Author Topic: Frederic Hymen Cowen (1852-1935)  (Read 1277 times)

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Offline schnittkease

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Frederic Hymen Cowen (1852-1935)
« on: June 16, 2017, 07:44:10 PM »
"Sir Frederic Hymen Cowen (Jan. 29, 1852, Kingston, Jam.—Oct. 6, 1935, London, Eng.) was a conductor, pianist, and composer who was widely regarded as one of the most versatile British musicians of his time.

Cowen exhibited his musical talent at an early age, and as a result his parents took him to England at age four to begin a musical apprenticeship. In 1860 he began studying with Julius Benedict and John Goss, and he later studied with leading musicians at the Leipzig Conservatory and in Berlin. On his return to England in 1868 he established himself as a composer, conductor, and accompanist and was active in British music festivals. His compositions include operas, oratorios, cantatas, orchestral suites, songs, and six symphonies. Cowen’s Symphony No. 3 (1880; Scandinavian), the most successful of his symphonic works, was performed throughout Europe and the United States.

Cowen was active as a conductor in London, Glasgow, and Manchester and as an adjudicator at music festivals throughout the British Isles. He was knighted by King George V in 1911.
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Cowen is a composer whom I have enjoyed for quite some time now. He, like Elgar, stopped composing in the 1910s and focused on conducting for the rest of his 83-year life.

I particularly enjoy Cowen's "Scandinavian" Symphony, inspired, robust, and a colorful example of the man's melodic gift. He went on to write three more symphonies.

Other favorites include 1901's The Butterfly's Ball and 1903's Indian Rhapsody. These are more playful pieces, but shouldn't be taken less seriously.

This CD is a perfect introduction:



I hope this thread will make Cowen some new friends.
« Last Edit: June 23, 2017, 07:41:13 AM by schnittkease »

Offline lescamil

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Re: Frederic Hymen Cowen
« Reply #1 on: June 18, 2017, 03:47:17 PM »
I only know Cowen through his volume on Hyperion's Romantic Piano Concerto series. I don't remember the Concertstück making much of an impression on me. Perhaps I'll give it another try. Of course, the issue of his name makes him easier to remember...


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