Author Topic: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)  (Read 8284 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline cilgwyn

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3229
  • Location: Wales
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #20 on: August 05, 2012, 07:31:07 AM »
Actually,I wish I'd left out that last gripe (see last post!) Yes, I'm enjoying Rootham & I wish they'd record some more,but that kind of,chest beating, 'Why is this composer ignored' post is SO unoriginal! Dammit! I should be ashamed of myself! :o :-[ And what about poor old Lev Knipper?!! I mean,honestly!!! ;D
  John France,at Musicweb,reckons a Promenade performance of Rootham's First would "raise the rafters". Not sure about that myself. Much as I enjoy this symphony I feel that sort of observation does a work like this few favours. Anyway,it's just not that kind of music.
As far as I'm aware,even Havergal Brian's Gothic blockbuster didn't physically alter the altitude or solidity of any beam or joist! ;D

Is it possible for a piece of music to literally 'raise the roof' or 'bring the house down?'
I'm sure my old battered s/h pbk copy of Lyall Watson's (hippy favourite) 'Supernature',has a lot to say on the subject!


Any Royal Albert Hall carpenters or scientist/engineers are welcome to join this debate! :)

If ever Rootham's First Symphony gets a Prom hearing (if it hasn't had one) will I need to bring a crash helmet & suitable protective clothing? :( ;D

Just,in case........

« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 08:34:40 AM by cilgwyn »

Offline cilgwyn

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3229
  • Location: Wales
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #21 on: August 05, 2012, 08:33:15 AM »
On a more serious note :o I have just found a D90 cassette,in my collection,of a performance of Rootham's First Symphony with the BBC Symphony orchestra conducted by Andrew Davis. Broadcast on June 20th 2004 & broadcast (in a specially made recording) as part of Brian Kay's '3 for All' programme;this should make for an interesting comparison to the Lyrita recording.
As luck would have it,I still play cassettes & actually use them to record off the radio,now & again! :o I have now slotted this into my dolby cassette deck,and.....whoa! This is definately one of my better recordings! A lovely,clear,expansive recording,to my ears? Well,not bad for me ;D & the performance sounds great. Very bracing. I now wish Andrew Davis would make a recording (or of the Second!). When I get a lead I will make a cdr!

Wow! The timpani in this recording is quite something! That almighty thwack,just then, nearly knocked me off my seat!!!! :o Good as the Lyrita recording is,the sonics here make me feel that this really would benefit from the sonics of modern state of the art recording! It really DOES add something! (Hopefully,not a cardiac arrest! :()

Update: Hm! :( I knew I was tempting fate! Unfortunately,the balance goes a bit funny,near the beginning of the finale! Definately,pro left ear 'ole! But,it could be worse. I remember now,the machine I used at the time had a dodgy button & you had to wedge it in place....usually,a matchstick! ;D As I say it could have been worse. (One channel,only,sometimes!)
Presumably,I can do something to even up the balance using 'Audacity'?
Must put that lead (cassette to pc) on my 'shopping list',now!

« Last Edit: August 05, 2012, 09:05:05 AM by cilgwyn »

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8391
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #22 on: August 07, 2012, 11:59:56 AM »
It would be wonderful (though implausible) to hear Rootham's First Symphony at the Proms. The work which would, I believe, 'bring the house down' in the unlikely event of it ever being performed there, would be Richard Arnell's Third Symphony. Stanley Bate's Third and Fourth symphonies would also be great candidates (in my dreams).  Still, I lived to hear Moeran's 1st Symphony's prom premiere - so you never know.  :D
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3229
  • Location: Wales
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #23 on: August 07, 2012, 01:39:33 PM »
 ;D Indeed,who knows? I listened to Moeran's Violin Concerto the other night. Even if it isn't a masterpiece,it certainly wins,on all counts,as one of the most beautiful ever composed. (If beauty alone could get a work into the concert repertory it would be there!)
 I must admit I haven't heard Arnell's 3rd,but I dug out an off air cassette I made of his Piano Concerto & I must admit I was rather impressed. A sort of British answer to Prokofiev,very exciting. And the ancient old cassette worked too!

