Author Topic: The British Composers Thread  (Read 54359 times)

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Offline Christo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #380 on: December 11, 2018, 03:46:51 PM »
+1
Vandermolen introduced me to Arnell a few years ago  ;). A wonderful composer indeed !
Another admirer here.  :)
… 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

Online Maestro267

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #381 on: December 13, 2018, 08:36:36 AM »
As already posted in the Purchases thread, today I picked up the 4-disc British Symphonies set from Lyrita, so I am now awash with many new British symphonic treasures. Currently listening to the Symphony in G minor by William Sterndale Bennett, which I believe is now the earliest British symphony in my collection, dating from 1864-67. I'm really enjoying it. The 2nd movement has a highly original trio section scored for brass alone.

I'm really looking forward to hearing Grace Williams' Symphony No. 2, as it's not only a Welsh symphony, but it was premiered at my home city's festival back in 1957.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #382 on: December 13, 2018, 11:46:16 AM »
As already posted in the Purchases thread, today I picked up the 4-disc British Symphonies set from Lyrita, so I am now awash with many new British symphonic treasures. Currently listening to the Symphony in G minor by William Sterndale Bennett, which I believe is now the earliest British symphony in my collection, dating from 1864-67. I'm really enjoying it. The 2nd movement has a highly original trio section scored for brass alone.

I'm really looking forward to hearing Grace Williams' Symphony No. 2, as it's not only a Welsh symphony, but it was premiered at my home city's festival back in 1957.

The Grace Williams Symphony 2 is great. She was a pupil of VW and some of his 6th symphony's turbulence and angst are replicated in her Symphony, although she was an individual composer in her own right.

Thanks for the heads-up re Sterndale Bennett - I've never listened to it  ::)
« Last Edit: December 13, 2018, 11:49:26 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online Maestro267

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #383 on: December 13, 2018, 12:59:37 PM »
Wow! I'm extremely impressed with John Joubert's Symphony No. 1, which I've just finished listening to. Oddly enough I was reading a bit about him the other day. Happy to see he's still with us, at 91 years of age.

I also really enjoyed Grace Williams' 2nd Symphony, which is the longest work on this box set.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #384 on: December 13, 2018, 01:16:13 PM »
Wow! I'm extremely impressed with John Joubert's Symphony No. 1, which I've just finished listening to. Oddly enough I was reading a bit about him the other day. Happy to see he's still with us, at 91 years of age.

I also really enjoyed Grace Williams' 2nd Symphony, which is the longest work on this box set.

Joubert's Third Symphony, just released by Lyrita, is also very good.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #385 on: December 15, 2018, 01:28:04 PM »
Wow! I'm extremely impressed with John Joubert's Symphony No. 1, which I've just finished listening to. Oddly enough I was reading a bit about him the other day. Happy to see he's still with us, at 91 years of age.

Yes, a great work! I particularly like the darkly tragic slow movement and the energetic finale. His Piano Concerto, coupled with the 3rd Symphony on the new Lyrita CD, is also very fine. Haven't gotten around to listening to the 3rd Symphony yet.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Christo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #386 on: December 19, 2018, 02:55:36 PM »
The Grace Williams Symphony 2 is great. She was a pupil of VW and some of his 6th symphony's turbulence and angst are replicated in her Symphony, although she was an individual composer in her own right.
Started playing here again. Good to realize that RVW 'taught' at least four highly talented women composers, all with a personal voice: Elizabeth Maconchy, Ina Boyle, Ruth Gipps and Grace Williams. I don't think any of them copied his style; but somehow all went 'their own way' just like he did - and encouraged them to do.
… 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 JBS

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #387 on: December 20, 2018, 07:19:20 PM »
Started in on the Lyrita British String Concertos. The Holst Double Concerto is a gem, especially the third movement (Variations on a Ground)
« Last Edit: December 21, 2018, 10:30:55 AM by JBS »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #388 on: December 20, 2018, 11:16:59 PM »
Started in on the Lyrita British String Concertos. The Holst Double Concerto is a gem, especially the third movement (Variations on a Ground)

I also like the Morgan Violin Concerto very much.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #389 on: December 21, 2018, 01:28:00 AM »
I must give the Morgan a spin. That is a great list, I'm quite jealous. :-\  Finzi is lovely and a shame he didn't complete his concerto. The Gerhard is in brilliant sound and an interesting composer. I have not heard Busch, Rubbra and Hoddinott but very much would like to. For me the only duff one is Don Banks.
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #390 on: December 22, 2018, 12:22:19 AM »
I must give the Morgan a spin.

