Author Topic: George Lloyd  (Read 25888 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #240 on: July 28, 2018, 11:20:08 PM »
The work I haven't got my head round yet is the Symphonic Mass which is rated very highly. Any views on it?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #241 on: July 29, 2018, 12:09:33 PM »
The Seventh Symphony is a masterpiece in my view. The obsessively ticking xylophone figure which opens the work and returns at the terrifying climax of the first movement and at the ending of the work is really effective. The first movement contains some really imaginative orchestration effects (witness the clattering col legno strings at one point) and has a nervous anxiety often bordering on the nightmarish that recalls Malcolm Arnold. The slow movement has a lovely delicacy (to contrast the outer movements) which several distinctively Rosenkavalier-like passages in the upper woodwinds and celesta. The finale is a bit overlong perhaps, but contains some impressively imposing brass writing and heroic string themes, before coming to a movingly quiet ending of uneasy peace.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #242 on: July 29, 2018, 12:28:17 PM »
I think the finally is a tad too long, too. Still, the work is very solid, very imaginative and moving. Yes, a masterpiece.
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Maestro267

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #243 on: July 30, 2018, 02:38:50 AM »
The climax of the finale of No. 7 is immensely powerful imo. With the only appearance in a Lloyd symphony of the organ, albeit for just a bar or two. But it's certainly effective!

Meanwhile, my copy of Symphony No. 5 has arrived, and I'm listening as I write.

Offline relm1

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #244 on: July 30, 2018, 04:53:21 AM »
I think the finally is a tad too long, too. Still, the work is very solid, very imaginative and moving. Yes, a masterpiece.

It's long but in a Baxian way...it's a bit of a bubble bath with a glass of wine.  Pure pleasure.  Some people hate wine and bubble baths and Bax so might not like this either.  Brian on the other hand, even with the Gothic, he doesn't stay on an idea for very long so a 110 minute symphony feels like several integrated symphonies and his later shorter works are concise but have a manic quality to them.  Lloyd is sort of the opposite.

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #245 on: July 30, 2018, 05:18:44 AM »
Interesting comment!
I have always seen Delius and Brian as opposites, and I love them both almost as much (Brian wins by a margin). Bax and Lloyd are more in the middle of that spectrum. The epic and the lyrical are more evenly matched. Lloyd is just a bit more sober than Bax, and I now prefer him. But Bax 1, 2 and 3 are always fresh. That finale of the Seventh reminded me of Bax, too.
Brian composed his Symphony No. 13 in 1959, the same year Lloyd composed his Symphony No. 7. Long live compositional diversity!
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline relm1

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #246 on: July 30, 2018, 02:59:44 PM »
Interesting comment!
I have always seen Delius and Brian as opposites, and I love them both almost as much (Brian wins by a margin). Bax and Lloyd are more in the middle of that spectrum. The epic and the lyrical are more evenly matched. Lloyd is just a bit more sober than Bax, and I now prefer him. But Bax 1, 2 and 3 are always fresh. That finale of the Seventh reminded me of Bax, too.
Brian composed his Symphony No. 13 in 1959, the same year Lloyd composed his Symphony No. 7. Long live compositional diversity!

Awesome post!  I wish Brian was better with transitions so his ideas felt less manic and more, well, structured.  I think those of us who love him are able to "imagine" the structure he intended.  Lloyd spells it out how ideas go from one to the next.  It could be that Brian just had too many ideas but that is generally true with EVERY creative artist.  They need to tame the ideas and show discipline towards them.  That is one of the reasons why I love Rachmaninoff, though he has many wonderful ideas, he was so much mastery of transitions.  He's just so freaking good at it that I randomly picked this moment:
https://youtu.be/fvy0nN5t0Po?t=1882
Where he transitions from one idea to the next so effortlessly.  Listen to how the melody of the immediate idea because secondary accompaniment as the mood and harmony transitions so gradually.  Some might think "why does everything have to be spelled out?" but to me this is effortless transition of ideas.  We get this in Lloyd and I think Brian doesn't care if the listener understands the connection between ideas.  Again, we know each other through our love of Brian so don't take this as a criticism of his since I traveled around the world to hear the Gothic once in my lifetime but I always felt Brian was at his best when he connected the dots.

