Author Topic: York Bowen  (Read 11954 times)

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tjguitar

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York Bowen
« on: July 04, 2007, 07:45:30 PM »
New cd from Dutton:


York Bowen
Piano Concerto no.2 (‘Concertstück’) in D minor op.17 (1905)
Piano Concerto no.3 (‘Fantasia’) in G minor op.23 (1907)
Symphonic Fantasia: a tone poem op.16 (1905)

Michael Dussek (piano)
BBC CONCERT ORCHESTRA
Vernon Handley CBE (conductor)

Recorded at The Colosseum, Town Hall, Watford
20-21 February 2007

CDLX 7187


Anyone have it yet/planning on picking it up?

Offline sound67

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #1 on: July 04, 2007, 09:35:18 PM »
No, but I got the first Bowen concerto CD they recorded



... and found the Violin Concerto to be an absolute beauty. Not quite fully the equal of the Elgar, but with many similarities and continuous incidental pleasures. The (1st) Piano Concerto I found rather weak, it is an earlier work. That keeps me wondering whether it's necessary to  get this Piano Concerti disc.

His viola concerto (recorded by Lawrence Power, who just released a superb reading of the lovely Rubbra concerto, coupled with )the first modern recording of Walton's Viola Concerto in its original version) is a beautiful work though.

Thomas
« Last Edit: July 04, 2007, 09:47:39 PM by sound67 »
"Vivaldi didn't compose 500 concertos. He composed the same concerto 500 times" - Igor Stravinsky

"Mozart is a menace to musical progress, a relic of rituals that were losing relevance in his own time and are meaningless to ours." - Norman Lebrecht

tjguitar

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #2 on: July 05, 2007, 06:30:50 AM »
Cheapest I've seen the new one at this point is HMV.CO.Uk for £5.99

Offline Dax

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2009, 05:15:42 PM »
A seriously underrated composer, but the most worthwhile stuff seems not to involve orchestra - even the 4th piano concerto. The solo piano music and the chamber music is the most rewarding, especially that which postdates WW1.
Stephen Hough's recording on Hyperion is highly recommended as are Joop Celis's CDs.

http://www.yorkbowen.co.uk/recordings.htm

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #4 on: February 05, 2009, 05:03:08 AM »
A seriously underrated composer, but the most worthwhile stuff seems not to involve orchestra - even the 4th piano concerto. The solo piano music and the chamber music is the most rewarding, especially that which postdates WW1.
Stephen Hough's recording on Hyperion is highly recommended as are Joop Celis's CDs.

http://www.yorkbowen.co.uk/recordings.htm

I "discovered" Bowen only a brief year ago.  Some critics have written that Bowen's work approximates  those  works composed by several Russian composers, most notably Medtner; and, to a lesser extent, Scriabin.  The 2 Piano concertros (BBC Concert Orchestra under the direction of Vernon Handley) are quite good. The Sonata in c minor, and his Phantasy for Viola ad Piano are also included on Centaur label.  Intrigung works; however, I have to admit that I personally prefer the Bax inclusion; namely, the Sonata for Viola ad Piano (Op. 54).  It tends to across as quite sensuous and refined. Bowen's best work consist of his many piano works. His Ballade No. 2, his F minor Sonata, and two romances on Hyperion label, are exemplary  of  carefully planned and executed dramatic and psychological insights.  Stephan Hough as pianist, gives a marvelous performance.  I sense an occasional presence of Scriabin and Medtner here and there. The Ballade in particular I find to be superb.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 12:02:08 PM by schweitzeralan »

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #5 on: February 05, 2009, 06:21:54 AM »
Just to add my voice - I enjoyed this recording immensely:

Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #6 on: February 05, 2009, 12:02:52 PM »
This made my Best of 2008 list:




Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline Christo

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #7 on: February 05, 2009, 12:14:10 PM »
His viola concerto (recorded by Lawrence Power, who just released a superb reading of the lovely Rubbra concerto, coupled with )the first modern recording of Walton's Viola Concerto in its original version) is a beautiful work though.

Something I just recently discovered on playing another recording, also coupled with Walton's Viola Concerto - and another fine performance imho:

                 
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #8 on: February 05, 2009, 05:15:53 PM »
Ha!!

Have to disagree with my Dutch friends ;D I just don't take to York Bowen at all. Too Romantic, too diffuse, too old-fashioned ;D

......but then I don't much care for Rachmaninov, Medtner, Scriabin, Delius, Cyril Scott either ;D

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #9 on: February 05, 2009, 08:20:16 PM »
Ha!!

Have to disagree with my Dutch friends ;D I just don't take to York Bowen at all. Too Romantic, too diffuse, too old-fashioned ;D

......but then I don't much care for Rachmaninov, Medtner, Scriabin, Delius, Cyril Scott either ;D
Why not?  Just curious.  You are indeed quite informed and knowlegeable in the discipline. What's the problem with Scott, Medtner, Scriabin? Too romantic?  In your assesment which composers realize the ultimate aesthetic, intuitive, relevant, structural insights?   