Vandermolen has mentioned the Morgan violin concerto twice, which is once enough for me. :) A fabulous concerto, modern in a good way. That such an important and original work my a composer largely forgotten defies belief - is there any other recordings other then the Lyrita of VC and "Contrasts"? Looking on the net he emigrated to Canada at one point and died at 55.
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

Online Maestro267

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #391 on: December 22, 2018, 07:43:23 AM »
I feel like this is worth pointing out in this thread: Alan Bush (born otd in 1900) is the Featured Article on the English-language Wikipedia today. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Main_Page

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #392 on: December 23, 2018, 12:48:33 AM »
Vandermolen has mentioned the Morgan violin concerto twice, which is once enough for me. :) A fabulous concerto, modern in a good way. That such an important and original work my a composer largely forgotten defies belief - is there any other recordings other then the Lyrita of VC and "Contrasts"? Looking on the net he emigrated to Canada at one point and died at 55.
There seems to be very little. I'd love to hear his Sinfonia da Requiem for example (1971-2) and Variations on a Theme by Walton. I agree with your comment about modern music at its best.
« Last Edit: December 23, 2018, 12:50:31 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Alberich

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #393 on: December 23, 2018, 05:36:38 AM »
While I like many British composers, the only one in my personal top 10 is Walton. It's a shame that his output is rather small.  :(
"Javert, though frightful, had nothing ignoble about him. Probity, sincerity, candor, conviction, the sense of duty, are things which may become hideous when wrongly directed; but which, even when hideous, remain grand."

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Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #394 on: December 23, 2018, 09:00:16 AM »
There seems to be very little. I'd love to hear his Sinfonia da Requiem for example (1971-2) and Variations on a Theme by Walton. I agree with your comment about modern music at its best.
Also a string quartet. But you are right, listening to the violin concerto with its brilliant orchestration the larger scale works would be the first port of call.
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

Offline kyjo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #395 on: December 27, 2018, 02:17:30 PM »
Not sure if this belongs here since he was born in Australia, but I recently discovered Arthur Benjamin’s Symphony (1945), and WOW! What a stunning work! It’s a grippingly dramatic, masterfully scored, memorable work which doesn’t have a single dull moment. The first two movements have a nervous, stormy energy, the slow movement is darkly passionate, and the finale is a stirring triumph-over-the-odds conclusion. Much as I love RVW’s symphonies, I think I even prefer it to most of them, which is no small praise! Like Korngold and Damase, I wish Benjamin had written many more symphonies. This recording with the LPO under Barry Wordsworth is first-rate in all regards:

"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #396 on: December 28, 2018, 12:43:23 AM »
Not sure if this belongs here since he was born in Australia, but I recently discovered Arthur Benjamin’s Symphony (1945), and WOW! What a stunning work! It’s a grippingly dramatic, masterfully scored, memorable work which doesn’t have a single dull moment. The first two movements have a nervous, stormy energy, the slow movement is darkly passionate, and the finale is a stirring triumph-over-the-odds conclusion. Much as I love RVW’s symphonies, I think I even prefer it to most of them, which is no small praise! Like Korngold and Damase, I wish Benjamin had written many more symphonies. This recording with the LPO under Barry Wordsworth is first-rate in all regards:



It's a fabulous symphony - I agree Kyle. He was Australian but mostly lived in the UK and was a friend of VW's. They're is another performance on Marco Polo and also a fine old John Barbirolli recording, possibly of the first performance. The Lyrita is the best though.
« Last Edit: December 28, 2018, 12:48:14 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline André

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #397 on: December 28, 2018, 06:51:26 AM »
I have the Marco Polo disc but haven’t listened to it in ages. It’s in the listening pile, now  ;)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #398 on: December 28, 2018, 11:20:03 AM »
I have the Marco Polo disc but haven’t listened to it in ages. It’s in the listening pile, now  ;)
Excellent! The Marco Polo has the moving 'Ballade for String Orchestra' which is not on the Lyrita disc - worth having for that.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).