Author Topic: "War Symphonies"  (Read 5211 times)

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Offline North Star

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #20 on: October 11, 2013, 08:29:52 AM »
As far as WWI-inspired works go, the only ones that come to mind immediately are:

Elgar: Cello Concerto
Merikanto: Symphony no. 2
Rootham: For the Fallen
Miaskovsky: Symphony no. 4

I wonder why there's so many more works inspired by WWII than WWI? Any thoughts?
As far as Russian/Soviet composers are concerned, the demand for music praising socialists' heroism was far greater then, as opposed to the time after WWI, when USSR had just formed, and they were busy creating a new, progressive identity for the country, and futurism was a big part of that.
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DavidW

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #21 on: October 11, 2013, 09:00:36 AM »
George Crumb, Black Angels

This.  +1 8)

DavidW

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #22 on: October 11, 2013, 09:02:09 AM »
A few that come to mind ..

Holst - Mars, in The Planets
Messiaen - Quartet for the End of Time
Nono - Intolleranza 1960, "azione scenica"
Nono - Sul ponte di Hiroshima, soprano, tenor, orchestra.
Nono - La victoire de Guernica. chorus and orchestra.
Penderecki - Threnody for the victims of Hiroshima.
Penderecki - Dies irae : oratorio for the victims of Auschwitz
Penderecki - Polish Requiem. soloists, chorus, orchestra.
Schoenberg - A Survivor From Warsaw, op.46
Schoenberg - Ode to Napoleon, op. 41
Strauss - Ein Heldenleben
Stravinsky - Histoire du Soldat
Tippett - A Child of our Time, oratorio
Tippett - King Priam. Opera, Act 2.
Wagner - Rienzi, Act 3, scene 3. opera
Xenakis - Night, for 12 mixed voices (political prisoners)
Stockhausen - Dienstag aus Licht (the Day of War between Michael & Lucifer)


That is a fantastic list James (from what I've heard).  I have not heard anything by Nono, Tipett or Stockhausen unfortunately. 

DavidW

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #23 on: October 11, 2013, 09:06:06 AM »
Indeed! And THANK YOU for actually abiding by the guidelines of this thread!

I apologize I did not know how important this was to you.

Vaughan Williams Fourth Symphony, and Shostakovich's Eighth which both speak to the horror of war.

kyjo

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #24 on: October 11, 2013, 09:07:58 AM »
I apologize I did not know how important this was to you.

Vaughan Williams Fourth Symphony, and Shostakovich's Eighth which both speak to the horror of war.

No need to apologize, David! I really shouldn't have limited this thread to symphonies, but I just didn't want it to sprawl. I'll open up this thread to all forms. :)

Offline North Star

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #25 on: October 11, 2013, 09:13:39 AM »
That is a fantastic list James (from what I've heard).  I have not heard anything by Nono, Tipett or Stockhausen unfortunately.
The few Tippett pieces I know are all excellent - A Child of Our Time, Concerto for Double String Orchestra, and the Fantasia Concertante on a theme of Corelli are definitely worth listening, David, irregardless of them being unsung, under-appreciated, or whatever.  :P



No need to apologize, David! I really shouldn't have limited this thread to symphonies, but I just didn't want it to sprawl. I'll open up this thread to all forms. :)
I was ready to fetch in that favourite post of yours, kyjo ;)
"Everything has beauty, but not everyone sees it." - Confucius

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kyjo

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #26 on: October 11, 2013, 05:09:32 PM »
I think Rubbra's Symphony no. 4 could be included as well. :)

kyjo

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #27 on: October 11, 2013, 10:29:34 PM »
Another one is Sauguet's epic Symphony no. 1 Expiatoire.

Offline relm1

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #28 on: October 12, 2013, 04:59:14 PM »
Don't forget Joly Braga Santos's Symphony No. 1 "To the Heroes and Martyrs of the last World War". 

kyjo

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #29 on: October 12, 2013, 05:08:09 PM »
Don't forget Joly Braga Santos's Symphony No. 1 "To the Heroes and Martyrs of the last World War".

