Author Topic: Algernon Ashton (1859-1937)  (Read 417 times)

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Offline schnittkease

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Algernon Ashton (1859-1937)
« on: April 10, 2017, 03:10:01 PM »
Today is (for me at least) Monday, April 10, 2017. This marks the 80th anniversary of the day that seldom-heard British composer Algernon Ashton died. To commemorate this day I give Ashton his own topic... and what appears to be his first mention on GMG.

Quote
"Algernon Ashton, born in Durham in 1859, is one of the best-kept secrets in British music. His generous output of piano music includes no fewer than eight sonatas.... Rutland Boughton wrote that Ashton 'seems to pour out great musical thought as easily as the lark trills its delight in cloudland’, and though Ashton’s piano writing, which lies downstream from Chopin and Brahms, is phenomenally difficult, what strikes the ear is its spontaneity and melodic richness." ―ToccataClassics

Has anyone else heard Ashton's music? I recommend this CD for newcomers. As stated above, the composer's music is very melodic and I would like to add strikingly unique. Feel free to sample.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 03:04:22 PM by schnittkease »
“We were of course very impressed by Cage when we were in Darmstadt, but he has his house and I have mine.” — Henning Christiansen

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Algernon Ashton (1859-1937)
« Reply #1 on: April 10, 2017, 11:43:32 PM »
Today is (for me at least) Monday, April 10, 2017. This marks the 80th anniversary of the day that seldom-heard British composer Algernon Ashton died. To commemorate this day I give Ashton his own topic... and what appears to be his first mention on GMG.

Has anyone else heard Ashton's music? I recommend this CD for newcomers. As stated above, the composer's music is very melodic and I would like to add strikingly unique. Feel free to sample some of his music using the linked text above.
The extracts of the Sonata No.4 sound enjoyable but rather anachronistic for 1925. I like his name however.
« Last Edit: April 10, 2017, 11:45:04 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Algernon Ashton (1859-1937)
« Reply #2 on: April 11, 2017, 07:20:43 AM »
The extracts of the Sonata No.4 sound enjoyable but rather anachronistic for 1925. I like his name however.

David Wright on Ashton: "He was highly critical of some compositional styles and his outspoken views on this and many other matters caused much offense and, consequently, people ignored him."

Definitely a romantic; a similar 'outdated' to, say, Czerny. And yes, 'tis one hell of a name.
« Last Edit: June 17, 2017, 09:49:27 AM by schnittkease »
“We were of course very impressed by Cage when we were in Darmstadt, but he has his house and I have mine.” — Henning Christiansen

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Algernon Ashton (1859-1937)
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2017, 10:47:55 AM »
vandermolen - Actually, Sonata No. 4 was only published in 1925. (Most of Ashton's works suffer the same fate, making them hard to date.)
Thanks for this info.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Algernon Ashton (1859-1937)
« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2017, 08:16:30 PM »
Breathtakingly beautiful -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLPTQTDHVDM

Ashton is so underrated; he clearly belongs among the ranks of Moeran, Finzi, Bliss, etc.!
“We were of course very impressed by Cage when we were in Darmstadt, but he has his house and I have mine.” — Henning Christiansen

Offline kyjo

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Re: Algernon Ashton (1859-1937)
« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2017, 08:23:42 PM »
Breathtakingly beautiful -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLPTQTDHVDM

Ashton is so underrated; he clearly belongs among the ranks of Moeran, Finzi, Bliss, etc.!

Thanks for bringing that to my attention - I'm always on the lookout for undeservedly neglected cello pieces. The ever-enterprising Toccata Classics has also recorded the two rapturously beautiful cello sonatas of Ashton's contemporary Percy Sherwood (1866-1939):



https://youtu.be/pzJ0x7UUn-s

Online Christo

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Re: Algernon Ashton (1859-1937)
« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2017, 10:26:10 PM »
I understand that his orchestral works, four symphonies included, are lost - perhaps in the 1940 Blitz?

Lost manuscripts

Symphonies:-
No. 1 in F minor - 1895
No. 2 in G - 1899
No. 3 in A minor - 1901
No. 4 in B♭ - 1902

Concertos:-
Piano Concerto in B minor - 1882.
Violin concerto in D minor - 1887.

See: http://imslp.org/wiki/List_of_works_by_Algernon_Ashton
… 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 schnittkease

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Re: Algernon Ashton (1859-1937)
« Reply #7 on: October 09, 2017, 04:12:27 PM »
A dream come true -

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mXZwmIGVaYw

Ashton's masterpiece, the Op. 164 piano sonata.
“We were of course very impressed by Cage when we were in Darmstadt, but he has his house and I have mine.” — Henning Christiansen

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