Author Topic: George Lloyd  (Read 19105 times)

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Offline Thom

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George Lloyd
« on: April 14, 2007, 12:37:44 PM »
Some time ago Composer of the week (BBC Radio 3) was dedicated to George Lloyd. I made a recording of these episodes and was able to record all the symphonies (12 of them), played by the BBC Philharmonic Orchestra and several conductors amongst them Lloyd himself. I am still discovering this music but what I have heard so far was much to my liking, especially the 3d and 4th symphonies. Has anyone any experience with the music of this composer? I had never heard of him and so it was a shot in the dark, of which I am not at all sorry.

X

Harry

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #1 on: April 14, 2007, 01:02:06 PM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lloyd_%28composer%29

You lucky man, having all the Symphonies taped.
Tell us all about his music, I am very curious how they sound.

Could not find any commercial recordings.
You know of any?
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 01:04:46 PM by Harry »

Offline Thom

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #2 on: April 14, 2007, 01:07:08 PM »
If you don't mind Harry, I first quote the Times:

Quote:
------

Obituary

The Times: Monday July 6 1998

George Lloyd, composer died on July 3 aged 85. He was born on June 28th 1913.

George Lloyd's long career was a remarkable cycle of recognition and neglect. Prodigiously successful in the 1930's, he saw a promising future blighted first by traumatic wartime service in the Royal Navy, which left him incapacitated for several years, and then by a change in artistic fashion which meant that for decades his compositions went unheard. For a time he gave up on music altogether and became a market gardener instead.

Slowly however, he returned to composing and even more slowly his musical fortunes turned. With his health restored and the wider artistic climate transformed, he enjoyed an extraordinary Indian summer in the last two decades of his life. New works were written, recorded and performed. Other pieces were discovered and revived. All were greeted with popular enthusiasm that was almost without parallel in contemporary musical life. Given a chance to hear it at last audiences found that they loved Lloyd's work.

It was not hard to understand why. Lloyd was an unashamedly late- Romantic composer. His first love he once said has been for the Italian Operatic masters Verdi, Puccini, Donizetti, Bellini. Elgar was the English composer he most admired. Content to mine the expressive potential melody and harmony in the grand 19th Century tradition, Lloyd rejected the theoretical rigours of 20th Century modernism as a musical dead end. Here was a contemporary composer whose work sounded nothing like most contemporary music.

To listeners fond of asking why modern composers are incapable of writing decent tunes, Lloyd's music came as a welcome revelation. But the populist triumphalism of his noisier champions was no more accurate a reflection of his achievements than the grudging response of more professional critics. Conservative though it is in idiom, Lloyd's music is free of easy nostalgia and pastiche. He may have looked to the past for his inspiration, but his response is vital and intensely personal to the world in which he lived.

Born in Cornwall to a comfortable family with some money and a great deal of enthusiasm for music, George Walter Selwyn Lloyd missed much of his schooling because of rheumatic fever. He went on to study violin with Albert Sammons and composition with Harry Farjeon.

His was a precocious talent. His first Symphony, written when he was 19 was premiered by the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra in 1933.
Two years later his career was well under way. A second symphony had its premier at Eastbourne in 1935 and was followed almost immediately by a Third which the BBC Symphony Orchestra performed.

Meanwhile Lloyd's First opera Iernin had been performed in Penzance in 1934. The Times critic, Frank Howes, on holiday in that area, had given a glowing review, which lead to London performances at the Lyceum the following year. A second opera, The Serf was staged at Covent Garden when Lloyd was just 25 under the baton of Albert Coates.

The war put a stop to this musical progress. As Royal Marine bandsman, Lloyd doubled as a gunner, serving on the notoriously dangerous Arctic convoys. I 1942 a faulty torpedo did a U-turn in the sea and blew up his ship. Lloyd was rescued but not before he had seen most of his fellow gunners drowned in oil. The trauma and severe shell-shock exacerbated the weak health he had suffered as a child, bringing about a complete collapse. He attempted to come to terms with his grim wartime experience in his Fourth and Fifth symphonies, works which only the devoted nursing of his Swiss-born wife Nancy enabled him to complete (in 1946 and 1948 respectively).

Despite the severity of his illness, Lloyd managed to produce a third opera, John Socman, about a Wiltshire soldier at Agincourt. Commissioned for the festival of Britain in 1951, it had its first performance at Bristol. The libretto, like those for the two previous operas, was provided by his father William Lloyd.

