Author Topic: Roy Harris (1898-1979)  (Read 37908 times)

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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #280 on: September 28, 2017, 09:50:43 AM »

Somehow I feel the Harris is to American music what Rubbra is to British music.

He also reminds me of Holmboe. All three composers preferred evolutionary variation strategies to traditional symphonic forms.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #281 on: September 28, 2017, 11:58:05 AM »
He also reminds me of Holmboe. All three composers preferred evolutionary variation strategies to traditional symphonic forms.
Very good point.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #282 on: April 13, 2018, 02:35:59 AM »
Fascinating first recordings of American music Despite the rough recorded sound,I think these are easily my favourite recordings of the Harris symphonies. If only,Ormandy had recorded the Seventh in stereo;and the Sixth in mono or stereo!! :( ;D Not to mention a Bernstein Sixth.  And Seventh? Oh,and an Ormandy or Bernstein Fifth!! I think Roy Harris needs a really front rank conductor to bring off his music. (Although,I fear they don't 'make them' like that anymore?!) Though the Clark Sixth is a pretty fine recording. The Louisville Fifth is still the best commercially available recording. Kuchar's Seventh is not bad,if you insist on stereo sound. Alsop's Harris is awful;even if you like any of Harris' symphonies! :(  I wonder if any recording labels will show any interest in the music of Harl McDonald,by the way. His music was played allot for a while........quite a few decades ago?! You can download some ancient recordings from "Pristine"!

   

Offline Cato

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #283 on: April 13, 2018, 03:00:57 AM »
If you like Roy Harris, you might want to give Gene Gutche a try:

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Offline snyprrr

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #284 on: April 13, 2018, 03:51:19 AM »
Fascinating first recordings of American music Despite the rough recorded sound,I think these are easily my favourite recordings of the Harris symphonies. If only,Ormandy had recorded the Seventh in stereo;and the Sixth in mono or stereo!! :( ;D Not to mention a Bernstein Sixth.  And Seventh? Oh,and an Ormandy or Bernstein Fifth!! I think Roy Harris needs a really front rank conductor to bring off his music. (Although,I fear they don't 'make them' like that anymore?!) Though the Clark Sixth is a pretty fine recording. The Louisville Fifth is still the best commercially available recording. Kuchar's Seventh is not bad,if you insist on stereo sound. Alsop's Harris is awful;even if you like any of Harris' symphonies! :(  I wonder if any recording labels will show any interest in the music of Harl McDonald,by the way. His music was played allot for a while........quite a few decades ago?! You can download some ancient recordings from "Pristine"!

   
[/quote


Are you familiar with the Koch disc of Harris7/Schuman6?? I still haven't heard that one.


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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #285 on: April 13, 2018, 09:52:37 AM »
Bernstein's Sony/CBS recording of Harris's Third Symphony is in a class of its own as far as I'm concerned and much better than the later DGG version.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #286 on: April 13, 2018, 12:12:50 PM »
Bernstein's Sony/CBS recording of Harris's Third Symphony is in a class of its own as far as I'm concerned and much better than the later DGG version.

Yeah, I agree on this. Same thing with his Schuman 3rd.

Another Harris 3rd I like is the Ormandy on RCA, which as far as I know is still LP only. A more relaxed, luxurious take on this music, showing off the famed "Philadelphia sound."
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #287 on: April 13, 2018, 10:56:46 PM »
Yeah, I agree on this. Same thing with his Schuman 3rd.

