Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 327585 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3200 on: April 15, 2018, 12:53:44 PM »
Here's mine, keeping it to two each here (although I have four to five favorites of each symphony):

1 - Boult (EMI)
     Haitink

2 -  Barbirolli (Dutton)
      Hickox (1913)

3 - Haitink
     Boult (Decca)

4 - Bernstein
     Boult (Decca)
   
5 - Menuhin
     Haitink
   
6 - Boult (Decca)
     Haitink
     
7 - Haitink
     Previn

8 - Haitink
     Boult (EMI)

9 - Thomson
     Haitink

Obviously my favorite cycles are Haitink and the Boults with Rozhdestvensky a fascinating alternative. Just wish his 8th wasn't such a disaster.

Sarge
Interesting choices and no great disagreements from me. The Menuhin for No.5 is especially interesting as it has had a fairly bad press. I have it on CD with the double Piano Concerto  and will listen again. I'd choose Previn for No.3. I like the Rozhdestvensky very much. There is a great moment in No.7 where an organ sequence goes a bit 'Dr Phibes' ( if you're old enough to understand the reference). Bernstein and Mitropolous are very good in No.4.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3201 on: April 16, 2018, 02:33:36 AM »
Listening to the Bakels Ninth last night, I marked that some tempi/events were somewhere faster/briefer.  I can understand that knocking it out of the running for this or that enthusiast's favorite;  nevertheless, I found it an interesting alternative.  And, I do find the performance good.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3202 on: April 16, 2018, 03:06:27 AM »
Listening to the Bakels Ninth last night, I marked that some tempi/events were somewhere faster/briefer.  I can understand that knocking it out of the running for this or that enthusiast's favorite;  nevertheless, I found it an interesting alternative.  And, I do find the performance good.

I like Bakels too, in fact he's right up there with Thomson in my estimation (both are speed demons, making a nice contrast to my other fave Haitink). I need to give Roz and Previn another listen, though...maybe time to re-evaluate. Both are even slower than Haitink.

Vaughan Williams 9 timings

Rozhdestvensky MofC 10:40   7:40   5:53   13:28
Previn/LSO                  10:10    8:36   5:58   13:49
Haitink/LPO                 10:06    7:56   5:31   12:56             
Slatkin/Philharmonia     9:19    7:51   4:51   11:44
Boult/LPO Decca           9:20    8:09   5:37   11:44
Boult/LPO EMI              9:13    7:46   5:40   12:05
Handley/RLPO              8:47    7:27   5:26   11:13
Davis/BBC                    8:47    8:39   5:18   11:18
Bakels                          7:39    7:07   5:15     9:44
Thomson/LSO              7:15    7:04   5:44   10:52


Sarge
« Last Edit: April 16, 2018, 03:17:05 AM by Sergeant Rock »
the phone rings and somebody says,
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he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3203 on: April 17, 2018, 12:09:30 AM »
I just want to thank those who spoke up for Slatkin's recording of A Sea Symphony upthread, and especially Sarge:
I concur...and the recording has tremendous organ presence. Spectacular sound. My other favorite of Slatkin's set is his Fourth.

This piqued my interest and a for very little outlay a used CD fell onto my doormat yesterday.  Absolutely superb, and a gorgeous quality of sound I must say I don't normally associate with the RCA label.  Performance-wise, I'd have to listen again (which is no small undertaking of course).

(And, before we go round the block again, yes I have owned the Haitink recording ever since it was first released, and have more recently added Spano and Elder.  Of these I like Spano the best but I'm not sure he could be recommended an an 'only' version.)
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 12:11:45 AM by aukhawk »

Offline André

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3204 on: April 17, 2018, 02:42:43 AM »
+ 1

Spano is very exciting, but too ‘wild’ for my taste. Slatkin rules. It has everything, in spades.There are other excellent versions of course.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3205 on: April 17, 2018, 03:59:00 AM »
Having just listened to the first movement again (and sampled the other three versions I have) I very regretfully have to DQ Slatkin because of his soprano.  For me, she falls badly at her first big hurdle "Flaunt out O sea", with wild vibrato and nasty glottal noises.  I won't name her as I feel huge sympathy for any singer faced with the near-impossible prospect of putting this piece on record.
Listening to the others this is equally a problem (actually much worse) in the Elder recording.  (Live performance, I think?)

