Author Topic: British music, non-British performers  (Read 2596 times)

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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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British music, non-British performers
« on: November 14, 2012, 03:54:04 PM »
First, a mini-rant. I frequently hear it stated that British music gets little respect abroad and is seldom played in other countries. That’s not been my experience. Looking at schedules for my local ensembles – the CSO and other Chicago-area orchestras and groups – I've seen plenty of music by the likes of Elgar, Walton, Vaughan Williams, Holst, and Britten, and occasional items from other composers. The last concert I went to in Moscow was an all-Elgar program, conducted by Rozhdestvensky. I could go on, but you get the point.

On the other hand, it does seem that recordings of British music by non-British composers are fairly rare. I don’t know why that is, but I think it’s unfortunate, because some of my favorite recordings of British music have been made with non-British performers. I’m thinking of things like Berglund’s VW 4, or Bernstein’s recording of the same piece, or some of Solti’s Elgar (yeah I know he became British but his cultural formation was Central European), or Szell’s Walton, or Steinberg’s Planets, or Leonhardt’s Byrd on harpsichord, or Gould’s Byrd and Gibbons on piano. I don’t know if there’s a necessary connection between this foreign element and my high regard for these performances, but it’s interesting to ponder. Thoughts?
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Offline aukhawk

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2012, 06:17:32 AM »
Previn's VW was certainly well-received when it first appeared, and still holds up well now despite increaseed competition.  Haitink too.  Slatkin maybe less so. 
I rather like the version of Sea Symphony by Robert Spano/Atlanta SO - American accents and all - less impressed with his VW 5th though, the only other one of that set I've tried.

Solti's Elgar, yes definitely. My favourite Elgar Violin Concerto is Zukerman/Barenboim.

Previn and Pesek in Britten.

Bax - Myer Fredman is my favourite for Symphonies 1 & 2 (Australian??)
« Last Edit: November 15, 2012, 06:19:30 AM by aukhawk »

Online Brian

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2012, 06:58:50 AM »
There's a fantastic CD coupling Karajan's Planets with Monteux' Enigma.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2012, 07:11:49 AM »
There's a fantastic CD coupling Karajan's Planets with Monteux' Enigma.

What orchestra?

(j/k)
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2012, 07:15:23 AM »
What orchestra?

(j/k)


Although it is Vienna for the Holst . . . and the LSO for the Elgar.

Brian, what harm did my wallet ever offer you?!
; )
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2012, 07:58:28 AM »
There's a fantastic CD coupling Karajan's Planets with Monteux' Enigma.

Has anyone heard the Jochum or Levine Enigmas? (I think the latter is with the BPO)

An important recording I forgot to mention: the all-Slovak production of Brian's Gothic.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

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Online Brian

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2012, 12:31:18 PM »
Although it is Vienna for the Holst . . . and the LSO for the Elgar.

Brian, what harm did my wallet ever offer you?!
; )
Hah! I can vouch for the album, and Alan recently praised the Monteux Elgar to the skies, too!

Hey, look at this new release I just learned about:



Cockaigne Overture
Symphony No 5 in D
Four Sea Interludes and Passacaglia from 'Grimes'

Offline val

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #7 on: November 16, 2012, 02:05:00 AM »
BYRD:  Harpsichord works by Gustav Leonhardt, a superb anthology

GIBBONS: Fantasies for viols by Savall. Sublime.

ELGAR:  Cello Concerto by Fournier and the BPO conducted by Wallenstein. For the sound and the eloquence of Fournier.

BRITTEN:  The Suites for cello by Daniel Müller-Schott. Recent and very beautiful.

Not forgetting some songs of Dowland by Hugues Cuénod.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #8 on: November 16, 2012, 02:22:21 AM »
Svetlanov conducting Elgar Symphony No 2

Rozhdestvensky conducting Vaughan Williams's 'Sancta Civitas' and Symphony No 5

Abranel conducting Vaughan Williams's Symphony No 6 and 'Dona Nobis Pacem'

come to mind as recordings I admire. Of course Stokowski, Previn and Slatkin conducted many Vaughan Williams recordings too.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2012, 02:47:00 PM »
BYRD:  Harpsichord works by Gustav Leonhardt, a superb anthology

Yes, a marvelous disc which made me re-consider my dislike of harpsichords.

Quote
GIBBONS: Fantasies for viols by Savall. Sublime.

Hm, do you mean Purcell rather than Gibbons?
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Offline Lisztianwagner

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #10 on: November 16, 2012, 03:17:48 PM »
Karajan's recordings of The Planets are very brilliant and beautifully atmospheric; they're certainly among my favourite performances of that work along with the Solti and the Previn.

Bernstein's Elgar Enigma Variations is a masterpiece; absolutely gorgeous, passionate and delightful music.
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Offline petrarch

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #11 on: November 16, 2012, 05:32:52 PM »
Hm, do you mean Purcell rather than Gibbons?

There really is a (very fine) Gibbons disc:



The remaining discs Savall released surveying music in Britain are all quite good: Coprario, Holborne, Hume, Lawes, Locke, Purcell and Tye. There is also a Dowland but I don't have that one.
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Offline val

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #12 on: November 17, 2012, 02:09:36 AM »
Quote
Velimir
Hm, do you mean Purcell rather than Gibbons?

No. I like those of Purcell but to me the "Fantaisies Royales" of Gibbons are among the 3 or 4 greatest works of all Brittish music.

Offline techniquest

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #13 on: November 17, 2012, 11:19:33 PM »
Mehta and the Los Angeles Philharmonic doing The Planets (Decca); Tadaaki Otaka doing Walton's 1st (BBC Music disc) and Yuri Temirkanov conducting Brittens' Young Persons Guide to the Orchestra in the Brilliant Classics 'Historical Russian Archives' box.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #14 on: November 18, 2012, 01:57:30 AM »
Silvestri did a very nice disk of Elgar (Introduction and Allegro) and VW (Wasps).

This thread made me think a bit as well, about my attitude to Sibelius performed by non-Nordic types, and more especially about Shostakovich performed by non-Russian orchestras.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #15 on: December 17, 2012, 04:33:22 PM »
Karajan's Walton Symphony No 1 is a fine performance, as is Horenstein's. I was very surprised to find that Karajan had recorded this work. Ashkenazy's is another fine recording.
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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #16 on: December 17, 2012, 09:49:54 PM »
 :oIs it allowed? :o

Offline Mandryka

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Re: British music, non-British performers
« Reply #17 on: December 18, 2012, 10:16:47 AM »
I'm not a great fan of renaissance music, though what I have heard has always sounded very nice. I agree with the positive view of Savall's Gibbons and Leonhardt was good in Purcell and in Byrd. Gould's Byrd is also astonishingly good. What do people think of Glen Wilson's Byrd, and Cappricio Stravagante's? I find the music in the Wilson, the Fantasias, quite difficult.

Apart  from Dido I'm not overly fond of Purcell. I have explored the Viol Fantasies a bit and I'd say that Harnoncourt makes them more intersting than anyone else I've heard. Harnoncourt gives each piece a distinctive personality, so you don't have the samyness that I find a major problem n other recordings.

As far as Dowland's concerned, the Cuenod record that val mentions is nice if you like Cuenod. I prefer the Dowland that Pears recorded with Bream, or the songs that Deller recorded, especially in the earlier recordings.
« Last Edit: December 18, 2012, 10:27:19 AM by Mandryka »
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