Author Topic: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)  (Read 16633 times)

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Offline SymphonicAddict

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #80 on: February 03, 2019, 09:30:03 AM »
My favorites are the 1st and the 2nd symphonies. I too like the grim mood of his style. It's bleak music but at the same time is engaging and has substance.

Online Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #81 on: February 03, 2019, 09:40:36 AM »
I have a strong impression of the works of Leighton, but can't seem to find my listening notes and don't quite remember what I listened to. (I know it was from the Chandos series). I wouldn't say bleak. My overall impression is grim determination to overcome difficult circumstances.
There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

Offline Irons

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #82 on: February 03, 2019, 11:42:04 AM »
Apparently a very nice man and without ego. He enjoyed friendship and support from Gerald Finzi.

Anyone quoting source is threatened with legal action. So I won't!  :-X
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: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #83 on: February 03, 2019, 02:05:05 PM »
I wouldn't say bleak. My overall impression is grim determination to overcome difficult circumstances.

I agree. Dark, certainly, but hardly approaching the bleakness of, say, the Pettersson or later Weinberg symphonies. There’s a strong, purposeful backbone to Leighton’s music which ensures that it doesn’t drift off into helpless self-pity.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Online Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #84 on: February 03, 2019, 02:20:01 PM »
If I had to use one word to characterize his music it would be struggle.
There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #85 on: February 03, 2019, 06:18:00 PM »
If I had to use one word to characterize his music it would be struggle.

My sentiments exactly.
“Works of art make rules; rules do not make works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #86 on: February 10, 2019, 10:15:55 AM »
Am really enjoying the poignant, poetic and eloquent Symphony 3 'Laudes Musicae' this evening:

 I recall that one of my young, musical students really enjoying Leighton's vocal music. There is something very sad about this music. Leighton, who was evidently a very nice individual, died prematurely and apparently had a drink problem. I find this symphony very moving.
« Last Edit: February 10, 2019, 10:18:55 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline kyjo

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #87 on: February 10, 2019, 01:12:03 PM »
Am really enjoying the poignant, poetic and eloquent Symphony 3 'Laudes Musicae' this evening:

 I recall that one of my young, musical students really enjoying Leighton's vocal music. There is something very sad about this music. Leighton, who was evidently a very nice individual, died prematurely and apparently had a drink problem. I find this symphony very moving.

Thanks for this, Jeffrey; I’ll have to give it a spin. Did you manage to locate your CD of the First Symphony, by chance?
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #88 on: February 11, 2019, 01:43:37 AM »
Thanks for this, Jeffrey; I’ll have to give it a spin. Did you manage to locate your CD of the First Symphony, by chance?

Yes, indeed Kyle - just a couple of days ago. I started to listen to it but was then interrupted by something or other. I really liked what I heard and will try to listen to it right through later today.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #89 on: February 11, 2019, 12:08:33 PM »
I recently listened to Leighton's music for strings. The Symphony for Strings, I later read, was a student work and rather dull, though skillfully done. However, I found the "Concerto for String Orchestra" to be very impressive. It is in a sort of slow-fast-slow scheme, with the central movement a scherzo of sorts and the outer movements more extensive in scope. It has some of the strong functional dissonance which seems to be the convention of English String music of the early 20th century. Almost Finzi-esque. I have to start listening to the symphonies again.
There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #90 on: February 11, 2019, 01:58:05 PM »
I've really enjoyed hearing this (twice) today. Thank you Kyle and also Cesar for the recommendations. I became more gripped as this searching and rather troubled symphony went along.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #91 on: February 12, 2019, 08:34:49 AM »
Listened to the Concerto for String Orchestra again, it grows more interested each time I listen. Also had time to listen to the Organ Concerto. The first movement "lament" seemed flat but the second movement (toccata) was extremely impressive and the final theme with variations made wonderful use of the palette of tone colors available from the organ and string orchestra. My regard for this composer continues to grow.

There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

Offline Irons

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #92 on: February 12, 2019, 09:26:49 AM »
Listened to the Concerto for String Orchestra again, it grows more interested each time I listen. Also had time to listen to the Organ Concerto. The first movement "lament" seemed flat but the second movement (toccata) was extremely impressive and the final theme with variations made wonderful use of the palette of tone colors available from the organ and string orchestra. My regard for this composer continues to grow.

The Concerto for String Orchestra and Organ Concerto are the (only) two recordings I have by Leighton. After your positive impression of the former I will give it a spin. The Organ Concerto I rate highly, as highly as the one for the same instrument by Poulenc.
The 1st Symphony sounds most interesting indeed.
« Last Edit: February 12, 2019, 09:31:42 AM by Irons »
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 Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #93 on: February 13, 2019, 08:30:58 AM »
The Concerto for String Orchestra and Organ Concerto are the (only) two recordings I have by Leighton. After your positive impression of the former I will give it a spin. The Organ Concerto I rate highly, as highly as the one for the same instrument by Poulenc.
The 1st Symphony sounds most interesting indeed.

Turns out I was thinking of the Poulenc concerto as well and listened to that last evening. I have a number of recordings but choose Hickox/London Sinfonietta.



I was surprised. Poulenc's Gaelic, witty style was no where in evidence. It opened with a Gothic blast from the organ reminiscent of Bach's (or someone's) Toccata and Fugue in d-minor. It continued with alternation between gothic outbursts, vigorous fast-tempo passages and gentle pastorales. An interesting work, no doubt. A contrast with the Piano Concerto, which has charming passages that alternate with Bruckneresq brass outbursts. I get the impression of Poulenc trying on different hats.

It occurs to me, this isn't the Poulenc thread...
« Last Edit: February 13, 2019, 08:36:32 AM by Ghost of Baron Scarpia »
There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. - Duke Ellington

Offline kyjo

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #94 on: March 13, 2019, 11:57:21 AM »
Am really enjoying the poignant, poetic and eloquent Symphony 3 'Laudes Musicae' this evening:

 I recall that one of my young, musical students really enjoying Leighton's vocal music. There is something very sad about this music. Leighton, who was evidently a very nice individual, died prematurely and apparently had a drink problem. I find this symphony very moving.

Recently listened to this and found it very enjoyable and quite moving as well. Leighton was undoubtedly a composer of great integrity and sincerity.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Online Ghost of Baron Scarpia

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Re: Kenneth Leighton(1929-1988)
« Reply #95 on: March 13, 2019, 12:48:42 PM »
Recently listened to this and found it very enjoyable and quite moving as well. Leighton was undoubtedly a composer of great integrity and sincerity.

I like Leighton, but I don't think that good music has anything to do with good character or integrity on the part of the composer. (Not that I have any ideas about Leighton's personal integrity.)
There are two kinds of music. Good music, and the other kind. - Duke Ellington