I forgot JBS 1 had that subtitle (the Marco Polo recording doesn't include it, I think). Thanks for pointing that out!

kyjo

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #30 on: October 12, 2013, 05:10:12 PM »
Don't believe Harris' Symphonies 5 and 6 Gettysburg have been mentioned yet.

kyjo

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #31 on: October 15, 2013, 01:10:59 PM »
A symphony inspired by a war other than the two WWs is Aaron Jay Kernis' harrowing Symphony no. 2, written in response to horrific images Kernis saw of the Persian Gulf War.

Offline relm1

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #32 on: October 15, 2013, 05:01:36 PM »
A symphony inspired by a war other than the two WWs is Aaron Jay Kernis' harrowing Symphony no. 2, written in response to horrific images Kernis saw of the Persian Gulf War.

Good call, that's a great work and one of my favorite living composers. 

Offline relm1

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #33 on: October 15, 2013, 05:03:26 PM »
Would you consider Henze's Symphony No. 9 as qualifying?  It is subtitled "Dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of German anti-fascism" and based on themes that have preoccupied him since he was conscripted to the German Army as a young man during World War II.

kyjo

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #34 on: October 15, 2013, 05:21:22 PM »
Would you consider Henze's Symphony No. 9 as qualifying?  It is subtitled "Dedicated to the heroes and martyrs of German anti-fascism" and based on themes that have preoccupied him since he was conscripted to the German Army as a young man during World War II.

Given the information you provided about it, it certainly would qualify! A couple more that were suggested by members of another forum:

Khrennikov (hard to bring up his name without provoking a discussion about the evils he committed): Symphony no. 2 (actually a rather fine work)
Tubin nos. 4-6
Hendrik Andriessen no. 3
Vermeulen nos. 4 and 5
Bernard Stevens no. 1 Symphony of Liberation (great work)
Zafred no. 4 Sinfonia della resistenza
Blitzstein Airborne Symphony
Barber no. 2 (also has connections with the air force)
Schuman no. 9 The Ardeatine Caves
Boiko no. 2
Bunin no. 2
Mosolov Symphony in E
Shcherbachov no. 5

Offline vandermolen

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #35 on: October 17, 2013, 10:38:53 AM »
I think Rubbra's Symphony no. 4 could be included as well. :)

I totally agree. Robert Layton in a booklet note for the Lyrita commented on it being unrelated to the time of its composition. Rubbish in my view, especially in view of the redemptive conclusion. When it was played once on Radio 3 the announcer referred to the end of the symphony in terms of 'Blood, sweat and tears' ( the Churchill war time speech, as opposed to the US jazz-rock combo) this is much more accurate I think.

Also Arnell Symphony 3, Clifford Symphony 1940. The Clifford has a wonderful ending, written during one of the first air raids on London, in which the Australian composer ' shakes a defiant fist at heaven and at would-be oppressors' (Lewis Foreman).

Also Daniel Sternefeld Symphony No 1 (written in hiding from the Nazis in The Netherlands), Bainton Symphony 2 ( on the same CD as the Clifford - two wonderful works). Hayasaka's magnificent Piano Concerto No 2 from 1948, was written in memory of his brother and the victims of World War Two. It is my favourite of the Naxos Japanese Composers collection ( the Moroi Third Symphony is a close second)

How did I miss this thread?  :'(
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 11:00:22 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

kyjo

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #36 on: October 17, 2013, 11:16:38 AM »
I totally agree. Robert Layton in a booklet note for the Lyrita commented on it being unrelated to the time of its composition. Rubbish in my view, especially in view of the redemptive conclusion. When it was played once on Radio 3 the announcer referred to the end of the symphony in terms of 'Blood, sweat and tears' ( the Churchill war time speech, as opposed to the US jazz-rock combo) this is much more accurate I think.

Also Arnell Symphony 3, Clifford Symphony 1940. The Clifford has a wonderful ending, written during one of the first air raids on London, in which the Australian composer ' shakes a defiant fist at heaven and at would-be oppressors' (Lewis Foreman).