Lloyd's health deteriorated further, and in 1952 he withdrew to Dorset where for 20 years he was a market gardener growing mushrooms and carnations. He continued to compose intermittently, rising at 4.30am and writing for three hours before the start of the working day. But he found it difficult to get his work performed and became increasingly disillusioned, seeing himself at odds with a musical establishment apparently in thrall to the serialist and a tonal orthodoxies of European modernism.

"I sent scores off to the BBC" he later said. "They came back, usually without comment. I never wrote 12-tone music because I didn't like the theory. I studied the blessed thing in the early 1930's and thought it was a cock-eyed idea that produced horrible sounds. It made composers forget how to sing."

Nevertheless, he was not entirely without supporters. Among those who continued to respond to his music's opulence, vigour and colour were the conductors Charles Groves and Edward Downes and the pianist John Ogden, for whom Lloyd wrote the first of four piano concertos, Scapegoat, in 1963.

The tide began to turn albeit slowly. In 1970's Gavin Henderson, then chief executive of the Philharmonia, gave useful support. The BBC, after neglecting Lloyd for years, accepted his eighth Symphony for performance in 1969 - and finally got round to broadcasting it eight years later. His Sixth Symphony was given at the Proms in 1981,and in the same year three of his symphonies were recorded by Lyrita Records.

But perhaps the most influential figure in the recent revival of Lloyd's fortunes was Peter Kermani an American entrepreneur and music lover whose enthusiasm for Lloyd's work led to deal with the Albany Symphony Orchestra from New York State. This brought forth a flood of performances and recordings of both old and new compositions. It has also brought Lloyd a whole new American audience and, in his own delighted words, ""All of a sudden buckets of dollars!"

Among the new works recorded were Lloyd's Eleventh and Twelfth Symphonies, which had their first performances in 1986 and 1990. Other major new compositions included a large scale choral piece, The Vigil of Venus, premiered at the Festival Hall in1989, nine years after its completion, an a Symphonic mass , premiered at the 1993 Brighton festival under the baton of the composer. The latter work was described by Gramophone magazine as "one of the finest pieces of English choral writing of the 20th century": the Times critic remarked, not unkindly, on its "overwhelming retrospection".

Lloyd suffered heart trouble last year, but recovered sufficiently to resume work on a Requiem, which he completed three weeks ago. He is survived by his wife Nancy whom he married in 1937. They had no children.

Unquote
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Indeed the keywords seem to be: Romantic, tonal, great tunes. Ina way he reminds me a bit of Edmund Rubbra which I like also very much.

X

Harry

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #3 on: April 14, 2007, 01:15:20 PM »
Thanks for this wonderful but said article. But still could not find the Lyrita recordings nor any other.
You made me truly curious, so now I will roam the ends of the world, to get some music from him. :)

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #4 on: April 14, 2007, 03:32:54 PM »
Thanks for this wonderful but said article. But still could not find the Lyrita recordings nor any other.
You made me truly curious, so now I will roam the ends of the world, to get some music from him. :)

The symphonies and piano concertos are on the Albany label, Harry, available from Amazon and Amazon UK. Full-price, though, which is why I'm collecting them  s l o w l y. . .

Sarge
the phone rings and somebody says,
"hey, they made a movie about
Mahler, you ought to go see it.
he was as f*cked-up as you are."
                               --Charles Bukowski, "Mahler"

Offline vandermolen

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #5 on: April 14, 2007, 10:59:26 PM »
Lyritas will return in due course.  Had the good fortune to hear him conduct Symphony 11 in London and had some nice correspondence with him afterwards. My recommendations are symphonies nos 4,7,8,11 and 12. Slow movement of No 8 is great.

I also like "Scapegoat" piano concerto and the epic Piano Concerto 3, both inspired by World War Two (like Symphony 4).
« Last Edit: April 14, 2007, 11:01:24 PM by Captain Haddock »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Harry

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #6 on: April 15, 2007, 10:43:51 AM »
The symphonies and piano concertos are on the Albany label, Harry, available from Amazon and Amazon UK. Full-price, though, which is why I'm collecting them  s l o w l y. . .

Sarge

On JPC nothing came up at all, so I thought nothing was recorded. Albany= full price, darn, just our luck again.
I ordered a cd from Sterling with the music of Olsson, at it will set me back 19,00 euro's.
Amazon UK it is then!
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 10:46:33 AM by Harry »

Offline Robert

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #7 on: April 15, 2007, 10:45:24 AM »
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/George_Lloyd_%28composer%29

You lucky man, having all the Symphonies taped.
Tell us all about his music, I am very curious how they sound.