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #10 on: February 05, 2009, 10:46:38 PM »
Ha!!

Have to disagree with my Dutch friends ;D I just don't take to York Bowen at all. Too Romantic, too diffuse, too old-fashioned ;D

......but then I don't much care for Rachmaninov, Medtner, Scriabin, Delius, Cyril Scott either ;D

I know. And still I don't mind...  0:)
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #11 on: February 06, 2009, 08:09:14 AM »
Why not?  Just curious.  You are indeed quite informed and knowlegeable in the discipline. What's the problem with Scott, Medtner, Scriabin? Too romantic?  In your assesment which composers realize the ultimate aesthetic, intuitive, relevant, structural insights?   

Oh my goodness :)

First of all...regarding my being "quite informed and knowledgeable"-I am familiar with a lot of the orchestral repertoire from around 1880-(say) 1960/70 but at a level far, far below that of professional musicians, musicologists, critics or many music-lovers who can read music(which I can't :()

My appreciation of music is almost entirely therefore emotional rather than intellectual in so far as I can read about the way in which a piece of music is structured but can only vaguely glimpse that structure myself. I respond to music on a visceral level. Orchestral music holds the greatest appeal to me because of its richness, its power, its capacity to sweep me off my feet. I like music which is exciting, imposing, 'grand', dark, granitic, grim, angry. The sound of massed brass and pounding drums excites me.

That goes some way to explaining my particular tastes in music from Brahms, Wagner and Bruckner through Sibelius, Shostakovich, to the British, Scandinavian and American symphonies of the 20th century.

Of course I respond to beauty in music as well :)...but there has to be a type of 'depth' to that beauty which I find it incredibly difficult to define or explain. I suppose that it might be a kind of dignity, nostalgia, sadness which one finds in, say, Vaughan Williams or many of the Nordic composers, or my great favourite, the English composer Edmund Rubbra.

I respond much less well to the 'romantic angst'-as I hear it, of course-of some of the composers I am less comfortable with. Sweetly, sentimental, romantic music can often sound cloying to my ears. In some cases I am irritated by music that seems to 'meander' aimlessly, whose honeyed sweetness sends me to sleep or, at least, does not sufficiently grab my attention.

A VERY personal response to your searching and demanding question :) No doubt wholly inadequate :)

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2009, 08:17:34 AM »
I know. And still I don't mind...  0:)

I appreciate that magnanimity, Johan ;D

Offline schweitzeralan

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #13 on: February 06, 2009, 10:18:40 AM »
Oh my goodness :)

First of all...regarding my being "quite informed and knowledgeable"-I am familiar with a lot of the orchestral repertoire from around 1880-(say) 1960/70 but at a level far, far below that of professional musicians, musicologists, critics or many music-lovers who can read music(which I can't :()

My appreciation of music is almost entirely therefore emotional rather than intellectual in so far as I can read about the way in which a piece of music is structured but can only vaguely glimpse that structure myself. I respond to music on a visceral level. Orchestral music holds the greatest appeal to me because of its richness, its power, its capacity to sweep me off my feet. I like music which is exciting, imposing, 'grand', dark, granitic, grim, angry. The sound of massed brass and pounding drums excites me.

That goes some way to explaining my particular tastes in music from Brahms, Wagner and Bruckner through Sibelius, Shostakovich, to the British, Scandinavian and American symphonies of the 20th century.

Of course I respond to beauty in music as well :)...but there has to be a type of 'depth' to that beauty which I find it incredibly difficult to define or explain. I suppose that it might be a kind of dignity, nostalgia, sadness which one finds in, say, Vaughan Williams or many of the Nordic composers, or my great favourite, the English composer Edmund Rubbra.

I respond much less well to the 'romantic angst'-as I hear it, of course-of some of the composers I am less comfortable with. Sweetly, sentimental, romantic music can often sound cloying to my ears. In some cases I am irritated by music that seems to 'meander' aimlessly, whose honeyed sweetness sends me to sleep or, at least, does not sufficiently grab my attention.

