Author Topic: Irving Fine (1914-1962)  (Read 1080 times)

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kyjo

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Irving Fine (1914-1962)
« on: October 09, 2013, 05:38:49 PM »
Irving Fine is a very fine composer (no pun intended ;D) whose music assimilates elements of neoclassicism, neo-romanticism and (later) serialism. His early death at age 47 due to heart disease was a real tragedy, because his small but accomplished output he left behind is of very high quality. He was a member of the "Boston School", which included other American composers who were primarily influenced by Stravinsky's neoclassicism. Fine studied under such distinguished teachers as Walter Piston and Nadia Boulanger and was later close associates with Copland, Bernstein and Stravinsky.

Though he was influenced by neoclassicism, his created his own unique brand which avoids replicating the sometimes dry and unemotional kind favored by Stravinsky. In his later works, such as the magnificent "Symphony 1962", he made use of serialism, but with the epic sweep and power of his music, you'd hardly notice (as in Alwyn's Symphony no. 3)! I recommend the below Phoenix disc will all possible enthusiasm:



Leinsdorf and the Boston SO give authoritative accounts of Fine's music. The Toccata Concertante clearly shows Stravinsky's influence, but Fine adds a distinctively American accent to the proceedings. The Serious Song for string orchestra is an absolutely gorgeous, heart-rending piece of music that brings to mind Barber's Adagio and VW's works for string orchestra. "Symphony 1962" is a most impressive work! As with Arthur Benjamin's only symphony, this powerful work will make you wish that Fine had lived to compose more symphonies! The Finale, Ode, will knock your socks off in its grand, imposing power!

Here are some other recordings of Fine's music:

   

   

   

   



All are worth checking out, but the Phoenix disc is an absolute must-buy!

Almost his entire output is available on YouTube, so don't fail to browse there if you wish to sample some of Fine's music!

Any others familiar with or would like to get familiar with Fine's music? :)

kyjo

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Re: Irving Fine (1914-1962)
« Reply #1 on: October 10, 2013, 11:03:57 AM »
Nobody?! :'(

Offline Christo

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Re: Irving Fine (1914-1962)
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2013, 03:17:29 PM »
Nobody?! :'(

Correct. That's me.  :)

And I own the quintessential Irving Fine CD, but never played it enough to learn its qualities.  :-X
… 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

kyjo

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Re: Irving Fine (1914-1962)
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2013, 03:23:31 PM »
Correct. That's me.  :)

And I own the quintessential Irving Fine CD, but never played it enough to learn its qualities.  :-X

Thanks for your reply, Johan. Knowing how much you admire RVW, I have a feeling you'd love the beautiful Serious Song for strings as well as the equally gorgeous Nocturne for strings and harp (available on a CRI CD or on YouTube). I'm sure you'd like his more vigorous, neoclassical side as well (as exemplified by the Toccata concertante and the Symphony 1962). :)

Offline Daverz

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Re: Irving Fine (1914-1962)
« Reply #4 on: October 10, 2013, 03:47:09 PM »
I have both CRI the last 2 CDs you list, probably from BRO.  I seem to have missed the Symphony, though.

Listening to the Partita now, the Dorian Quintet on Vox.





« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 04:09:59 PM by Daverz »

kyjo

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Re: Irving Fine (1914-1962)
« Reply #5 on: October 10, 2013, 04:42:25 PM »
I have both CRI the last 2 CDs you list, probably from BRO.  I seem to have missed the Symphony, though.

Listening to the Partita now, the Dorian Quintet on Vox.



It's been a while since I've listened to any of Fine's chamber works, but, if memory serves, they struck me as well-crafted but pretty standard neoclassical fare. The orchestral works, however, really struck a chord with me. Definitely give Symphony 1962 a listen. Anyone interested in 20th century orchestral music will want to hear it.