Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 326246 times)

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3540 on: September 25, 2018, 03:53:41 AM »
this surging account of the great Sea Symphony. The choral singing is magnificent throughout, and the BBCSO vividly capture VW's tangy, salty orchestration

One of my favourite versions of the Sea Symphony is another with the BBC SO - not the Andrew Davis cycle but from the BBC Music Magazine with Leonard Slatkin.  Opulently recorded with a thunderous Royal Albert Hall organ - it also benefits from a very large chorus; BBC Chorus, Philharmonia Chorus and Trinity College of Music Chamber Choir.  It helps underline the epic sweep of the piece.

I can't justify another Sea Symphony no matter how good Brabbins is!



afterthought - Slatkin's studio Sea Symphony was one of the best that cycle I thought.

Offline André

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3541 on: September 25, 2018, 04:07:36 AM »
One of my favourite versions of the Sea Symphony is another with the BBC SO - not the Andrew Davis cycle but from the BBC Music Magazine with Leonard Slatkin.  Opulently recorded with a thunderous Royal Albert Hall organ - it also benefits from a very large chorus; BBC Chorus, Philharmonia Chorus and Trinity College of Music Chamber Choir.  It helps underline the epic sweep of the piece.

I can't justify another Sea Symphony no matter how good Brabbins is!



afterthought - Slatkin's studio Sea Symphony was one of the best that cycle I thought.

With Joan Rodgers and Simon Keenleyside. I found it a bit underwhelming, precisely on account of its all-around bigness, which brought a certain slackness to the proceedings. Also, the acoustics seemed to lack immediacy. I’ll have to give it another spin when the wife is away. Better to hear that on the full audio system than on headphones, I guess  :).

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3542 on: September 25, 2018, 04:19:35 AM »
'49th Parallel' is another propaganda film. The Tony Palmer documentary 'O Thou Transcendent' has an excerpt from it and it is hilarious (unintentionally). Laurence Olivier plays a French-Canadian and his accent is outrageous - he sounds like John Cleese in 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' when he taunts the English knights.

That's realism; Canadians really do speak like that.

(Oh, I kid, I kid . . . .)
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 Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3543 on: September 25, 2018, 04:52:18 AM »
With Joan Rodgers and Simon Keenleyside. I found it a bit underwhelming, precisely on account of its all-around bigness, which brought a certain slackness to the proceedings. Also, the acoustics seemed to lack immediacy. I’ll have to give it another spin when the wife is away. Better to hear that on the full audio system than on headphones, I guess  :).

Certain worth a revisit Andre.  To my ear the "festival" scale of this performance ties it in with the heritage of the British Choral tradition of which this is a direct off-spring.  I don't hear any slackness in fact just the reverse - a real intensity born of a live performance.  Yes, tempi are often relatively steady but that is a response to the performance space and I like the fact that the sound is not as spotlit or highlighted as some versions/recordings.  Both soloists have exactly the right sound for this type of work too.

Offline André

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3544 on: September 25, 2018, 02:01:38 PM »
Well, there it is:



It is indeed a spacious performance, and it calls to mind in many respects the opening line of the last movement :

O vast rondure, swimming in space,
Cover’d all over with visible power and beauty
(...)

It is spectacularly grand, orotund and obviously conceived to convey words and music through the vast expanses of the Royal Albert Hall. The sound is very fine, allowing one to distinctly hear the words in the a capella women chorus at Who justify these restless explorations? / Who speak the secret of the impassive earth?

The downside though is that the engineers could not achieve a real, solid bass. Also, there is a hiss, a faint white noise throughout the performance, which tends to rob the soft passages of any sense of immediacy. Although the back cover specifies it is DDD, it sounds more like analog to my ears.

Interpretively it is a resounding success. I’m really glad I heard it again !


Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3545 on: September 26, 2018, 03:14:51 AM »
Cool, André!
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 Oates

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3546 on: September 26, 2018, 05:15:16 AM »
'49th Parallel' is another propaganda film.

It is a good bit more than that - an original and unusual war thriller. Eric Portman's performance as a Nazi (no fake sitcom Jerry accent used here) is very good indeed. And the natural splendours of Canada were not often captured on film at this time.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3547 on: September 26, 2018, 05:25:08 AM »
Interpretively it is a resounding success. I’m really glad I heard it again !

Andre! - I'm glad you heard it again too.  I agree with all your observations (I suspect the hiss might be some residual air conditioning in the hall?) - I think it is a good example of a performance being molded to both the space and the occasion - and it happens to be a work that responds to both in this instance.  As I so often think - hurrah for the BBC!

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3548 on: September 26, 2018, 07:17:58 AM »
It is a good bit more than that - an original and unusual war thriller. Eric Portman's performance as a Nazi (no fake sitcom Jerry accent used here) is very good indeed. And the natural splendours of Canada were not often captured on film at this time.

By 'another' I meant as well as 'The Story of a Flemish Farm' mentioned earlier. However, 49th Parallel was made by the Ministry of Information and its purpose, according to the director Michael Powell, was 'to scare the pants off the Americans and bring them into the war sooner'.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3549 on: September 27, 2018, 04:36:54 PM »
According to one of the teasers on Wikipedia’s front page today:

English rock band XTC hired a 40-piece orchestra for their 1999 album Apple Venus Volume 1, to get a sound akin to "Vaughan Williams with a hard-on"?