For Spano, Christine Goerke belts it out just fine and is probably helped by the quicker tempo, for Haitink, Felicity Lott sounds somewhat restrained compared with the others (she is also much lower in the mix - more distant, a better balance really) and aquits herself well.

Did Rozhdestvensky have Vishnevskaya? (no, Googling I see not) - she would have been perfect for this.   8)  Maybe less good in the last movement though.

I see Boult (EMI) is available for pennies, I'll have to try it - on vinyl it was always a problem for me - a cumbersome double LP, and the choral highlights sounding a bit distorted, this was why Haitink was such a clear upgrade when he came along (having seen them both live, they are/were quite similar conductors, I always thought - both so undemonstrative on the podium, admirable).

Incidentally, every time I hear this first movement my brain plays the same trick, and plays it whatever recording I listen to - the baritone sings:
Today a rude brief recitative
Of ships sailing the seas, each with its special flag or ship-signal

oh yes, he sings that right enough - but I hear:
Of ships sailing the seas, each with its special brand of ships biscuits
 :laugh:
« Last Edit: April 17, 2018, 04:01:11 AM by aukhawk »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3206 on: April 17, 2018, 10:00:08 AM »
Having just listened to the first movement again (and sampled the other three versions I have) I very regretfully have to DQ Slatkin because of his soprano.  For me, she falls badly at her first big hurdle "Flaunt out O sea", with wild vibrato and nasty glottal noises.  I won't name her as I feel huge sympathy for any singer faced with the near-impossible prospect of putting this piece on record.
Listening to the others this is equally a problem (actually much worse) in the Elder recording.  (Live performance, I think?)

For Spano, Christine Goerke belts it out just fine and is probably helped by the quicker tempo, for Haitink, Felicity Lott sounds somewhat restrained compared with the others (she is also much lower in the mix - more distant, a better balance really) and aquits herself well.

Did Rozhdestvensky have Vishnevskaya? (no, Googling I see not) - she would have been perfect for this.   8)  Maybe less good in the last movement though.

I see Boult (EMI) is available for pennies, I'll have to try it - on vinyl it was always a problem for me - a cumbersome double LP, and the choral highlights sounding a bit distorted, this was why Haitink was such a clear upgrade when he came along (having seen them both live, they are/were quite similar conductors, I always thought - both so undemonstrative on the podium, admirable).

Incidentally, every time I hear this first movement my brain plays the same trick, and plays it whatever recording I listen to - the baritone sings:
Today a rude brief recitative
Of ships sailing the seas, each with its special flag or ship-signal

oh yes, he sings that right enough - but I hear:
Of ships sailing the seas, each with its special brand of ships biscuits
 :laugh:
I like the alternative 'ships biscuits' version.

A friend of mine ruined the verse in VW's 'An Oxford Elegy' from Matthew Arnold:

 '...up your pathway strays'

by telling me that it reminded him of one of the innuendos of the late British comedian Frankie Howerd. I've never been able to take it seriously ever since.

On a separate note I turned on my car radio earlier and for a few seconds thought I was listening to A Sea Symphony but it turned out to be a section of 'The Canterbury Pilgrims' by Sir George Dyson.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3207 on: April 17, 2018, 06:32:06 PM »
On a separate note I turned on my car radio earlier and for a few seconds thought I was listening to A Sea Symphony but it turned out to be a section of 'The Canterbury Pilgrims' by Sir George Dyson.

BLASPHEMY!!!

8)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3208 on: April 17, 2018, 10:48:49 PM »
I like the alternative 'ships biscuits' version.

A friend of mine ruined the verse in VW's 'An Oxford Elegy' from Matthew Arnold:

 '...up your pathway strays'

by telling me that it reminded him of one of the innuendos of the late British comedian Frankie Howerd. I've never been able to take it seriously ever since.

I can think of several other innuendo type phrases in the texts that VW selected for this symphony. And there are even more in the works of Whitman as a whole.

Whitman was gay, and expressed this in his works in referencing male beauty, manly affection &c, but I think the ambiguous phrases come about because WW was very effusive in his works and dashed off a whole load of words without thinking too carefully about what they might imply. Or perhaps he didn't care.

 :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3209 on: April 18, 2018, 12:25:29 AM »
I can think of several other innuendo type phrases in the texts that VW selected for this symphony. And there are even more in the works of Whitman as a whole.

Whitman was gay, and expressed this in his works in referencing male beauty, manly affection &c, but I think the ambiguous phrases come about because WW was very effusive in his works and dashed off a whole load of words without thinking too carefully about what they might imply. Or perhaps he didn't care.