 You're enthusiasm here has really got me into Rootham. The Dutton booklet,with the cd of Violin Sonatas by (Rootham,Holbrooke,etc) refers to him as a quite prolific composer. Indeed,I was suprised at how much remains unrecorded. I hope this will be rectified,in due course. Nevertheless,despite my enthusiasm for Roothams First,I'm not too sure it would bring the house down;although a Prom performance would be rather nice,to say the least! Not that there's anything wrong with the Rootham;I love it & it's a very impressive symphony;but I just don't think it's a rafter raising kind of work! ;D
Bate's 3rd or Fourth,as you say,are more likely candidates,for a rafter shifting! And,maybe one day?!!!

Another dream. Brian's third symphony.
Bax's Second made it recently & judging by some of the reviews I saw,even if it didn't raise rafters,it did pretty well. Bax's First is another Prom day dream. That tremendous opening & the imposing,indeed exciting,second movement. I can see the critics nit picking about the final movement,though;so maybe it's better,sometimes,just to dream?!!

Anyway,enough of rafters! It's a Rootham thread after all,not a carpentry thread! ;D

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8391
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #24 on: August 08, 2012, 01:10:58 AM »
;D Indeed,who knows? I listened to Moeran's Violin Concerto the other night. Even if it isn't a masterpiece,it certainly wins,on all counts,as one of the most beautiful ever composed. (If beauty alone could get a work into the concert repertory it would be there!)
 I must admit I haven't heard Arnell's 3rd,but I dug out an off air cassette I made of his Piano Concerto & I must admit I was rather impressed. A sort of British answer to Prokofiev,very exciting. And the ancient old cassette worked too!

 You're enthusiasm here has really got me into Rootham. The Dutton booklet,with the cd of Violin Sonatas by (Rootham,Holbrooke,etc) refers to him as a quite prolific composer. Indeed,I was suprised at how much remains unrecorded. I hope this will be rectified,in due course. Nevertheless,despite my enthusiasm for Roothams First,I'm not too sure it would bring the house down;although a Prom performance would be rather nice,to say the least! Not that there's anything wrong with the Rootham;I love it & it's a very impressive symphony;but I just don't think it's a rafter raising kind of work! ;D
Bate's 3rd or Fourth,as you say,are more likely candidates,for a rafter shifting! And,maybe one day?!!!

Another dream. Brian's third symphony.
Bax's Second made it recently & judging by some of the reviews I saw,even if it didn't raise rafters,it did pretty well. Bax's First is another Prom day dream. That tremendous opening & the imposing,indeed exciting,second movement. I can see the critics nit picking about the final movement,though;so maybe it's better,sometimes,just to dream?!!

Anyway,enough of rafters! It's a Rootham thread after all,not a carpentry thread! ;D

Actually I prefer Moeran's Cello Concerto and find the climax of the final movement overwhelming in the Coetmore/Boult version - much as I like the Violin Concerto too. I was there for the proms premiere of Bax's Symphony No 2 (and for a performance of Symphony No 5 in a half empty Albert Hall decades ago) - the only time I have heard Bax in concert. You must listen to the Arnell 3,5 and 5 symphonies, which I'm sure you would like. The return of the 'big tune' at the end of No 5 is a wonderful moment.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3229
  • Location: Wales
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #25 on: August 08, 2012, 09:48:16 AM »
I will program the Cello Concerto in,later. I must admit to being a recent convert to the Moeran Violin Concerto.I'm not that keen on Violin or Cello Concerto's generally. I don't know why! :( But there are exceptions,of course,besides the usual suspects! But the Moeran is so beautiful. It isn't highly regarded,but you just think of all those lovely landscapes. Since the Cello Concerto is the most highly regarded of the two,I'm obviously missing something. Programing it in & putting it on repeat should do the trick! ;D
Yes Arnell does sound interesting. The Piano Concerto doesn't get mentioned as much as the symphonies so if I like that,it stands to reason I'll like the symphonies.

