Author Topic: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)  (Read 33095 times)

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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #300 on: April 08, 2018, 07:48:19 AM »
That disc of Symphonies 2  & 4 is probably the Simpson CD I've listened to most over the years. The 2nd Symphony reminds me of Hindemith, and the 4th reminds me of Nielsen. I think it shows him off at his best.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #301 on: April 08, 2018, 12:30:13 PM »
Any other admirers of Symphony 1?
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #302 on: April 08, 2018, 01:16:19 PM »
Any other admirers of Symphony 1?

The best-sounding PhD dissertation ever written!

Seriously, I like it well enough, I just don't like it as much as several of his later symphonies.
formerly VELIMIR (before that, Spitvalve)

"Who knows not strict counterpoint, lives and dies an ignoramus" - CPE Bach

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #303 on: April 08, 2018, 05:26:44 PM »
The first 5 symphonies and the 9th are my favorites. Simpson's music is not for everybody. It could be true his oeuvre tends to be cold and cerebral. I personally like the sense of growing and the energy the symphonies display. As for the string quartets, I much prefer the symphonies to them. I'll need to revisit this symphonic cycle at some point soon.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #304 on: April 08, 2018, 09:59:54 PM »
Thanks Caesar and AToA.

Yes, No.1 was Simpson's PhD thesis but a fine work in its own right I think.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #305 on: April 08, 2018, 11:24:28 PM »
The Ninth symphony certainly is an impressive creation. That said,I preferred No's 2,3,4 & 5. The inspiration just seems more varied. I feel that,in a way,the Ninth is a bit too clever for it's own good,ultimately. And yes,I think the cd of No's 2 & 4,is a superb collection. I listened to it several times in succession. And no doubt,I will again.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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  • Et quid amabo nisi quod ænigma est?
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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #306 on: April 08, 2018, 11:42:18 PM »
Funnily,enough,I've had a paperback of the Collected Ghost Stories of EF Benson,for a few years,now. I only recently got around to reading it. I think the Foreword's put me off. (Why down play the merit of a book you want to flog?!!) I  had enjoyed one,or two,in anthologies,before. But I thought they might be a little formulaic. How wrong I was! One of them,The Bus Conductor,is one of the stories told in Dead of Night ("Room for one more!"). I see that his ghost stories are rated very highly by many.....and rightly,so! A little more lurid than MR James;but that's what makes them fun. And nice and short! "The Face",is one of the creepiest supernatural stories,I have read. After I finished it the wind blew the bathroom door shut upstairs. It was late at night,and I,literally,shot out of my seat!! ??? ;D Great fun! ::) ;D!  Algernon Blackwood is another favourite! Yes,great films. The 1966 episode of The Avengers,"Too many Christmas trees",often rated as the best ever episode,features Mervyn Johns,as one of the guest stars. Patrick Macnee (John Steed) has a recurring dream,which leads him to a country house filled with assorted guests!

Right, the episode in which they get a Christmas card from . . . Ft Knox.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #307 on: April 09, 2018, 12:33:02 PM »
Any other admirers of Symphony 1?

Although I've had the box of Simpson Symphonies for several years, I've never listened to the First. Correcting that oversight now as I type. Liking very much the first few minutes.

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: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #308 on: April 09, 2018, 12:39:14 PM »
Although I've had the box of Simpson Symphonies for several years, I've never listened to the First. Correcting that oversight now as I type. Liking very much the first few minutes.

Sarge
:)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Sergeant Rock

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #309 on: April 09, 2018, 12:46:12 PM »
:)

The slow movement is really lovely. If the last movement is as good as the first two, this Symphony may rival the Fourth in my estimation.

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 arpeggio

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #310 on: April 09, 2018, 12:53:19 PM »
As a big Simpson fan I have to jump in.

My introduction to Simpson was the recording of the Sixth and Seventh Symphonies.  The structure of the Sixth really appealed to my pseudo intellectual nature.



One of the features of his sound world is that there are components of his music that sound like William Schuman.  It seems to me that his music should appeal to any Schuman fan.

It seems that many of his recordings are now out of print.  One can still acquire them affiliated sellers from Amazon.



 
« Last Edit: April 09, 2018, 06:21:12 PM by arpeggio »

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #311 on: April 09, 2018, 10:33:35 PM »
The slow movement is really lovely. If the last movement is as good as the first two, this Symphony may rival the Fourth in my estimation.

