Author Topic: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)  (Read 29445 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #20 on: April 14, 2007, 10:02:41 AM »
symphonies 4,5,7 and 8 are my favourites.  Barbirolli's No 5 is a must have.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

tjguitar

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #21 on: April 16, 2007, 04:04:00 PM »
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

Harry I recommend this disc, all of these pieces were originally recorded and released with the symphonies, but not included on the symphonies box set, the sinfonia concertante has some nice piano work:


Offline Robert

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #22 on: April 16, 2007, 04:44:48 PM »
symphonies 4,5,7 and 8 are my favourites.  Barbirolli's No 5 is a must have.

Please tell me when he recorded his fifth...what label? I never saw this recording.....

btpaul674

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #23 on: April 16, 2007, 07:48:22 PM »
I've always loved A Tribute for Ralph Vaughan Williams on his 70th Birthday.. a fitting work, capturing a good portion of the ol' man's temperament. I am always reminded of the portrait of Vaughan Williams and his favorite cat Foxy.

Harry

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #24 on: April 16, 2007, 10:41:54 PM »
Harry I recommend this disc, all of these pieces were originally recorded and released with the symphonies, but not included on the symphonies box set, the sinfonia concertante has some nice piano work:



Thank you, it seems that I missed that one. Its on my next order list. :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #25 on: April 17, 2007, 02:25:04 AM »
Please tell me when he recorded his fifth...what label? I never saw this recording.....

Robert,

it's on EMI CDM 5 66053 2

with Britten Violin Concerto and "Threnody for a fallen soldier"by Michael Hemming.  The Rubbra was recorded in 1950 and whilst it is obviously a historic recording, I believe that it is the finest interpretation of Rubbra's Symphony 5 on CD.  The EMI CD was issued in 1997.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Britten-Heming-Rubbra-Orchestral-Works/dp/B0000241DI/ref=sr_1_2/026-5773581-7374844?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176805658&sr=1-2
« Last Edit: April 17, 2007, 02:30:06 AM by Captain Haddock »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Hector

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #26 on: April 17, 2007, 04:27:53 AM »
Robert,

it's on EMI CDM 5 66053 2

with Britten Violin Concerto and "Threnody for a fallen soldier"by Michael Hemming.  The Rubbra was recorded in 1950 and whilst it is obviously a historic recording, I believe that it is the finest interpretation of Rubbra's Symphony 5 on CD.  The EMI CD was issued in 1997.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Britten-Heming-Rubbra-Orchestral-Works/dp/B0000241DI/ref=sr_1_2/026-5773581-7374844?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176805658&sr=1-2

As the Amazon link proves to some extent, EMI deleted the disc.

I would be tempted to await a reissue than pay either of these people for it.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #27 on: April 17, 2007, 10:45:11 AM »
As the Amazon link proves to some extent, EMI deleted the disc.

I would be tempted to await a reissue than pay either of these people for it.

With EMI classical division going through some kind of meltdown, I wouldn't anticipate a speedy reissue.  My advice would be to get it while you can.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Robert

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #28 on: April 17, 2007, 10:52:56 AM »
Robert,

it's on EMI CDM 5 66053 2

with Britten Violin Concerto and "Threnody for a fallen soldier"by Michael Hemming.  The Rubbra was recorded in 1950 and whilst it is obviously a historic recording, I believe that it is the finest interpretation of Rubbra's Symphony 5 on CD.  The EMI CD was issued in 1997.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Britten-Heming-Rubbra-Orchestral-Works/dp/B0000241DI/ref=sr_1_2/026-5773581-7374844?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1176805658&sr=1-2
Thanks for that captain.. I also love the Britten VC. Amazon wants almost 50 for the disc... ::)I think I will wait awhile.....

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #29 on: April 18, 2007, 12:25:39 AM »
Thanks for that captain.. I also love the Britten VC. Amazon wants almost 50 for the disc... ::)I think I will wait awhile.....

In the link attached it seems to be available for £6.49+postage from Amazon UK.

I love Rubbra's "Resurgam" written in commemoration of a church destroyed in Plymouth in World War Two (it's on the Lyrita CD with Rubbra's 3rd and 4th symphonies)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #30 on: April 18, 2007, 12:30:35 AM »
I've always loved A Tribute for Ralph Vaughan Williams on his 70th Birthday.. a fitting work, capturing a good portion of the ol' man's temperament. I am always reminded of the portrait of Vaughan Williams and his favorite cat Foxy.