Another Harris 3rd I like is the Ormandy on RCA, which as far as I know is still LP only. A more relaxed, luxurious take on this music, showing off the famed "Philadelphia sound."
Totally agree about the Schuman 3rd and I much prefer the Sony/CBS 'Jeremiah Symphony' conducted by Bernstein to the later DGG one, although I enjoy the even earlier recording as well. I just found a copy of William Scuman's Third Symphony conducted by Ormandy on the Kipepeo label.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #288 on: April 14, 2018, 02:07:57 AM »
The 'dream' cd for me,would have been (rather like that of the Schumann 3,5 & 8) a Bernstein cd of Harris' Symphonies 5,6 & 7. Alas! :( The Pearl cd of Koussevitzky conducts American music is a bit of a 'must have' if you are,genuinely,interested in the formative years of American orchestral music. The Symphony 1933 was an early attempt at 'live' recording. Unfortunately,the engineers weren't very used to the procedure,and a bit of the opening is missing,and a few bars were re-recorded in the studio. The 'electricity' shows through,and,for my money,it's the best Symphony 1933 I've heard! The Foote and Harl McDonald are pleasant,evocative pieces;not very memorable;but no reason not to buy the cd;and enjoyable in their own way. I always used to like Pearl's transfers. Not too interventionist,and not too rough sounding. They struck a nice balance,and their booklet notes were always excellent!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #289 on: April 14, 2018, 07:44:56 AM »
The 'dream' cd for me,would have been (rather like that of the Schumann 3,5 & 8) a Bernstein cd of Harris' Symphonies 5,6 & 7. Alas! :( The Pearl cd of Koussevitzky conducts American music is a bit of a 'must have' if you are,genuinely,interested in the formative years of American orchestral music. The Symphony 1933 was an early attempt at 'live' recording. Unfortunately,the engineers weren't very used to the procedure,and a bit of the opening is missing,and a few bars were re-recorded in the studio. The 'electricity' shows through,and,for my money,it's the best Symphony 1933 I've heard! The Foote and Harl McDonald are pleasant,evocative pieces;not very memorable;but no reason not to buy the cd;and enjoyable in their own way. I always used to like Pearl's transfers. Not too interventionist,and not too rough sounding. They struck a nice balance,and their booklet notes were always excellent!
Yes, it's a fine historical CD, also featuring the most urgent recording of 'Symphony 1933' which I like very much.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #290 on: April 15, 2018, 12:23:12 AM »
Fascinating first recordings of American music Despite the rough recorded sound,I think these are easily my favourite recordings of the Harris symphonies. If only,Ormandy had recorded the Seventh in stereo;and the Sixth in mono or stereo!! :( ;D Not to mention a Bernstein Sixth.  And Seventh? Oh,and an Ormandy or Bernstein Fifth!! I think Roy Harris needs a really front rank conductor to bring off his music. (Although,I fear they don't 'make them' like that anymore?!) Though the Clark Sixth is a pretty fine recording. The Louisville Fifth is still the best commercially available recording. Kuchar's Seventh is not bad,if you insist on stereo sound. Alsop's Harris is awful;even if you like any of Harris' symphonies! :(  I wonder if any recording labels will show any interest in the music of Harl McDonald,by the way. His music was played allot for a while........quite a few decades ago?! You can download some ancient recordings from "Pristine"!

   
[/quote


Are you familiar with the Koch disc of Harris7/Schuman6?? I still haven't heard that one.


HOW DARE YOU STOKE MY HARRIS FIRE!!!!!
;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #291 on: April 15, 2018, 01:10:36 AM »
The NZSO Koch disc of Schuman/Harris  is usually poorly reviewed 'underpowered performances' etc. I rather like the disc however, maybe because I have such a high opinion of both works. Not a No.1 choice but good to hear an alternative take on these works.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Roy Harris (1898-1979)
« Reply #292 on: April 15, 2018, 04:08:51 AM »
I have got admit I haven't heard that recording. I was thinking of adding it to my collection recently;but s/h prices were far too high for me,to justify the expense. It's a pity if the performances aren't that great! The coupling of those two symphonies is quite an inspired choice. Of course one of the downsides is that Harris may come off worst in comparison to Schumann. The latter being,generally,the more highly regarded of the two;judging from numerous posts here and at the Art Music Forum (AMF). Schumann's symphony do seem to offer more of a variety of expresssion and,unlike Harris,he doesn't seem to have got himself into a 'trap' whereby each symphony can feel like a less successful retread of an earlier effort. He also doesn't seem to have gone off the rails so badly as Harris did in his last two efforts. On the other hand,I do actually prefer the Seventh to the third and I can think of worse symphonies than his Eleventh! By the way,would you say that the Koch recording of the Roy Harris is inferior to Kuchar's;which I think is quite good,if you want a stereo recording (good as opposed to Ormandy great!). And which symphony comes off best? The Harris or the Schumann? Oh,and,even if they are underpowered,hopefully the performances are a bit better than Alsop's flabby Harris?!!! But,maybe not?!! :(
Performances aside,I do rather like the composition of the underside of the bridge,against that deep blue sky!