Sarge

Pleased to hear that you are enjoying this work Sarge.
 :)
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline arpeggio

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #312 on: April 10, 2018, 04:13:51 AM »
As a result of the activity in this thread I was examining the various music sites about Simpson and it appears that many recordings of his works are now out of print.  It is a real shame if this is true.

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #313 on: April 10, 2018, 05:07:37 AM »
As a result of the activity in this thread I was examining the various music sites about Simpson and it appears that many recordings of his works are now out of print.  It is a real shame if this is true.

Even if the Hyperion recordings are no longer available as CDs, lossless or mp3 downloads are available from Hyperion's web site.

Was about to dig into the Hyperion symphony cycle last night, but couldn't resist listening to one more set of Debussy preludes last night.

Offline arpeggio

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #314 on: April 10, 2018, 01:01:58 PM »
Even if the Hyperion recordings are no longer available as CDs, lossless or mp3 downloads are available from Hyperion's web site.

Was about to dig into the Hyperion symphony cycle last night, but couldn't resist listening to one more set of Debussy preludes last night.

Good to know.

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #315 on: April 12, 2018, 11:52:13 PM »
I got the Hyperion cd's of symphonies 2 & 4,3 & 5 and No 9,very cheaply from a certain ubiquitous,and in my experience,pretty reliable uk purveyor of cd's,dvd',and books too,now (I notice).

Offline cilgwyn

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #316 on: April 12, 2018, 11:58:27 PM »
The first 5 symphonies and the 9th are my favorites. Simpson's music is not for everybody. It could be true his oeuvre tends to be cold and cerebral. I personally like the sense of growing and the energy the symphonies display. As for the string quartets, I much prefer the symphonies to them. I'll need to revisit this symphonic cycle at some point soon.
So far,listening to symphonies 2,3,4 and 5,I think I'm beginning to concur with SymphonicAddict's assessment here. The Ninth is quite a creation,but there is less variety there than in the earlier symphonies. I will have another listen,soon.

Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #317 on: July 23, 2018, 05:19:27 PM »
I'm changing my mind about this great cycle. At first I thought the symphonies were cerebral and cold, but I'm revisiting them again and I don't think like that anymore. The 8th is playing right now. Wow! This is stunning! I hadn't perceived its true meaning. I really like its brooding and mysterious nature, with angry passages that remind me of some works by Malcolm Arnold, where the percussion has an important role. I enjoy the big climaxes contrasted with those whispering wind passages. I've also noticed the great Simpson's use of the timpani throughout the cycle. It's utterly thrilling.

Offline kyjo

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #318 on: July 23, 2018, 05:56:32 PM »
I'm changing my mind about this great cycle. At first I thought the symphonies were cerebral and cold, but I'm revisiting them again and I don't think like that anymore. The 8th is playing right now. Wow! This is stunning! I hadn't perceived its true meaning. I really like its brooding and mysterious nature, with angry passages that remind me of some works by Malcolm Arnold, where the percussion has an important role. I enjoy the big climaxes contrasted with those whispering wind passages. I've also noticed the great Simpson's use of the timpani throughout the cycle. It's utterly thrilling.

Great to hear! I haven't quite warmed to Simpson's symphonies yet (finding them, like you once did, rather cerebral and cold), but your enthusiasm is encouraging me to give them some more time. I do remember the 8th being quite good. You mention Arnold - yes, I suppose there are similarities with Arnold's angrier works (Symphonies nos. 6 and 7 for instance) - but Simpson hardly has Arnold's melodic talent and is a much more one-dimensional composer as far as the different moods he creates through his music. Yes, the elemental power of his music can be thrilling, but I wish there was a little more emotional contrast to be found in it. I certainly agree with you about his exciting timpani parts!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #319 on: July 23, 2018, 10:07:20 PM »
Great to hear! I haven't quite warmed to Simpson's symphonies yet (finding them, like you once did, rather cerebral and cold), but your enthusiasm is encouraging me to give them some more time. I do remember the 8th being quite good. You mention Arnold - yes, I suppose there are similarities with Arnold's angrier works (Symphonies nos. 6 and 7 for instance) - but Simpson hardly has Arnold's melodic talent and is a much more one-dimensional composer as far as the different moods he creates through his music. Yes, the elemental power of his music can be thrilling, but I wish there was a little more emotional contrast to be found in it. I certainly agree with you about his exciting timpani parts!
Very much agree with this Kyle but I must investigate more Simpson. No.3 is one that I like. His music still sounds a bit to me like Nielsen without the tunes but I'm getting to appreciate it more.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

 

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