Yes, I like that piece too (and Resurgam, on the same Lyrita CD) and also the photo of VW is a favourite:

"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Harry Collier

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #31 on: June 29, 2007, 07:26:04 AM »

I have just (!) acquired my first major Rubbra piece: the viola concerto (excellent new Hyperion recording with Lawrence Power, orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov). I listened to it dutifully, then listened to it all over again since I really liked it. It is difficult to perceive why it is not well-known and often played. Coupled on the CD with the Walton viola concerto to which I haven't yet listened, since I've been so busy listening to the Rubbra! Echoes of Sibelius, of Elgar, of Walton (Rubbra was born in 1901). An attractive piece to which I shall return often. The Hyperion recording is good, and well balanced.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #32 on: June 29, 2007, 07:51:05 AM »
I have just (!) acquired my first major Rubbra piece: the viola concerto (excellent new Hyperion recording with Lawrence Power, orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov). I listened to it dutifully, then listened to it all over again since I really liked it. It is difficult to perceive why it is not well-known and often played. Coupled on the CD with the Walton viola concerto to which I haven't yet listened, since I've been so busy listening to the Rubbra! Echoes of Sibelius, of Elgar, of Walton (Rubbra was born in 1901). An attractive piece to which I shall return often. The Hyperion recording is good, and well balanced.


The Walton Viola Concerto is wonderful too, a much better work than his Violin Concerto IMHO.
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Offline Grazioso

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #33 on: September 09, 2008, 03:41:19 AM »
I have just (!) acquired my first major Rubbra piece: the viola concerto (excellent new Hyperion recording with Lawrence Power, orchestra conducted by Ilan Volkov). I listened to it dutifully, then listened to it all over again since I really liked it. It is difficult to perceive why it is not well-known and often played. Coupled on the CD with the Walton viola concerto to which I haven't yet listened, since I've been so busy listening to the Rubbra! Echoes of Sibelius, of Elgar, of Walton (Rubbra was born in 1901). An attractive piece to which I shall return often. The Hyperion recording is good, and well balanced.


Indeed. I listened to this recording of Rubbra's viola concerto yesterday for the first time and then listened again. What a beautiful, intriguing piece of music. It really is a shame it's not more widely known and recorded.
There is nothing more deceptive than an obvious fact. --Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #34 on: September 09, 2008, 04:27:50 AM »
If I was forced to choose one composer above all others to name as my favourite I would be torn between Vaughan Williams, Havergal Brian and Edmund Rubbra.

There is a something about Rubbra's music which I find intensely moving. I have always found that 'something' difficult to define or explain. Nothing about the music is flashy or overtly dramatic but there is, in my opinion, a quite sublime intensity and an understated passion which undoubtedly stemmed from Rubbra's own personal religious and spiritual convictions. Those imbue his music with a a purity and quiet seriousness which elevates it above so much else in 20th century music. I cannot fail to listen to Rubbra without being held in its spell.

That applies to all of the eleven symphonies, the concertos and the wonderful unaccompanied choral music. Rubbra has been criticised for a certain thickness of scoring and it is only fair to acknowledge that, to a certain extent, that criticism is justified in the 1st symphony and (perhaps) the 2nd. He has also been accused of a lack of obvious 'colour' in his music-whatever exactly that may mean.
It is certainly true that if one were to listen to Rubbra's music with less than full attention the impression might be of a lack of incident, a 'greyness' I suppose. But Rubbra's sound world is one which does reward real committment on the part of the listener because there is little similar in British music of its time. The lumping together of Rubbra, Alwyn, Lennox Berkeley, Fricker and Rawsthorne by Malcolm MacDonald in his book on Havergal Brian as examples of 'Cheltenham Symphony' composers was an error which he himself now acknowledges.

Rubbra drew his influences from Tudor polyphony but also from a wide range of literary sources including medieval Latin and Chinese poetry. He certainly deeply admired both Brahms and Vaughan Williams and there are echoes of both in his music. He was undoubtedly a very British composer yet it is difficult to say that the music  sounds much like many other British composers.

My own personal favourites include the 4th(which has the most magical and sublime opening pages of any symphony of the last century), the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 'Hommage a Teilhard de Chardin' and the big choral 9th 'Sinfonia Sacra'. All have, of course, been recorded by Hickox on Chandos but there are individual recordings by Boult, Handley and Del Mar which also illuminate particular symphonies. There are modern recordings of the Violin Concerto, the Viola Concerto and the Soliloquy for Cello and Orchestra but a modern recording of the wonderful Piano Concerto is desperately needed.

Rubbra's music will never-I fear-have widespread appeal or be a Proms favourite because it does require such a degree of concentration. It is not difficult music per se but it does have a profound 'stillness' which is ultimately so rewarding for those prepared to give it the attention it undoubtedly merits.

Hector

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #35 on: September 09, 2008, 07:01:51 AM »
If I was forced to choose one composer above all others to name as my favourite I would be torn between Vaughan Williams, Havergal Brian and Edmund Rubbra.