By the way Vandermolen,were there many in the audience for Bax 2? I hope so. If there were more than two people things could be looking up! ;D
« Last Edit: August 08, 2012, 09:50:22 AM by cilgwyn »

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8391
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #26 on: August 08, 2012, 12:20:32 PM »
I will program the Cello Concerto in,later. I must admit to being a recent convert to the Moeran Violin Concerto.I'm not that keen on Violin or Cello Concerto's generally. I don't know why! :( But there are exceptions,of course,besides the usual suspects! But the Moeran is so beautiful. It isn't highly regarded,but you just think of all those lovely landscapes. Since the Cello Concerto is the most highly regarded of the two,I'm obviously missing something. Programing it in & putting it on repeat should do the trick! ;D
Yes Arnell does sound interesting. The Piano Concerto doesn't get mentioned as much as the symphonies so if I like that,it stands to reason I'll like the symphonies.

By the way Vandermolen,were there many in the audience for Bax 2? I hope so. If there were more than two people things could be looking up! ;D

Hello Cilgwyn - no I was not the only person in the Albert Hall for Bax's 2nd Symphony  ;D - as far as I recall the Albert Hall was quite full, but this may have been for the rest of the programme.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3229
  • Location: Wales
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #27 on: August 09, 2012, 10:43:08 AM »
Well,the important thing is,the hall WAS full! :) So maybe that will be an incentive to program some more. No 1,6 or Spring Fire would be good follow ups! A pity the performance can't be released on cd. Still,I've got my off air cassette! :o ;D

I put the Moeran Cello Concerto on last night. Unfortunately perhaps,the recording I own is the Chandos one. I hope this is adequate! The recording is spectacular,but on the reverberant side.
 On the plus side,this does add a cinematic sheen to the performance,which seems appropriate for a Concerto which strikes me as having a 'filmic',epic quality to it,quite distinct from most Cello Concerto's I have encountered;most of them being of an introspective,ruminative,autumnal or brooding nature;which is one of the reasons I generally don't like Cello Concerto's! Not that I'm an expert mind.Perhaps I just keep 'bumping into' the wrong ones! ;D
In fact Moeran's Cello Concerto strikes me as being a prime example of a Cello Concerto for people who think they don't like Cello Concerto's. It really does lift you up with it's warmth & passion. It's also,at times,very exciting & unlike the Violin Concerto it's all very purposeful,there's no 'oirish' note spinning!
In short,marvellous. I really enjoyed it. And I'm NOT just being polite! ;D

As a footnote,I put on the fillup item,the 'Sinfonietta'. The quiet bits are rather nice,but it's not one of his best. It seems to lack the kind of themes or ideas that stay in the mind. Worth an occasional hearing,though!

Back to Rootham! :o ;D

« Last Edit: August 09, 2012, 10:44:51 AM by cilgwyn »

Offline alanmedrow

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 1
  • Location: storrington
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #28 on: August 04, 2013, 03:38:33 AM »
People, recommend Cyril Rootham for Radio 3's Composer of the Week.  I have just done this for their 70th birthday special: I have been into Rootham's music since I came across a relative of his at a Prom concert some years ago, and this composer definitely deserves more exposure...

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8391
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #29 on: August 20, 2013, 06:25:40 AM »
People, recommend Cyril Rootham for Radio 3's Composer of the Week.  I have just done this for their 70th birthday special: I have been into Rootham's music since I came across a relative of his at a Prom concert some years ago, and this composer definitely deserves more exposure...

Rootham as Composer of the Week would certainly raise his reputation. I wonder if there is enough material though. He spent most of his life in academia.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

kyjo

  • Guest
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #30 on: August 20, 2013, 02:40:38 PM »
I really enjoy Rootham's Symphony no. 1, which is a breezily energetic piece in the mold of Moeran's Symphony in G minor and Bliss' A Colour Symphony. One thing I find particularly successful about this work its concision; that there's not a note wasted, nor are there any pastoral meanderings which some British composers of the time (not wrongly) engage in from time to time.