 :)

A very interesting point - which has also been made in relation to the Whitman settings in Bliss's masterpiece (IMHO) 'Morning Heroes'.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline André

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3210 on: April 18, 2018, 05:04:29 AM »
Coincidentally, I received Morning Heroes this week. Will listen to it soon (it’s in the pile somewhere... ::)).

Whitman was not only gay, but like other hedonists (Benvenuto Cellini, Gustav Klimt), someone for whom beauty and its corollary sensuality were the most precious gifts of nature to mankind.

Offline relm1

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3211 on: April 18, 2018, 05:23:04 AM »
BLASPHEMY!!!

8)

My radio was off on my car radio earlier and for a few seconds I thought I was listening to 4'33" by John Cage.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3212 on: April 18, 2018, 07:29:01 AM »
My radio was off on my car radio earlier and for a few seconds I thought I was listening to 4'33" by John Cage.

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

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3213 on: April 18, 2018, 07:30:27 AM »
Coincidentally, I received Morning Heroes this week. Will listen to it soon (it’s in the pile somewhere... ::)).

Whitman was not only gay, but like other hedonists (Benvenuto Cellini, Gustav Klimt), someone for whom beauty and its corollary sensuality were the most precious gifts of nature to mankind.

Which version Andre?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline André

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3214 on: April 18, 2018, 09:07:38 AM »
This disc:



Is it any good ?  Never heard the work, let alone other versions  :D !

Offline relm1

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3215 on: April 18, 2018, 02:52:07 PM »
I am confused about the versions of the London Symphony.  I am listening to the Hyperion Mundi/Rochester Philharmonic recording and it is the "rare" 1920 version, right?  Meanwhile there was a Hyperion/BBC Symphony/Martyn Brabbins.  This is the very same version, right?  Then I know there is the long Hickox original 1913 version which I believe is the only one.  My other confusion is the most common version is from 1933 that makes a lot of cuts, right?

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3216 on: April 18, 2018, 11:51:52 PM »
I am confused about the versions of the London Symphony.  I am listening to the Hyperion Mundi/Rochester Philharmonic recording and it is the "rare" 1920 version, right?  Meanwhile there was a Hyperion/BBC Symphony/Martyn Brabbins.  This is the very same version, right?  Then I know there is the long Hickox original 1913 version which I believe is the only one.  My other confusion is the most common version is from 1933 that makes a lot of cuts, right?

The London Symphony was completed in 1913 and first performed the year after; this the version Hickox used and is, as far as I know, the only recording of it. After a performance by Boult in March 1918 RVW revised the work and again after a further performance by Boult; this second revision was published in 1920 and is the version used by Brabbins. RVW was still not satisfied and revised the work again in 1933 making cuts that several of his friends were unhappy with. This 1933 revision (published 1936) is the standard version most often recorded. He considered a further revision in the early 1950s but gave up saying the work was 'beyond mending'.

Edit: It was the versions made between 1918 and 1920 that involved the largest cuts, roughly 25-30% of the original score.
« Last Edit: April 19, 2018, 12:02:15 AM by Biffo »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3217 on: April 19, 2018, 03:44:26 AM »
The London Symphony was completed in 1913 and first performed the year after; this the version Hickox used and is, as far as I know, the only recording of it. After a performance by Boult in March 1918 RVW revised the work and again after a further performance by Boult; this second revision was published in 1920 and is the version used by Brabbins. RVW was still not satisfied and revised the work again in 1933 making cuts that several of his friends were unhappy with. This 1933 revision (published 1936) is the standard version most often recorded. He considered a further revision in the early 1950s but gave up saying the work was 'beyond mending'.

Edit: It was the versions made between 1918 and 1920 that involved the largest cuts, roughly 25-30% of the original score.

I have a feeling that the Rochester version was mistakenly advertised on some sites as being the 'rare' 1920 version but is in fact of the standard 1936 version.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline relm1

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3218 on: April 19, 2018, 05:34:27 AM »
I have a feeling that the Rochester version was mistakenly advertised on some sites as being the 'rare' 1920 version but is in fact of the standard 1936 version.

Yes, the CD booklet makes it look like it is the 1920 version.

Offline aukhawk

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3219 on: April 19, 2018, 05:51:01 AM »
Those timings are substantially shorter than both the 1933 versions I have to hand (Bakels and Elder).