Author Topic: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)  (Read 1994 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« on: April 19, 2016, 11:17:07 PM »
Sir Richard Rodney Bennett needs his own topic.  :)  Another fine English composer, he was born in Broadstairs, a coastal town on the Isle of Thanet in Kent in 1936.  Died in New York, where he lived since 1979. He was something of a child prodigy, writing music at a very early age. Studied with Lennox Berkeley at the Royal Academy of Music.  Depending on which bio one reads, either his father, or his mother, was also a pupil of Gustav Holst. Winning a scholarship from the French, he was able to study under Boulez. He was a also played jazz piano, and accompanied many notable female vocalists in various venues, besides his many performances as a classical pianist.  While his reputation is probably based on his film scores (for which he won a BAFTA in 1975), he was a prolific composer of modernist Classical music. He won the Arnold Bax Society Prize in 1964, and then the 1965 Ralph Vaughan Williams Award for composer of the year.  Those of us who are Hammer Film aficionados recognize his name on the credits for such movies as The Man Who Could Cheat Death [1959], The Nanny [1965], The Witches [1966].  He was a teacher of composer Christopher Gunning. As a pianist, he gave the British premiere for Boulez's Structures 1a for Two Pianos.  Bernstein conducted his second symphony in 1968. His early Symphony No.1 (1965) [first recorded in 1968 by Igor Buketoff & the RPO, and performed later that year by Colin Davis and the BSO] and Piano Concerto (1968) are interesting, quite-listenable avante-garde pieces - later in his career his music became more lyrically conventional.

   (some) film scores                                        chamber music
================
                            ========================
Interpol, 1956                                                     String Quartet Nr.1, 1951
A Face in the Night, 1956                                      String Quartet Nr.2. 1953
The Safecracker, 1957                                          String Quartet Nr.3, 1953
The Devil’s Disciple, 1958                                      String Quartet Nr.4, 1964
Indiscreet, 1958                                                   Trio for Flute, Oboe & Clarinet, 1965
The Man Inside, 1958                                           Sonata for Wind Quintet & Piano, 1986
The Angry Hills, 1959                                           Clarinet Quintet, 1992
Blind Date, 1959                                                  Music for String Quartet, 1981
The Man Who Could Cheat Death, 1959                   A Canon for Stravinsky (String Trio), 1967
The Mark, 1961                                                    Oboe Quartet, 1975
The Devil Never Sleeps, 1961                                 'Jazz' Calendar, for Chamber Ensemble, 1960
Only Two Can Play, 1961                                       Sonata after Syrinx, for Flute, Viola & Harp, 1985
The Wrong Arm of the Law, 1962                           Saxophone Quartet, 1994
Heaven’s Above, 1963                                           Concerto for Wind Quintet, 1983
Billy Liar, 1963                                                     Fanfare for 2 Trumpets, Horn, Trombone & Tuba, 1962
One Way Pendulum, 1964                                     Quintet for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet, Horn & Bassoon, 1968
The Engineers, 1965; The Nanny, 1965                  Travel Notes 1 for String Quartet, 1975
European Tapestry, 1965                                      Travel Notes 2 for Flute, Oboe, Clarinet & Bassoon, 1976
A Penny for Your Thoughts, 1966                           Sounds and Sweet Aries for Piano, Flute & Oboe, 1985
The Witches/The Devil's Own, 1966      Studies for 5 Players (Flute-Oboe-Clarinet-Alto Sax-Percussion), 1957
Far from the Madding Crowd, 1967                        Lamento d'Arianna for String Quartet, 1986         
Billion Dollar Brain, 1967                                      Metamorphosis (4 violins, 2 violas, 2 cellos), 1980
Secret Ceremony, 1968                                        Dream Dancing, for Chamber Ensemble, 1986
The Buttercup Chain, 1970                               Commedia I, 1972 (winds & percussion)
Figures in a Landscape, 1970                            Commedia II, 1972 (flute, cello & piano)
Nicholas and Alexandra, 1971                            Commedia III, 1973 (winds, percussion, strings)
Lady Caroline Lamb, 1972                                 Commedia IV, 1973 (horn, 2 trumpets, trombone & tuba)
Voices, 1973                                         Reflections on a Theme of William Walton (6 vn, 2 va, 2 vc, db), 1985
Murder on the Orient Express, 1974                      Arethusa for Oboe & String Trio, 1989
                                                                       Tender is the Night, suite, for String Quartet, 1986
                                                                       A Book of Hours, for Chamber Ensemble, 1991