I also have this EMI disc, which includes the moving For the Fallen for chorus and orchestra:



Two Rootham works I'd really like to see recorded are his Symphony no. 2 (which I've seen variously titled as Revelation and Apocalyptic) and his large-scale Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity for soloists, chorus and orchestra. A friend of mine and previously active member here, Colin (Dundonnell), compiled a catalogue of Rootham's orchestral music which is available on his marvelous website: http://composers.gulabin.com/

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8391
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #31 on: August 20, 2013, 03:17:09 PM »
Yes, a commercial recording of Rootham's fine 2nd Symphony would be great. It is one of the great gaps in recordings of music by British composers, along with Ruth Gipps's Symphony No 4 - her masterpiece.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline DanielR

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Cyril Rootham (1875 - 1938)
    • rootham.org
  • Location: Dorset, UK
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #32 on: October 08, 2013, 02:18:09 PM »
I'm coming a bit late to join this discussion, but as the grandson of Cyril Rootham I would like to add some information.  We have recently launched a website for CBR at www.rootham.org, so now there is a fairly complete list of his works available both on the website and as an Excel spreadsheet to download.  I am still adding to the list of works, so any corrections will be gratefully received.

Works to record?  I too would love to see CBR's Second Symphony recorded, but I think a more likely candidate is the "Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity" which is currently being typeset for publication.  This effort to get CBR's works into print is voluntary work, so the edition may not be published for a few months.   

And there will be a chance to hear CBR's "For the Fallen" on 7 June 2014, when Ember Choral Society and Hampton Choral Society include it in their summer concert.  The programme also includes VW's "A Sea Symphony": it should be quite an evening!  See emberchoral.org.uk for details.

kyjo

  • Guest
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #33 on: October 08, 2013, 05:07:47 PM »
I'm coming a bit late to join this discussion, but as the grandson of Cyril Rootham I would like to add some information.  We have recently launched a website for CBR at www.rootham.org, so now there is a fairly complete list of his works available both on the website and as an Excel spreadsheet to download.  I am still adding to the list of works, so any corrections will be gratefully received.

Works to record?  I too would love to see CBR's Second Symphony recorded, but I think a more likely candidate is the "Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity" which is currently being typeset for publication.  This effort to get CBR's works into print is voluntary work, so the edition may not be published for a few months.   

And there will be a chance to hear CBR's "For the Fallen" on 7 June 2014, when Ember Choral Society and Hampton Choral Society include it in their summer concert.  The programme also includes VW's "A Sea Symphony": it should be quite an evening!  See emberchoral.org.uk for details.

Fascinating, Daniel! Welcome to the forum indeed. :)

Offline cilgwyn

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 3229
  • Location: Wales
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #34 on: October 09, 2013, 11:30:32 AM »
Thank you and welcome,Daniel. Cyril Rootham is a fine composer.

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8391
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #35 on: October 10, 2013, 05:25:54 AM »
I'm coming a bit late to join this discussion, but as the grandson of Cyril Rootham I would like to add some information.  We have recently launched a website for CBR at www.rootham.org, so now there is a fairly complete list of his works available both on the website and as an Excel spreadsheet to download.  I am still adding to the list of works, so any corrections will be gratefully received.

Works to record?  I too would love to see CBR's Second Symphony recorded, but I think a more likely candidate is the "Ode on the Morning of Christ's Nativity" which is currently being typeset for publication.  This effort to get CBR's works into print is voluntary work, so the edition may not be published for a few months.   

And there will be a chance to hear CBR's "For the Fallen" on 7 June 2014, when Ember Choral Society and Hampton Choral Society include it in their summer concert.  The programme also includes VW's "A Sea Symphony": it should be quite an evening!  See emberchoral.org.uk for details.

Daniel,

Welcome indeed! I was delighted to see a post from Rootham's grandson. Your grandfather was a very fine composer whose music, over many decades, has given me great pleasure. Right from the first appearance of Symphony No 1 on that Lyrita LP I have looked for more information/recordings of his music. There is a recordcc ing of Symphony No 2 but it has never been commercially released. It would be an ideal issue for Dutton and, in my CD fantasy life, coupled with Ruth Gipps's magnificent 4th Symphony. 'For the Fallen' and 'Miniature Sweet' are other firm favourites from that fine old EMI disc, which I discovered on LP in 1987. I shall look at the website with much interest. Thank you for posting here.

Added later:

The website looks very interesting. I was very pleased to read that Rootham promoted the work of Honneger, another favourite of mine and that he taught Armstrong Gibbs, whose 'Westmorland Symphony' is a very moving score.