Could not find any commercial recordings.
You know of any?

HARRY,

Archiv Music has his complete output.....They also have one disc a compilation of his works. That disc is about 11 dollars all the other discs are about 17. I own his 5 7 and 11.  I enjoy his work but not enough to go after his whole ouput....

Harry

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #8 on: April 15, 2007, 10:47:53 AM »
HARRY,

Archiv Music has his complete output.....They also have one disc a compilation of his works. That disc is about 11 dollars all the other discs are about 17. I own his 5 7 and 11.  I enjoy his work but not enough to go after his whole ouput....

What to expect from this music, can you compare it to one of his fellow composers?
Describe his music, even?

springrite

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #9 on: April 15, 2007, 10:54:06 AM »
NAXOS has some, so you can sample a disc or two fairly cheaply.

I have heard 4 or 5 symphonies and one concerto, along with some shorter pieces. Frankly, I find Lloyd's musis rather boring -- a bit more interesting than Stanford, but not as interesting as Parry ( to name two composers somewhat similar ).

Harry

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #10 on: April 15, 2007, 11:02:44 AM »
NAXOS has some, so you can sample a disc or two fairly cheaply.

I have heard 4 or 5 symphonies and one concerto, along with some shorter pieces. Frankly, I find Lloyd's musis rather boring -- a bit more interesting than Stanford, but not as interesting as Parry ( to name two composers somewhat similar ).

Never saw them on Naxos! Are you sure, could you post the images?
I have both Stanford and Parry, their Orchestral works.
But now I know were to place them.
Thanks. :)
« Last Edit: April 15, 2007, 11:13:47 AM by Harry »

springrite

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #11 on: April 15, 2007, 11:10:10 AM »
Never saw them on Naxos! Are you sure, could you post the images?
I have both Stanford and Parry, their Orchestral works.
But know I know were to place them.
Thanks. :)

Wait, I was wrong. The Lloyd symphonies I have are of the more expensive variety. It is the others I have from NAXOS. Somehow I remembered the Parry as from another label.

Harry

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #12 on: April 15, 2007, 11:14:49 AM »
Well it was to good to be true, I guess. :'( ;D

Offline Robert

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #13 on: April 15, 2007, 11:19:42 AM »
What to expect from this music, can you compare it to one of his fellow composers?
Describe his music, even?

Lloyds music is hard to categorize. it is very accessible. long-lined melodies, highly melodic and spirited. great orchestration, very tuneful...a little like movie music....it is interesting.....I have been thinking who he would be like and I  keep thinking Arnold without the edge....not as serious.....but interesting enough....I eventually return to him, he is not in my player enough....I have not given up on him....ASMF his fourth and ninth and cello conc are on my list....Im sure I will pick up his fourth soon....

Harry

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #14 on: April 15, 2007, 11:21:38 AM »
Lloyds music is hard to categorize. it is very accessible. long-lined melodies, highly melodic and spirited. great orchestration, very tuneful...a little like movie music....it is interesting.....I have been thinking who he would be like and I  keep thinking Arnold without the edge....not as serious.....but interesting enough....I eventually return to him, he is not in my player enough....I have not given up on him....ASMF his fourth and ninth and cello conc are on my list....Im sure I will pick up his fourth soon....

Thanks Robert, that's enough for me to go on. Are those Albany records any good, soundwise?

Offline Robert

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #15 on: April 15, 2007, 11:22:57 AM »
Thanks Robert, that's enough for me to go on. Are those Albany records any good, soundwise?

YES.....

Harry

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #16 on: April 15, 2007, 11:25:15 AM »
YES.....

Have to work extra hard to pay for all those nice recommendations, O well................ :P

johnQpublic

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #17 on: April 15, 2007, 01:36:14 PM »
Frankly, I find Lloyd's musis rather boring

Springrite & I agree on this one. But I'd call it banal rathr than boring.

Harry

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #18 on: April 15, 2007, 01:47:00 PM »
Well everyone eats his soup as she or he likes it right?
I will try all of them and report back, but if it is anything like Parry or Stanford it will be oke with me!

Offline Brian

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #19 on: April 15, 2007, 04:55:07 PM »
Well everyone eats his soup as she or he likes it right?
I will try all of them and report back, but if it is anything like Parry or Stanford it will be oke with me!
Naxos just released Vol. 1 of the Stanford symphonies, and I am warming up to it. Harmlessly pleasant, I suppose, even catchy in places.

David Hurwitz is a big Lloyd fan apparently...reviews.

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