     orchestral                                                                 works for brass/winds
===========================
                     ====================
Horn Conc., 1956                                                                 Morning Music, 1986
5 Pieces, 1956                                                                     Concerto for 10 Brass Players, 1988
Music for an Occasion, 1959                                                  The Four Seasons, 1991
Journal, 1960                                                                      Flowers of the Forest, 1989
Suite française, 1961                                                      Concerto for Trumpet & Wind Orchestra, 1993
Nocturnes, chbr orch, 1962–3
Farnham Festival Ov., 1964
Aubade, 1964
Symphony no.1, 1965
Suite, 1966 [arr. from movts of The Aviary and The Insect World], small orch
Symphony no.2, 1967
Piano Conc., 1968                                                       Vocal with Orchestra
Oboe Conc., ob, str, 1969–70                           =============================
Gui Conc., gui, chbr orch, 1970                     The Approaches of Sleep (T. Browne), 4 voices & chbr ens, 1960
Party Piece, pf, small orch, 1971             London Pastoral (Wordsworth-Lydgate-Binyon), T, chbr orch, 1962
Viola Conc., va, chbr orch, 1973                       Epithalamion (R. Herrick), chorus, orch, 1966
Conc. for Orch, 1973                                   Soliloquy (J. Mitchell), lv, jazz ens, 1966
Violin Conc., 1975                                           Jazz Pastoral (Herrick), 1v, jazz ens, 1969
Zodiac, 1975–6                                          The Bermudas (A. Marvell), chorus, school orch, 1971
Serenade, small orch, 1976                          Sonnet Sequence (W. Shakespeare), T, str orch, 1974
Actaeon, hn, orch, 1977                               Spells (K. Raine), S, chorus, orch, 1974
Music for Strings, 1977                                      5 Sonnets of Louise Labé, S, chbr ens, 1984
Double Conc., db, chbr orch, 1978                      Lovesongs (e.e. cummings), T, orch, 1984
Sonnets to Orpheus, vc, orch, 1978–9            Ophelia (A. Rimbaud), Ct, ondes martenot, harp, strings, 1987
Harpsichord Conc., 1980
Anniversaries, 1982                                                          Opera
Freda’s Fandango, 1982                                               ===================
Memento, flute, strings, 1983                                           The Ledge, 1961
Sinfonietta, 1984                                                            The Midnight Thief, 1964
Moving into Aquarius, 1984, collab. T. Musgrave                 The Mines of Sulphur, 1965 [libretto-B. Cross]
Symphony no.3, 1987                                                     A Penny for a Song, 1967
Clarinet Conc., cl, str, 1987                                              All The King's Men, 1968 [libretto-B. Cross]
Marimba Conc., mar, chbr orch, 1988                                Victory, 1970 [libretto-B. Cross]
Saxophone Conc., a sax, str, 1988
Diversions, 1989                                                                          Ballet
Percussion Conc., perc, chbr orch, 1990                                     ==================
Conc. for Stan Getz, t sax, timp, str, 1990                                     Isadora, 1981
Celebration, 1991                                                                       Jazz Calendar, 1968
Variations on a Nursery Tune, 1992
Bassoon Conc., bn, str, 1994
Partita, 1995
Reflections on a Sixteenth Century Tune (1999)

           chamber music for 2 instruments                          solo instrument
==============================
           ===================
Theme and Variations, violinn, viola, 1952                           Sonata Nr.1, violin, 1955
 Study, trumpet, piano, 1957                                             Stanzas, organ, 1960
 Music for 2 pianos, 1957–8                                    Impromptu on a Theme of Henri Dutilleux, piano, 1994
 Winter Music, flute, piano, 1960                                        Excursions, piano, 1993
 Sonata, oboe, piano, 1961                                               Scena II, cello, 1973
 Conversations, 2 flutes, 1964                                            Telegram, piano, 1976
 Crosstalk, 2 basset horns/2 clarinets, 1966                         Sonata Nr.2, violin, 1965
 Capriccio, piano duet, 1968                                      Impromptu on the Name of Haydn, piano, 1981
 4 Piece Suite, 2 pianos, 1974                                             Alba, organ, 1971
 Kandinsky Variations, 2 pianos, 1977                                  Impromptu, flute, 1969
 Sonata, horn, piano, 1978                                                 Scena I, piano, 1973
 Sonata, violin, piano, 1978                                                Sonatina, clarinet, 1981
 Up Bow, Down Bow, bk 1, vn, pf, 1979                               Partridge Pie, piano, 1990
 Up Bow, Down Bow, viola, piano, 1979                               Impromptu, guitar, 1968
 After Syrinx I, oboe, piano, 1982                               6 Tunes for the Instruction of Singing Birds, flute, 1981
 Summer Music, flute, piano, 1982                                       Noctuary, piano, 1981
 Serenade II, ondes martenot, piano, 1984                            After Syrinx II, marimba, 1984
 Duo concertante, clarinet, piano, 1985                                 Arabesque, oboe, 1992
 Romances, horn, piano, 1985                                             Rondel, viola, 1997
 Sonata, soprano sax, piano, 1986                                        Diversions, piano, 1964
 After Ariadne, viola, piano, 1986                                          Cyclarinete I–IX, piano, 1956–8
 Suite for Skip and Sadie, piano duet, 1986                            Sonata, guitar, 1983
 Capriccio, cello, piano, 1990                                               Fantasy, piano, 1962
 Over the Hills and Far Away, piano duet, 1991                       Variations, oboe, 1953
 Sonata, cello, piano, 1991                                                  Sonatine, flute, 1954
 Sonata, bassoon, piano, 1991                                             Scena III, clarinet, 1977
 3 Sondheim Waltzes, arr. a sax, piano, 1992                         Stanzas, organ, 1960
 3 Piece Suite, alto sax, piano, 1996                                      Piano Sonata, 1954
                                                                                       4 Improvisations, violin, 1955
                                                     Eustace and Hilda, piano, 1977 [arr. of theme from BBC TV incid music]
                                                                                        5 Studies, piano, 1962–4
                                                                                        3 Romantic Pieces, piano, 1988
                                                                                        Tango After Syrinx, piano, 1985