 ???

Offline Christo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3550 on: October 05, 2018, 09:16:15 PM »
Well, there it is:



It is indeed a spacious performance, and it calls to mind in many respects the opening line of the last movement :

O vast rondure, swimming in space,
Cover’d all over with visible power and beauty
(...)

It is spectacularly grand, orotund and obviously conceived to convey words and music through the vast expanses of the Royal Albert Hall. The sound is very fine, allowing one to distinctly hear the words in the a capella women chorus at Who justify these restless explorations? / Who speak the secret of the impassive earth?

The downside though is that the engineers could not achieve a real, solid bass. Also, there is a hiss, a faint white noise throughout the performance, which tends to rob the soft passages of any sense of immediacy. Although the back cover specifies it is DDD, it sounds more like analog to my ears.

Interpretively it is a resounding success. I’m really glad I heard it again !
Many thanks for the tip! Ordered it and hope to report back.  :)
… 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 André

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3551 on: October 06, 2018, 11:09:03 AM »
Many thanks for the tip! Ordered it and hope to report back.  :)

Make sure to crank up the volume for the best listening experience. I look forward to read your impresssions !

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3552 on: October 11, 2018, 10:51:36 PM »
Happy 146th birthday RVW.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3553 on: October 12, 2018, 05:39:30 PM »
I've just taken delivery of the Dutton Blue Bird disk, and it's a ripper.

The incidental music is warm and engaging, the Norfolk Rhapsodies are very well played and David Matthews realisation of the 3rd is very intelligent and I love the way it turns dark towards the end.

The rest of the pieces are vintage VW, not pieces in the forefront of his achievement, but well crafted, cheerful pieces none the less. The disk leaves a good feeling.

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3554 on: October 12, 2018, 05:44:23 PM »
Happy 146th birthday RVW.

+1

In his commemoration, I'll listen to the Five Mystical Songs.

UPDATE: I'm ashamed to say that is the first time I listen to this work and turned out a truly inspired piece, one with a gentle expressiveness. Lovely piece. I can confirm VW was born to compose choral/vocal music of the most sublime nature.
« Last Edit: October 12, 2018, 07:48:13 PM by SymphonicAddict »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3555 on: October 12, 2018, 09:43:47 PM »
+1

In his commemoration, I'll listen to the Five Mystical Songs.

UPDATE: I'm ashamed to say that is the first time I listen to this work and turned out a truly inspired piece, one with a gentle expressiveness. Lovely piece. I can confirm VW was born to compose choral/vocal music of the most sublime nature.

Glad you have discovered this lovely work Cesar.

When I was a teenager, one Christmas, I heard this amazing music coming out of my parent's living room; both my older brother and I dashed into the room, from opposite directions in the flat (appartment) to find out what it was. It turned out to be the last of the 'Five Mystical Songs' ('Antiphon') from an LP sampler of 'Music from King's College Cambridge' which my mother had been bought for Christmas. It may have been the first VW I ever heard.
"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 #3556 on: October 13, 2018, 07:59:34 AM »
+1

In his commemoration, I'll listen to the Five Mystical Songs.

UPDATE: I'm ashamed to say that is the first time I listen to this work and turned out a truly inspired piece, one with a gentle expressiveness. Lovely piece. I can confirm VW was born to compose choral/vocal music of the most sublime nature.

This set is an example of why, before I had warmed to the symphonies, I pegged RVW as a great composer, even just by his minor works.
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 Christo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3557 on: October 13, 2018, 10:27:52 AM »
Time for a dissident voice - by one who loves RVW's music more than anything else in music. For me the Five Mystical Songs represent one of the rare cases of 'minor' Vaughan Williams. Yes, came under the spell of the Antiphon at first hearing, also as a teenager, but also felt ever since that the cycle as a whole is not quintessental Vaughan Williams and somewhat 'artificial' in comparison to his real style, almost mimicking it.  :-[
(If I should give it a serious try again, which recording should be able to win me over to the right side?  8) )
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 10:30:45 AM by Christo »
… 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 vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3558 on: October 13, 2018, 10:40:36 AM »
Time for a dissident voice - by one who loves RVW's music more than anything else in music. For me the Five Mystical Songs represent one of the rare cases of 'minor' Vaughan Williams. Yes, came under the spell of the Antiphon at first hearing, also as a teenager, but also felt ever since that the cycle as a whole is not quintessental Vaughan Williams and somewhat 'artificial' in comparison to his real style, almost mimicking it.  :-[
(If I should give it a serious try again, which recording should be able to win me over to the right side?  8) )
Undoubtedly the one conducted by Sir David Willcocks, which, IMHO, is one of the great EMI CDs, coupled with the best ever 'Dies Natalis' by Finzi and some fine Holst. I can't believe that you don't like the 'Five Mystical Songs' - this is almost as bad as not liking the 'Serenade to Music'  :o


Seriously, this is perhaps the greatest CD in their 'British Composer' series.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2018, 10:44:52 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #3559 on: October 13, 2018, 11:47:49 AM »
I can't believe that you don't like the 'Five Mystical Songs' - this is almost as bad as not liking the 'Serenade to Music'  :o

 ;D :D ;D

Off now to listen the Five Mysticals...which I haven't heard in years.

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"

 

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