Offline kyjo

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #247 on: July 30, 2018, 03:53:15 PM »
Awesome post!  I wish Brian was better with transitions so his ideas felt less manic and more, well, structured.  I think those of us who love him are able to "imagine" the structure he intended.  Lloyd spells it out how ideas go from one to the next.  It could be that Brian just had too many ideas but that is generally true with EVERY creative artist.  They need to tame the ideas and show discipline towards them.  That is one of the reasons why I love Rachmaninoff, though he has many wonderful ideas, he was so much mastery of transitions.  He's just so freaking good at it that I randomly picked this moment:
https://youtu.be/fvy0nN5t0Po?t=1882
Where he transitions from one idea to the next so effortlessly.  Listen to how the melody of the immediate idea because secondary accompaniment as the mood and harmony transitions so gradually.  Some might think "why does everything have to be spelled out?" but to me this is effortless transition of ideas.  We get this in Lloyd and I think Brian doesn't care if the listener understands the connection between ideas.  Again, we know each other through our love of Brian so don't take this as a criticism of his since I traveled around the world to hear the Gothic once in my lifetime but I always felt Brian was at his best when he connected the dots.


I agree with what you say about Brian - the relative lack of transitions in his music is something I’ve had trouble warming to. He has some great ideas, but the lack of connective tissue between them is an issue for me. Also agreed about Rachmaninoff - his transitions are masterly. Another great example in his output is the transition into the second theme of the first movement of the Symphonic Dances.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline J.Z. Herrenberg

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #248 on: July 30, 2018, 04:16:00 PM »
Thanks for the above ruminations. I want to say something about that lack of transitions in (late) Brian. I think it is a function of old age. There is less of a focus on a 'narrative', on melody and organic transitions. Concision and polyphony are the norm. The idea that age could be one of the reasons came to me when I got to know a very aged Dutch writer and poet, Sybren Polet. His late poetry, written in his eighties, is allusive, rapid, jumpy. A firework of associations, images and ideas. He told me he would never write any fiction anymore, that took too much time, time he didn't have. Remind you of someone?
« Last Edit: July 30, 2018, 10:27:06 PM by J.Z. Herrenberg »
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato

Offline Maestro267

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #249 on: July 30, 2018, 10:37:21 PM »
I enjoyed Symphony No. 5. Definitely one of the lighter symphonies, despite its near-hour-long length. The first 3 movement omit certain instruments: heavy brass and percussion in the 1st, for example. It seemed to me like it had a breeze blowing through it, so to speak. Even the 4th movement Lamento didn't seem overwhelmingly tragic to me. Certainly sounds like a product of the apparent happy time he was having when he wrote it.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #250 on: July 31, 2018, 01:18:34 AM »
Awesome post!  I wish Brian was better with transitions so his ideas felt less manic and more, well, structured.  I think those of us who love him are able to "imagine" the structure he intended.  Lloyd spells it out how ideas go from one to the next.  It could be that Brian just had too many ideas but that is generally true with EVERY creative artist.  They need to tame the ideas and show discipline towards them.  That is one of the reasons why I love Rachmaninoff, though he has many wonderful ideas, he was so much mastery of transitions.  He's just so freaking good at it that I randomly picked this moment:
https://youtu.be/fvy0nN5t0Po?t=1882
Where he transitions from one idea to the next so effortlessly.  Listen to how the melody of the immediate idea because secondary accompaniment as the mood and harmony transitions so gradually.  Some might think "why does everything have to be spelled out?" but to me this is effortless transition of ideas.  We get this in Lloyd and I think Brian doesn't care if the listener understands the connection between ideas.  Again, we know each other through our love of Brian so don't take this as a criticism of his since I traveled around the world to hear the Gothic once in my lifetime but I always felt Brian was at his best when he connected the dots.
OT

