Author Topic: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)  (Read 26380 times)

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Offline Catison

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Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« on: April 09, 2007, 09:54:47 AM »
I have just started to listen to this composer's symphonies after I purchased the Hickox cycle.  I know almost nothing about this composer other than few symphonies I've heard so far.  Most comments I have read are very general.  But which symphonies would you consider the best?  Any interesting biographical information I should consider when listening?  For instance, why did he choose a fairly tonal style?

I am interested in listening to more of his music as well.  Anything beyond the symphonies?
-Brett

Offline Todd

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #1 on: April 09, 2007, 10:02:02 AM »
I know none of Rubbra's music, so I'll be interested in reading comments about his music as well.

Catison, what are your first impressions of the symphonies you have listened to?
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Harry

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #2 on: April 09, 2007, 10:37:51 AM »
For me it is always difficult to say what is the best. I have the same cycle on Chandos, and think the music very rewarding and a bit unsettling too. His idiom is tonal, but sometimes in a uneasy by no means ugly way. That is one of the reasons I like this music.
For me he stands apart from the majority of his fellow composers. There is nothing quite like Rubbra. Further than his Symphonies I never went though. Lost out of sight I guess. But after this thread I will dive in my collection to listen.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Edmund_Rubbra
« Last Edit: April 09, 2007, 10:40:17 AM by Harry »

karlhenning

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #3 on: April 09, 2007, 11:08:57 AM »
weirdears spoke very highly of Rubbra's Tenebrae motets.

Offline BachQ

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #4 on: April 09, 2007, 11:26:41 AM »
I like Rubbra's orchestration of Brahms' op. 24 for solo piano (Variations and Fugue on a Theme by Handel) . . . . . .


 :D

Don

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #5 on: April 09, 2007, 11:38:32 AM »
Rubbra's Violin Concerto on Naxos is another winner.

Offline Todd

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #6 on: April 09, 2007, 11:43:48 AM »
Rubbra's Violin Concerto on Naxos is another winner.


Rubbra, Naxos.  Looks like I may know what to try first.
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

karlhenning

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2007, 11:48:10 AM »
Rubbra, Naxos.  Looks like I may know what to try first.

(FWIW, I have an idea the Tenebrae motets may also be a Naxos recording.)

Offline Todd

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2007, 11:49:21 AM »
(FWIW, I have an idea the Tenebrae motets may also be a Naxos recording.)



(Yet another reason to buy it . . .)
The universe is change; life is opinion.   Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #9 on: April 10, 2007, 01:41:03 AM »
Rubbra is an interesting composer. My own experience was that I found his symphonies quite plain when I first listened to them, but there was something about them that drew me back, and when I listened again more carefully I found a lot of depth. In that way he reminds me of Brahms, though on a more modest scale. His dense, polyphonic style is also quite Brahmsian.

Another thing that I find very attractive about his work is that it is influenced by Renaissance or Tudor music - someone described his symphonies as sounding like "vast orchestral motets" & I think that's about right.

I haven't heard all the symphonies, but of those I have I like nos. 4 & 7 the best. The 4th has a lot of that archaic quality in it, particularly in the 1st movement. The 7th is his most Brahmsian symphony, very stern with a passacaglia finale, a lot like Brahms' 4th.
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Offline BachQ

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #10 on: April 10, 2007, 03:22:10 AM »
The 7th is his most Brahmsian symphony, very stern with a passacaglia finale, a lot like Brahms' 4th.

I think I'll give that 'un a spin . . . . . .

springrite

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #11 on: April 10, 2007, 03:26:25 AM »
I have (had) the complete symphonic cycle on CHANDOS. My favorite is unfortunately the one that is lost from my collection -- someone borrowed it and did not return it and I did not have a system of keeping record! It is the symphony #3 and #7. Maybe because these two most examplify his three main influences that I hear ---- Brahms, Sibelius and Nielsen. (Incidentally, Rubbra the critic and musicologist also wrote a wonderful book on Nielsen symphonies). I would recommend starting with these two.

Offline BachQ

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #12 on: April 10, 2007, 03:28:23 AM »
I have (had) the complete symphonic cycle on CHANDOS. My favorite is ... the symphony #3 and #7.

Another vote for #7 . . . . . .

Harry

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2007, 03:28:33 AM »
I have (had) the complete symphonic cycle on CHANDOS. My favorite is unfortunately the one that is lost from my collection -- someone borrowed it and did not return it and I did not have a system of keeping record! It is the symphony #3 and #7. Maybe because these two most examplify his three main influences that I hear ---- Brahms, Sibelius and Nielsen. (Incidentally, Rubbra the critic and musicologist also wrote a wonderful book on Nielsen symphonies). I would recommend starting with these two.

Never ever lend your music to others, burn it, that is the best way to keep your collection intact!

Offline BachQ

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2007, 03:31:35 AM »
Never ever lend your music to others, burn it, that is the best way to keep your collection intact!

Good advice . . . . . .

springrite

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2007, 04:07:52 AM »
Never ever lend your music to others, burn it, that is the best way to keep your collection intact!

Thanks for the advise. I will heed that!

Meanwhile, I am planning to go to Holland sometime in the future to burn a copy of every CD you have of the music by Johann Gambolputty.... von Hautkopf of Ulm.

Harry

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2007, 04:11:33 AM »
Thanks for the advise. I will heed that!

Meanwhile, I am planning to go to Holland sometime in the future to burn a copy of every CD you have of the music by Johann Gambolputty.... von Hautkopf of Ulm.

That one I don't have, but this one von Katzenkopf zum stiegsteilzumvergrostenvon Zweinebratheantje I have, so you are most welcome! ;D

Offline Thom

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #17 on: April 12, 2007, 10:43:14 AM »


I can recommend this disc. I think these symphonies are great, his idiom is unique. I agree with Harry, the music is unsettling sometimes but he also has a knack for great melodies imho that is.

X

Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #18 on: April 12, 2007, 11:31:16 AM »
Just have two Rubbra discs - one is the Naxos choral works under discussion - Chris' 5* review on Amazon can be read here - I believe the main reason I purchased the CD a while back; the only other disc I have is Symphony No. 9 et al w/ Hickox - I see at Amazon that an entire 'box set' of these symphonies is available - anxious for some more comments - thanks.

 

Hector

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #19 on: April 13, 2007, 04:25:15 AM »
The symphonies tend to draw you in.

The 3rd, apparently, was played a lot by the BBC in the fifties.

That is until William Glock waged his one man campaign against tonal music, or what he judged as such.

So, little was heard on the radio of the likes of Rubbra, Arnold and Lloyd but Tippett scraped through because he wore sandals and had this hippie air about him, probably.

I'm collecting the Lyrita reissues as I cannot stand being bored by Hixcok.

Although all the symphonies are enjoyable the later ones are the best, I think. Barbirolli recorded the 5th and for any Rubbra fan this is a must-have.

However, I think there is room for another cycle and if either Hyperion or Naxos can get Handley or Lloyd-Jones into the studio and throw in the concertante and misc. orchestral pieces as well they could compliment and surpass previous recordings.

It is unlikely that any of this will be heard in the concert hall unless the 25th anniversary of his death is celebrated at the Proms in 2011!

 

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