There is a something about Rubbra's music which I find intensely moving. I have always found that 'something' difficult to define or explain. Nothing about the music is flashy or overtly dramatic but there is, in my opinion, a quite sublime intensity and an understated passion which undoubtedly stemmed from Rubbra's own personal religious and spiritual convictions. Those imbue his music with a a purity and quiet seriousness which elevates it above so much else in 20th century music. I cannot fail to listen to Rubbra without being held in its spell.

That applies to all of the eleven symphonies, the concertos and the wonderful unaccompanied choral music. Rubbra has been criticised for a certain thickness of scoring and it is only fair to acknowledge that, to a certain extent, that criticism is justified in the 1st symphony and (perhaps) the 2nd. He has also been accused of a lack of obvious 'colour' in his music-whatever exactly that may mean.
It is certainly true that if one were to listen to Rubbra's music with less than full attention the impression might be of a lack of incident, a 'greyness' I suppose. But Rubbra's sound world is one which does reward real committment on the part of the listener because there is little similar in British music of its time. The lumping together of Rubbra, Alwyn, Lennox Berkeley, Fricker and Rawsthorne by Malcolm MacDonald in his book on Havergal Brian as examples of 'Cheltenham Symphony' composers was an error which he himself now acknowledges.

Rubbra drew his influences from Tudor polyphony but also from a wide range of literary sources including medieval Latin and Chinese poetry. He certainly deeply admired both Brahms and Vaughan Williams and there are echoes of both in his music. He was undoubtedly a very British composer yet it is difficult to say that the music  sounds much like many other British composers.

My own personal favourites include the 4th(which has the most magical and sublime opening pages of any symphony of the last century), the 5th, 6th, 7th, 8th 'Hommage a Teilhard de Chardin' and the big choral 9th 'Sinfonia Sacra'. All have, of course, been recorded by Hickox on Chandos but there are individual recordings by Boult, Handley and Del Mar which also illuminate particular symphonies. There are modern recordings of the Violin Concerto, the Viola Concerto and the Soliloquy for Cello and Orchestra but a modern recording of the wonderful Piano Concerto is desperately needed.

Rubbra's music will never-I fear-have widespread appeal or be a Proms favourite because it does require such a degree of concentration. It is not difficult music per se but it does have a profound 'stillness' which is ultimately so rewarding for those prepared to give it the attention it undoubtedly merits.

You say that in your last sentence but Lyrita's notes mention the popularity of Rubbra's 3rd on the Third Programme in the fifties.

These are concert pieces, after all, and I find them immediately attractive and, so, worth a shot at revival.

If a toshmeister like Taverner can sucker an audience why not a far greater composer like Rubbra?

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #36 on: September 09, 2008, 07:04:02 AM »
The only Rubbra symphony I know very well is the Fifth (Schönzeler/Chandos, coupled with Checkmate by Bliss)). The centre of the elegiac slow movement, with that cor anglais solo above a funereal rhythm, is one of the most haunting things I know. Are there more symphonies as beautiful and good? Which ones should I listen to next?

As for favourite symphonist - I love several very much (Langgaard, RVW, Mahler, Bruckner, Beethoven, Brahms and so forth), but the one dearest to my heart is, unsurprisingly - Havergal Brian.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #37 on: September 09, 2008, 07:53:01 AM »
The only Rubbra symphony I know very well is the Fifth (Schönzeler/Chandos, coupled with Checkmate by Bliss)). The centre of the elegiac slow movement, with that cor anglais solo above a funereal rhythm, is one of the most haunting things I know. Are there more symphonies as beautiful and good? Which ones should I listen to next?


Strangely enough I haven't heard the 5th, but I've heard most of the others. 4 & 7 are especially good. I'm also very fond of 2 for some reason, tho' few people mention it as a favorite. 6 is an easy one to like (with another elegiac slow movement featuring a cor anglais), and fairly straighforward.
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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #38 on: September 09, 2008, 08:06:39 AM »
Strangely enough I haven't heard the 5th, but I've heard most of the others. 4 & 7 are especially good. I'm also very fond of 2 for some reason, tho' few people mention it as a favorite. 6 is an easy one to like (with another elegiac slow movement featuring a cor anglais), and fairly straighforward.

I see 4 and 7 mentioned most, so I think those two will head my Rubbra list. Thanks!
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Edmund Rubbra (1901-1986)
« Reply #39 on: September 09, 2008, 08:11:02 AM »
I see 4 and 7 mentioned most, so I think those two will head my Rubbra list. Thanks!

Good choice! If the opening of the 4th doesn't hook you then nothing will :)

Hector, I fear that Rubbra is not really susceptible to the sort of media hype which Tavener attracts :( Yes, Rubbra did enjoy a measure of popularity in the fifties but the Glock regime at the BBC seemed to extinguish that. I can't remember when a piece by Rubbra was last played at the Proms. I do wish it were otherwise!
« Last Edit: September 09, 2008, 08:16:30 AM by Dundonnell »

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