Also Daniel Sternefeld Symphony No 1 (written in hiding from the Nazis in The Netherlands), Bainton Symphony 2 ( on the same CD as the Clifford - two wonderful works). Hayasaka's magnificent Piano Concerto No 2 from 1948, was written in memory of his brother and the victims of World War Two. It is my favourite of the Naxos Japanese Composers collection ( the Moroi Third Symphony is a close second)

How did I miss this thread?  :'(

I forgot the Clifford, Sternefeld, Bainton and Hayasaka works-thanks for mentioning them! I agree with you about the Hayasaka PC-it has a heartbreakingly beautiful, extended first movement (with echoes of Rachmaninov), but it is rather let down by the comparatively lightweight finale. Enjoyable as it is, it seems incongruous to the lyrical, nostalgic first movement.

Have you heard Orthel's Symphonies 2 and 3, Jeffrey, and, if so, what do you think of them? IMO they are among the most powerful of the wartime symphonies-deeply troubled works with a poignant sense of humanity.
« Last Edit: October 17, 2013, 11:19:06 AM by kyjo »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #37 on: October 17, 2013, 11:42:45 AM »
I forgot the Clifford, Sternefeld, Bainton and Hayasaka works-thanks for mentioning them! I agree with you about the Hayasaka PC-it has a heartbreakingly beautiful, extended first movement (with echoes of Rachmaninov), but it is rather let down by the comparatively lightweight finale. Enjoyable as it is, it seems incongruous to the lyrical, nostalgic first movement.

Have you heard Orthel's Symphonies 2 and 3, Jeffrey, and, if so, what do you think of them? IMO they are among the most powerful of the wartime symphonies-deeply troubled works with a poignant sense of humanity.

The Hayasaka is not 'No 2' as sadly he only wrote one - my mistake. Yes, I usually only listen to the first movement! The second movement is completely incongruous. Do you know the Clifford/Bainton works Kyle? I'm sure that the redoubtable Christo, of GMG forum fame recommended the Orthel to me and they are indeed great works ( I must fish them out to listen again). One of the greatest (anti) war works is 'Nadir' by Sainton, written in response to witnessing the death of a child in a war-time bombing raid on Bristol - but not a symphony of course. You must hear it if you don't already know it.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

kyjo

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #38 on: October 17, 2013, 12:00:40 PM »
The Hayasaka is not 'No 2' as sadly he only wrote one - my mistake. Yes, I usually only listen to the first movement! The second movement is completely incongruous. Do you know the Clifford/Bainton works Kyle? I'm sure that the redoubtable Christo, of GMG forum fame recommended the Orthel to me and they are indeed great works ( I must fish them out to listen again). One of the greatest (anti) war works is 'Nadir' by Sainton, written in response to witnessing the death of a child in a war-time bombing raid on Bristol - but not a symphony of course. You must hear it if you don't already know it.

Yes, I know the Clifford, Bainton, and Sainton works. The Clifford and Bainton symphonies are rather Baxian (none the worse for that) and quite invigorating; great finds. The Sainton is a deeply atmospheric, poignant work also in the spirit of Bax.

Do you know Kletzki's (better known as a conductor) Symphony no. 3 In memoriam? It is similar in character to Honegger's Liturgique-angry, somber, and chilling. The slow movement is very haunting and chilling. It's by no means an "easy" work-it can be violent and often quite dissonant-but it reaps great rewards. I think you'd like it, Jeffrey. There are two different recordings of it, but I only have the BIS (which is excellent):

(the barbed wire on the cover very appropriate)   


Offline vandermolen

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Re: "War Symphonies"
« Reply #39 on: October 17, 2013, 12:19:14 PM »
Yes, I know the Clifford, Bainton, and Sainton works. The Clifford and Bainton symphonies are rather Baxian (none the worse for that) and quite invigorating; great finds. The Sainton is a deeply atmospheric, poignant work also in the spirit of Bax.

Do you know Kletzki's (better known as a conductor) Symphony no. 3 In memoriam? It is similar in character to Honegger's Liturgique-angry, somber, and chilling. The slow movement is very haunting and chilling. It's by no means an "easy" work-it can be violent and often quite dissonant-but it reaps great rewards. I think you'd like it, Jeffrey. There are two different recordings of it, but I only have the BIS (which is excellent):

(the barbed wire on the cover very appropriate)   




I'm not sure that these fascinating recommendations are good for my bank balance, but I will look out for the Kletzki. Many thanks Kyle.
 


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

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