Author Topic: Herbert Howells 1892-1983  (Read 9417 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #40 on: March 04, 2018, 02:48:35 AM »
Coincidentally had just been enjoying the Sonata for Clarinet and Piano (1946) and the early Prelude for Harp (1915) and the moving and eloquent Sonata for Violin and Piano (1923). All are on a Naxos CD.

Here's the short Harp Prelude:
https://youtu.be/dW5OxSiXE2s
« Last Edit: March 04, 2018, 03:31:08 AM by vandermolen »
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Offline Oates

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2018, 06:50:58 AM »
Another overlooked gem is the orchestral version of the Oboe Sonata recorded here:

https://www.champshillrecords.co.uk/cddetail.php?cat_number=CHRCD025

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #42 on: November 08, 2018, 12:39:51 PM »
Wow, just listened to Hymnus Paradisi (Willcocks) for the first time and I'm digging it a lot! Such a magical work! I'm enjoying the Concerto for String Orchestra too, so Howells seems very interesting composer to explore.  :)
« Last Edit: November 08, 2018, 12:48:20 PM by 71 dB »
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Online Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #43 on: November 08, 2018, 12:58:04 PM »
I've enjoyed the concerto for string orchestra, and the piano concerto even more. I also love the clarinet sonata that vandermolen mentions above (I have a Hyperion recording with Thea King).

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #44 on: November 08, 2018, 01:11:55 PM »
Damn, the CD doesn't work during the last minute. Scratches. I try toothpaste.  :P
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #45 on: November 08, 2018, 04:09:27 PM »
Wow, just listened to Hymnus Paradisi (Willcocks) for the first time and I'm digging it a lot! Such a magical work! I'm enjoying the Concerto for String Orchestra too, so Howells seems very interesting composer to explore.  :)

It's an out and out masterpiece and intensely moving in view of the circumstances of its composition. The Willcock's is the best version.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline relm1

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #46 on: November 08, 2018, 05:38:55 PM »
It's an out and out masterpiece and intensely moving in view of the circumstances of its composition. The Willcock's is the best version.

I think Howells is a very fine composer and educator having taught impressive composers.  I believe he was just overshadowed by the more flamboyant Walton and RVW's shadow.  I believe he wrote a symphony that is excellent (but I might be remembering this incorrectly and am thinking of another composer).

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #47 on: November 08, 2018, 11:57:23 PM »
I think Howells is a very fine composer and educator having taught impressive composers.....

He taught Robert Simpson  ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #48 on: November 09, 2018, 12:20:59 AM »
I think Howells is a very fine composer and educator having taught impressive composers.  I believe he was just overshadowed by the more flamboyant Walton and RVW's shadow.  I believe he wrote a symphony that is excellent (but I might be remembering this incorrectly and am thinking of another composer).

That's interesting - I don't know of a symphony unless he withdrew it at some point. I'd love to hear a symphony by Howells.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Irons

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #49 on: November 09, 2018, 02:10:57 AM »
That's interesting - I don't know of a symphony unless he withdrew it at some point. I'd love to hear a symphony by Howells.

Not a symphony but the three movement Concerto for String Orchestra is fairly close. With Howells as you wrote in the introduction to this thread the loss of his son had a devastating affect (I did not know it was polio which adds extra poignancy as I had that as a kid during the epidemic. I was a lucky one!). The moving slow movement of this work has a dedication to his son - "In memoriam E.E. (1934) and M.K.H. (1935)".


Offline Biffo

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #50 on: November 09, 2018, 02:53:22 AM »
There is also a Suite for String Orchestra (1942). It is in four movements and loosely follows the outline of a symphony. It has been recorded on Chandos by Richard Hickox and the City of London Sinfonia

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #51 on: November 09, 2018, 03:48:48 AM »
Not a symphony but the three movement Concerto for String Orchestra is fairly close. With Howells as you wrote in the introduction to this thread the loss of his son had a devastating affect (I did not know it was polio which adds extra poignancy as I had that as a kid during the epidemic. I was a lucky one!). The moving slow movement of this work has a dedication to his son - "In memoriam E.E. (1934) and M.K.H. (1935)".



Thanks - I must listen to that work by Howells again. I remember the LP.
I can imagine the poignancy of these works for you in view of your own personal history.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline relm1

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #52 on: November 09, 2018, 07:16:00 AM »
That's interesting - I don't know of a symphony unless he withdrew it at some point. I'd love to hear a symphony by Howells.

