Author Topic: Milford's Haven  (Read 981 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Milford's Haven
« on: September 04, 2015, 09:02:00 AM »
I thought that Robin Milford (1903-1959) despite being described as a 'minor 20th Century English composer' deserved a thread of his own, albeit likely to be of minority interest. If you like the music of his friend (Finzi) and his teacher, Vaughan Williams, you are likely to enjoy the music of Milford. There is a great warmth and humanity to this largely tranquil music. Milford, Finzi, Hadley etc are largely seen as lying in the shadow of Vaughan Williams and yet, as has been pointed out elsewhere, Vaughan Williams's music, despite its great beauty, has a strangely impersonal quality to it (which in the case of his Sixth Symphonyny is a strength); Finzi, Hadley and Milford, on the other hand, wrote music, which perhaps revealed more of themselves. Milford's 'The Darkling Thrush' an orchestral setting of an incredibly moving poem by Thomas Hardy is a deeply personal work. It is like The Lark Ascending in some ways but I actually prefer it, probably due to over-familiarity of the latter.

Milford had a sad life. Although being of a highly sensitive and nervous nature he volunteered for the army as soon as the Second World War broke out (unlike Britten, who cleared off to America) where he was bullied and suffered a nervous breakdown and had to be invalided out. Then, his only child Barnaby was killed in a road traffic accident in 1941. Finally, after the deaths of his friends, Finzi and Vaughan Williams he committed suicide in 1959,

Yet, his music lives on:







The CD with the lovely 'Darkling Thrush' won't appear but here is the link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Frederick-Delius-Concerto-Benjamin-Darkling/dp/B011IO8PW6
« Last Edit: September 04, 2015, 09:08:08 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Milford's Haven
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2015, 10:38:27 AM »
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Milford's Haven
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2015, 10:22:23 PM »
Quote from: Mirror Image link 8) 8)=topic=25161.msg918662#msg918662 date=1441481907
Here you go:



Thanks so much John. I thought that this was a good candidate for a zero response thread. 8)

'The Darkling Thrush' is a beautiful and, I think very moving work. The Thomas Hardy poem has become one of my favourites too.

Slow movement of Milford's Violin Concerto:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D3f2gLEOw78
« Last Edit: September 05, 2015, 10:27:10 PM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Milford's Haven
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2015, 04:40:45 AM »
Thanks so much John. I thought that this was a good candidate for a zero response thread. 8)

'The Darkling Thrush' is a beautiful and, I think very moving work. The Thomas Hardy poem has become one of my favourites too.

Slow movement of Milford's Violin Concerto:

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=D3f2gLEOw78

I hate to rain on your parade here, Jeffrey, but I listened to this first movement of his Violin Concerto (as you posted here) and I can say that I'm quite underwhelmed by it. I don't really hear a distinctive musical personality. With other English composers like Britten, RVW, Walton, and Elgar, the impact is immediate and I'm drawn into their sound-worlds. Milford seems to be one of those, out of many, English composers who seemed to struggle with their musical identity and what they wanted to express. I just don't hear many personal touches. For me, something has to be more than beautiful on the surface, there has to be some kind of turbulence underneath. Anyway, I believe I made my point. ;) ;D
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Milford's Haven
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2015, 06:47:21 AM »
I'd like you to hear The Darkling Thrush or the 'Fishing by Moonlight' CD which perhaps show more originality. It is not startlingly original but there is a quiet beauty about the music which I find appealing.
« Last Edit: September 06, 2015, 09:40:09 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Dax

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Re: Milford's Haven
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2015, 08:47:11 AM »
The Robin Milford Trust enables us to listen to recordings

http://www.robinmilfordtrust.org.uk/milfwork.htm

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Milford's Haven
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2015, 12:44:20 PM »
The Robin Milford Trust enables us to listen to recordings

http://www.robinmilfordtrust.org.uk/milfwork.htm

Dax, thanks very much for alerting me to this excellent site. Nice to see a photo of Milford looking happy.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Milford's Haven
« Reply #7 on: April 06, 2019, 08:29:16 AM »
Milford's Symphony which Vaughan Williams thought highly of has recently been performed for the first time. I haven't heard it but would love to do so. Last night I listened to 'The Darkling Thrush' after Thomas Hardy's eponymous poem. I found it incredibly moving, especially in the circumstances of Milford's sad life:
« Last Edit: April 06, 2019, 08:31:14 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).