Something to listen to and ponder while you eat your fisn 'n' chips.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2016, 04:07:08 AM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4925
  • La création du monde (Fernand Léger)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: Richard Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #1 on: April 19, 2016, 11:46:46 PM »
The only work of Bennett's I know is his opera The Mines of Sulphur, which was recorded live by Chandos at the Glimmerglass festival some years ago:


This is certainly an ambitious piece, and I find this a very interesting score; very much a product of the 60s avant-garde, but theatrically very effective and musically with much to enjoy (if you like that sort of thing, of course). I think Scion7's phrase "quite-listenable avant-garde" is quite apt.  ;)

After its première at Sadler Wells in 1965, it toured several countries, and was given even at La Scala in a production by John Huston. I recall reading a scathing review of it, I believe by Eugenio Montale, whcih included the classic line "there's no mines, there's no sulphur".  :D

Well worth seeking out IMHO. It does seem, though, that getting hold of recordings of this composer's music in this "serous" vein is not easy. Any recommendations?

Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
”Auch deine Träne ward zum Segenstaue: du weinest - sieh! es lacht die Aue”.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #2 on: April 19, 2016, 11:57:24 PM »
Yes - for example, I have a good feeling that the VAST majority of his chamber pieces have not even been recorded - hello, NAXOS, CPO, et al?  Chandos put out a selection of the film music, and his music for the Hammer movies are spread over two (now OOP) CD's, but finding much of his other film music basically means watching the movies themselves.  I have almost all of them on the edited list I listed (didn't care for the movies he did the scores for after those.)  I made a boo-boo - only "The Witches" was issued on those Hammer CD's.  Drat.

Like so many other good but little-known composers with a large works list, getting the record companies to tackle the work is a chore.  Bennett's better known, but his imprint on the market is slim.

« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 11:31:52 PM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #3 on: April 20, 2016, 12:39:53 AM »
The only work of Bennett's I know is his opera The Mines of Sulphur, ...

The libretto is by Mr. Beverley Cross (d. 1998) - a very good writer.
« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 01:06:37 AM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline ritter

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 4925
  • La création du monde (Fernand Léger)
  • Location: "La Villa y Corte"
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #4 on: April 20, 2016, 05:44:34 AM »
Well, thanks to this thread, more music by Bennet is coming my way . Just bought:



The snippets from the Piano concerto available on the amazon page sound rather attarctive to me...
Ritter
-------------------------------------------------------------
”Auch deine Träne ward zum Segenstaue: du weinest - sieh! es lacht die Aue”.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #5 on: April 20, 2016, 07:30:55 AM »
That's a good (if a little short) CD clobbered together from various performances that appeared on different LP's in the 60's - 70's  -  and the only studio recording of the Piano Concerto, I believe.  The Five Pieces are not all that interesting except for No.5, but the other two works are very nice.
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • *
  • Posts: 11169
  • Location: Rotherfield, Sussex, UK
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #6 on: April 20, 2016, 10:30:16 AM »
I wish they'd issue his wonderful film score for 'Nicholas and Alexandra' on CD.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #7 on: April 20, 2016, 10:54:28 PM »



« Last Edit: April 20, 2016, 10:56:54 PM by Scion7 »
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2016, 10:59:21 PM »

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #9 on: April 20, 2016, 11:05:10 PM »

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #10 on: April 20, 2016, 11:07:30 PM »

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #11 on: April 20, 2016, 11:13:39 PM »



I wonder if Chandos will ever continue this series .....
Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #12 on: April 20, 2016, 11:21:15 PM »
 

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #13 on: April 20, 2016, 11:23:25 PM »

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #14 on: April 20, 2016, 11:29:16 PM »
Has "The Witches"  aka 'The Devil's Own' - which was the Joan Fontaine "comeback" vehicle that didn't exactly bring her back (decent film, tho').



Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #15 on: April 20, 2016, 11:35:05 PM »

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #16 on: April 20, 2016, 11:37:34 PM »
No rear cover found.   

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #17 on: April 20, 2016, 11:40:21 PM »

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #18 on: April 20, 2016, 11:51:14 PM »
No rear cover located.

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.

Offline Scion7

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 2009
  • "A vér az élet."
  • Location: Borgó Pass
Re: Richard Rodney Bennett (1936 - 2012)
« Reply #19 on: April 20, 2016, 11:53:53 PM »

Your barricades lie broken ... your enemies lord.