I think that The Bells is Rachmaninov's masterpiece - a magnificent and deeply moving score.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline relm1

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #251 on: July 31, 2018, 05:00:33 AM »
Thanks for the above ruminations. I want to say something about that lack of transitions in (late) Brian. I think it is a function of old age. There is less of a focus on a 'narrative', on melody and organic transitions. Concision and polyphony are the norm. The idea that age could be one of the reasons came to me when I got to know a very aged Dutch writer and poet, Sybren Polet. His late poetry, written in his eighties, is allusive, rapid, jumpy. A firework of associations, images and ideas. He told me he would never write any fiction anymore, that took too much time, time he didn't have. Remind you of someone?

Interesting point.  I also wonder, George Lloyd had something Brian never really had (I might be wrong so you correct me if I'm wrong).  Lloyd was a huge success from an early age then suffered from disillusion and neglect through most of his life but I believe had a resurgence in the last years of his life.  I believe Brian never had success and was pretty much ignored all his life except by people who were huge fans such as Malcolm MacDonald and Robert Simpson.  Perhaps this difference means that Brian never really thought his works would be heard so they didn't really have a need from his point of view of speaking to anyone other than himself.

Offline Maestro267

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #252 on: October 08, 2018, 02:36:18 AM »
My copy of Symphony No. 11 has arrived, and I'm giving it a listen now.

...And I love it! The orchestration is masterful. Like the Fifth, it seems like a symphony borne out of joyful times, where even the Grave slow movement (IV) is more of an affirmation of life than a lament of death. The divisi string chords that start the second movement are incredible, and the enormous climax of the finale is mindblowing!
« Last Edit: October 08, 2018, 04:08:18 AM by Maestro267 »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #253 on: October 08, 2018, 05:00:35 AM »
My copy of Symphony No. 11 has arrived, and I'm giving it a listen now.

...And I love it! The orchestration is masterful. Like the Fifth, it seems like a symphony borne out of joyful times, where even the Grave slow movement (IV) is more of an affirmation of life than a lament of death. The divisi string chords that start the second movement are incredible, and the enormous climax of the finale is mindblowing!
One of my favourites and I even saw George Lloyd conduct it  :)
It was at the Barbican in London and is still the only Lloyd symphony I've heard live. After it I wrote a crazed fan letter to George Lloyd and had a nice correspondence with him. Symphony 11 reminds me of Khachaturian and has that wonderful repeating tune in the last movement. I'm glad that you enjoy it as well.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline relm1

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #254 on: October 08, 2018, 06:29:45 AM »
One of my favourites and I even saw George Lloyd conduct it  :)
It was at the Barbican in London and is still the only Lloyd symphony I've heard live. After it I wrote a crazed fan letter to George Lloyd and had a nice correspondence with him. Symphony 11 reminds me of Khachaturian and has that wonderful repeating tune in the last movement. I'm glad that you enjoy it as well.

Tell us some of the stories of your nice correspondences with him!  I quite enjoy No. 11, I think it was the first of his I heard on tape.  I thought the opening is dark and exciting, the elegy moving, and the finale exuberant.  It reminded me of Walton's Symphony No. 1 overall and the ending especially. 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: George Lloyd
« Reply #255 on: October 08, 2018, 07:44:29 AM »
Tell us some of the stories of your nice correspondences with him!  I quite enjoy No. 11, I think it was the first of his I heard on tape.  I thought the opening is dark and exciting, the elegy moving, and the finale exuberant.  It reminded me of Walton's Symphony No. 1 overall and the ending especially.
I'll try to find the letters but goodness knows where they are.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).