« Last Edit: October 10, 2013, 05:33:34 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline DanielR

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Cyril Rootham (1875 - 1938)
    • rootham.org
  • Location: Dorset, UK
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #36 on: December 08, 2013, 02:26:13 PM »
Thank you for the warm welcome, and my apologies for being slow in responding. 

There's something new on the Cyril Rootham website: a page where you can listen to some excerpts and a few entire works: 
http://rootham.org/listen.html
This forum is the first place where I have announced the new Listen page, so if anyone has suggestions or criticisms I will really be receptive. I'd like to get things straight before it hits a wider audience. Please don't hold back!

On a different topic: it's only in the last few weeks that I have discovered the joys of the British Library.  I have already listened to one CBR work there (Symphony No 2 conducted by Vernon Handley), a work which I had never heard except on the crackling 78s of the Adrian Boult 1939 recording.  The British Library staff are incredibly helpful and supportive, and I am hoping that in January/February both Symphony No 2 and some other gems will be transferred to the sound server in the BL.  That will mean that registered readers will be able to listen "on demand" rather than booking a listening appointment to load the reel-to-reel tape.  But obviously still by attending in person at the BL, not over the internet.

Thank you for any feedback.

Dan

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8391
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #37 on: December 09, 2013, 02:01:17 PM »
Thank you for the warm welcome, and my apologies for being slow in responding. 

There's something new on the Cyril Rootham website: a page where you can listen to some excerpts and a few entire works: 
http://rootham.org/listen.html
This forum is the first place where I have announced the new Listen page, so if anyone has suggestions or criticisms I will really be receptive. I'd like to get things straight before it hits a wider audience. Please don't hold back!

On a different topic: it's only in the last few weeks that I have discovered the joys of the British Library.  I have already listened to one CBR work there (Symphony No 2 conducted by Vernon Handley), a work which I had never heard except on the crackling 78s of the Adrian Boult 1939 recording.  The British Library staff are incredibly helpful and supportive, and I am hoping that in January/February both Symphony No 2 and some other gems will be transferred to the sound server in the BL.  That will mean that registered readers will be able to listen "on demand" rather than booking a listening appointment to load the reel-to-reel tape.  But obviously still by attending in person at the BL, not over the internet.

Thank you for any feedback.

Dan

Hi Daniel,

The website is great. Couldn't get the Chiswick Choir in 'For the Fallen' to play but managed one synthesised midi work and ingenious the way that it follows the score. Yes, I do hope that there is a commercial recording of Symphony No. 2 soon.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline DanielR

  • Newbie
  • *
  • Posts: 9
  • Cyril Rootham (1875 - 1938)
    • rootham.org
  • Location: Dorset, UK
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2014, 07:17:54 AM »
Many thanks for the comments.  The recording of the "For the Fallen" concert had a huge dynamic range, so that some parts (including the very beginning) were almost inaudible.  I have had the recording re-mastered for web playback, and I hope that you can now enjoy it.

And I have added a "Concerts" page on the Cyril Rootham website, giving details of three recitals or concerts over the next few months:
    http://rootham.org/concerts.html

And there will be more surprises to come on the Rootham website in about 6 weeks . . .

Best,
Dan

Offline vandermolen

  • Veteran member
  • *
  • Posts: 8391
  • Location: Rotherfield, East Sussex,
Re: Cyril Rootham (1875-1938)
« Reply #39 on: March 08, 2014, 02:00:48 PM »
Many thanks for the comments.  The recording of the "For the Fallen" concert had a huge dynamic range, so that some parts (including the very beginning) were almost inaudible.  I have had the recording re-mastered for web playback, and I hope that you can now enjoy it.

And I have added a "Concerts" page on the Cyril Rootham website, giving details of three recitals or concerts over the next few months:
    http://rootham.org/concerts.html

And there will be more surprises to come on the Rootham website in about 6 weeks . . .

Best,
Dan

That is exciting news Dan. Thank you.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Buying Music From Amazon?
Please consider using these links. A small percentage of every sale using these links is passed on to GMG and helps keep this forum online.
Amazon US
Amazon Canada
Amazon UK