7 is my favourite - or at least its 2nd movement espressivo, redolent of Sibelius' 7th in its whimsical whiffs of the welsh soil. Oh, and the last movement with its startlingly shostakovichian string tremolos (symphonies 6:I and 11:1 come to mind).

Symphony 8 was written in lockstep with no 7. Both are dated from the year 1972. Like RVW's and Malcolm Arnold's symphonies, those of Jones sound strikingly different from one another, yet they clearly flow from the same fount of ideas and tools. No 8 reminds me a bit of RVW 8 in its use of odd instrumental combinations, but it is more cryptic, progressing from movement to movement (5 of them, with multiple subdivisions) as if disinterested from what went before, exploring new things with unceasing curiosity. A bit like a 3 year old's attention span, constantly shifting to new centers of interest. The movement's titles give away the game plan (see below):

« Last Edit: August 19, 2017, 01:25:53 PM by André »

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