A VERY personal response to your searching and demanding question :) No doubt wholly inadequate :)

Thanks for the reply.  Interesting. What you wrote is not dissimiliar to my own approach and passions toward classical music.  Then, again, as I became older, my taste (?), passion (?) specific needs(?), as it were, had become considerably less ecumenical and expansive then my erswhile musical interests and needs. Granted, I understand and had consequently bowed before Bach, Beethoven, the Chopins, Mozart, et. al.; in sort, I had listened to and had enjoyed all the undeniable musical giants of the Baroque, Classical, or early Romantic periods. Now, however my demands have become considerably limited in taste and needs.It apears that for some reason most of my derive from te music develped and executed during the period acknowledged as that of the the Belle Epoque as well as during the two decades following.  Essentially, personally, I am drawn to those works of Sibelius, Delius, Bax, Rachmaninof, Debussy, Ravel, Schmitt ad their cloned who happened to compose in  the style and aesthetic of what had become labeled by some critics as "late tonality", a sequence  which also pervaded the  works of Suk, Scriabin, Gliere,Novak, Marx, Lyatoshinsky, plus so many others who evinced a showmansip of significant colors, dense harmonic subtleties, mystic, ethereal correspondences, etc. Many contributors to the many threads of this forum have been most interesting, and I have learned a great deal.  I don't know who is a musician and/or who is not among those who contribute.  Makes no difference to me.  Admittedly I dabble ( but do not play well on the piano, but a little helps). Thus I m familiar with aspcts of music theory.  Your statement surprised me somewhat, and I thought I would offer a brief comment. Keep up the good work. (One Belle Epoque composer whose works I can't tolerate are those of Elgar. But Bax, Moeran, Sainten, Howells, Ireland; namely, those of the Bax Generation are distinctly sacred, at least to this amateur.
« Last Edit: February 06, 2009, 12:00:57 PM by schweitzeralan »

Offline Lethevich

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #14 on: July 24, 2011, 02:33:42 PM »
BUMMPPPP!

Bowen's music scarcely fails to impress me over the past few years of gradually discovering his music. Perhaps unusually, I have yet to be quite so fully engaged by his piano concertos, or the symphony I heard. But his chamber music and solo piano works are something else.

In his compositional method I find such a richness, a strong melodic sensibility derived from Tchaikovsky and German models, but sometimes igniting in Rachmaninovian fire and spirit. Each composition tends to make me feel like I've gotten a certain "value" for my listening money with the effortless grace and density of ideas. None of his works reach masterpiece level, but despite the obvious harmonic influences, his style is both personal and endearing. He also wrote in forms that I wish the late Romantics I mention wrote more of, such as viola and violin sonatas. His Op.112 violin sonata has fortunately been recorded twice (on an excellent bargain Dutton twofer, and a fascinatingly-programmed EM Records disc) and has such a turbulent sweep to it which belies its late date of composition.

I think the primary reason why I find it so easy to get excited over such a "regressive" composer is the impeccable craft and proportion of the music. Often such descriptions would imply a Mendelssohnian quality, but it's that Bowen draws from rather more vibrant and "advanced" templates that make each exquisite piece after exquisite piece such a joy to uncover. Often these lesser figures feel almost apologetic in their styles, but Bowen has such a commitment to his writing.
« Last Edit: July 24, 2011, 02:48:52 PM by Lethe Dmitriyevich Shostakovich »
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Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #15 on: July 24, 2011, 02:48:12 PM »
Ever since that Hough recording, I love Bowen's music. The Rhapsody for Cello and Orchestra, just released on Dutton along with similarly-scored works bij Bush and Brian, is a very beautiful piece. He really has his own distinct, late-Romantic voice.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Lethevich

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #16 on: July 24, 2011, 03:18:33 PM »
I need to re-discover his piano music, I think. It was the same Hough disc which drew me in (it is phenomonal - who thought composer-pianists in this manner existed this late, save for Rachmaninoff?) but the string sonatas (the Hyperion and Dutton 2CD sets) have been a growing obsession for me recently.

It's strange: I scoffed when I initially read reviews of Bowen's music, read capsule bio, saw his photograph and composition titles. "A would-be Chopin in England? Hah!"
Peanut butter, flour and sugar do not make cookies. They make FIRE.

Offline Albion

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #17 on: July 24, 2011, 09:33:54 PM »
If you enjoy Bowen's musical idiom, the Chandos recording of Symphonies 1 and 2 is a real winner -



CHAN 10670
« Last Edit: June 23, 2012, 08:27:58 AM by Albion »
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #18 on: July 24, 2011, 11:57:21 PM »
Thanks, Albion. I read about your adventures with the Third Symphony on the Unsung Composers forum, and I also saw these Bowen works in one of the folders. Time to finally dive in, I think...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

cilgwyn

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Re: York Bowen
« Reply #19 on: July 25, 2011, 04:49:36 AM »
I must say I'm with Dundonnell on this one. Like Stanford (as well) it's all very fluent & well crafted,but even the highly rated 'Preludes' (by admirers) are,like,'in one ear out the other'. Rachmaninov,Ravel,Debussy,amongst others,did it all so much better and more memorably. Why not just listen to the 'real thing? But each to his own I say,and I will leave you to enjoy you're musical 'discovery' & Albion's generous musical link, in peace!
« Last Edit: July 25, 2011, 12:18:18 PM by cilgwyn »