I was mistaken.  The composer I was thinking of and confused with Howells was his contemporary Harold Truscott.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #53 on: November 09, 2018, 11:49:57 AM »
I was mistaken.  The composer I was thinking of and confused with Howells was his contemporary Harold Truscott.

I really like Truscott's Symphony.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #54 on: November 10, 2018, 06:36:05 AM »
After struggling a bit with RVW I turned to Howells, a composer I have totally ignored until now. The only Howells work I have had (for 2 decades!) is his Psalm Preludes (1st set), Op. 32 but only recently noticed it's nice. Vandermolen inspired to get the Hymnus Paradisi/Concerto for Orchestra disc which I really like even if the last minute of the scratched disc doesn't play despite of toothpaste treatment.  :-X

So I explore Howells more. Now streaming Stabat Mater (Naxos) on Spotify and liking it! Just like Finzi, Howells seems to have a bit "Elgarism" in his music. It's some kind of underlying complexity, tension, organic fluidity and warm humanism I love so much in Elgar's music.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #55 on: November 10, 2018, 07:34:25 AM »
After struggling a bit with RVW I turned to Howells, a composer I have totally ignored until now. The only Howells work I have had (for 2 decades!) is his Psalm Preludes (1st set), Op. 32 but only recently noticed it's nice. Vandermolen inspired to get the Hymnus Paradisi/Concerto for Orchestra disc which I really like even if the last minute of the scratched disc doesn't play despite of toothpaste treatment.  :-X

So I explore Howells more. Now streaming Stabat Mater (Naxos) on Spotify and liking it! Just like Finzi, Howells seems to have a bit "Elgarism" in his music. It's some kind of underlying complexity, tension, organic fluidity and warm humanism I love so much in Elgar's music.

Good to know. You might enjoy the Missa Sabrinensis as well.

Please can you explain what is meant by 'toothpaste treatment'.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #56 on: November 10, 2018, 07:46:00 AM »
Good to know. You might enjoy the Missa Sabrinensis as well.

Please can you explain what is meant by 'toothpaste treatment'.

Thanks. Now listening to Sir Patrick Spens and liking it. Te Deum and Sine Nomine were good too. Seems I like everything by Howells.  :P

Toothpaste treatment is reparing scrathy CDs with toothpaste. It works well if the damage isn't very bad, for example the CD skips in one place. You put normal white tootpaste on the scrathed point on the disc and let it dry 10-15 minutes after which you rub the tootpaste with your wet finger with force and clean the disc.
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #57 on: November 10, 2018, 10:40:48 AM »
Thanks. Now listening to Sir Patrick Spens and liking it. Te Deum and Sine Nomine were good too. Seems I like everything by Howells.  :P

Toothpaste treatment is reparing scrathy CDs with toothpaste. It works well if the damage isn't very bad, for example the CD skips in one place. You put normal white tootpaste on the scrathed point on the disc and let it dry 10-15 minutes after which you rub the tootpaste with your wet finger with force and clean the disc.

Thanks for the explanation - can't wait to try it out  8)

I think that Howells is closer to Elgar than VW. You obviously have the Naxos version of Hymnus Paradisi which is excellent. Howells's 'Collegium Regale' is very highly regarded as well.

Here it is (historic recording):

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CMBm9ZkmHFQ
« Last Edit: November 10, 2018, 10:43:16 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline 71 dB

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #58 on: November 10, 2018, 10:59:46 AM »
Thanks for the explanation - can't wait to try it out  8)
You're welcome Good luck!

I think that Howells is closer to Elgar than VW. You obviously have the Naxos version of Hymnus Paradisi which is excellent. Howells's 'Collegium Regale' is very highly regarded as well.

Here it is (historic recording):

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=CMBm9ZkmHFQ

I actually have the Willcocks version on EMI, but I might collect the Naxos discs since Howells seems to be to my liking this much.  :)

'Collegium Regale' appears very nice, althou the sound quality is "below my standards"  ;D
Spatial distortion is a serious problem deteriorating headphone listening.
Crossfeeders reduce spatial distortion and make the sound more natural
and less tiresome in headphone listening.

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Herbert Howells 1892-1983
« Reply #59 on: November 10, 2018, 02:16:26 PM »
You're welcome Good luck!

I actually have the Willcocks version on EMI, but I might collect the Naxos discs since Howells seems to be to my liking this much.  :)

'Collegium Regale' appears very nice, althou the sound quality is "below my standards"  ;D

The Willcocks is my favourite version (I have them all  ::)).

There are many modern recordings of Collegium Regale.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).