Author Topic: Alan Rawsthorne  (Read 27167 times)

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tjguitar

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Alan Rawsthorne
« on: May 07, 2007, 08:39:18 PM »
I just saw this for cheap at amazon--I'm a fan of some of his film scores but I haven't heard his piano concertos.  Anyone have it?


Sean

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #1 on: May 08, 2007, 08:55:40 AM »
The Rawsthorne Piano concs 1-2 are somewhere between Faurean imagination and Medtnerian rigour and stoicism, both choked with an inward, contained sort of passion.

springrite

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #2 on: May 08, 2007, 08:58:17 AM »
Yes, I have those and they are OK, but I like his Violin Concerti a bit better.

There are a few NAXOS CDs of his music, piano concerti, violin concerti and some chamber works. His music is not your typical English pastoral music nor thorny. Sean's description of "inward, contained passion" is right on the mark.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #3 on: May 10, 2007, 08:01:05 AM »
I just saw this for cheap at amazon--I'm a fan of some of his film scores but I haven't heard his piano concertos.  Anyone have it?



Well worth exploring, both of them.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2007, 10:18:09 PM »
For film music fans, this is a great disc. "The Cruel Sea" is a wonderfully atmospheric score:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Rawsthorne-Film-Music-Alan/dp/B00004RDVO/ref=sr_1_22/026-0945451-0042845?ie=UTF8&s=music&qid=1179213284&sr=1-22

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

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline BachQ

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #5 on: December 09, 2007, 06:52:16 AM »
I just saw this for cheap at amazon--I'm a fan of some of his film scores but I haven't heard his piano concertos.  Anyone have it?

TJ,

Did you ever pursue this CD?

Mark

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #6 on: December 09, 2007, 07:30:11 AM »
I'd be interested to hear how the Chandos recording compares to the Naxos one.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #7 on: December 09, 2007, 10:51:56 AM »
We are (almost) spoilt for choice with Rawsthorne's Piano Concerti!

There is the Chandos version(noted above) with Geoffrey Tozer. That CD also has the Double Piano Concerto as coupling.
There is the Naxos version(8.555959) with the excellent Peter Donohoe and coupled with the Improvisations on a theme by Constant Lambert.
 And there is  recently reissued Lyrita version(SRCD255) with Malcolm Binns and coupled with the Symphonic Studies(often cited as Rawsthorne's masterpiece) and the Overture "Street Corner".

Not forgetting earlier versions of the lst Piano Concerto with Moura Lympany and the 2nd by Denis Matthews(EMI CDM5 66935-2) which is still available on Amazon and the BBC Radio Classics CD with John Ogden playing the 2nd and joined by Brenda Lucas for the Double Concerto premiere. This last CD-which has Robert Simpson's Piano Concerto as well!-is probably much harder to find these days.

The Binns performances on Lyrita are, perhaps, showing their age a little but you do get Pritchard's fine version of the Symphonic Studies. I prefer Donohoe to Tozer in the Piano Concerti but there is little to choose. Get both would be my advice(if you can!)
« Last Edit: October 25, 2008, 12:04:11 PM by Dundonnell »

Offline tjguitar

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #8 on: October 25, 2008, 10:37:09 AM »
TJ,

Did you ever pursue this CD?

I did not.  I did however pick up the Cello Concerto and Oboe Concerto on NAXOS. I don't remember much about it. perhaps I owe it another listen.

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #9 on: October 25, 2008, 12:24:48 PM »
quote author=tjguitar link=topic=786.msg240629#msg240629 date=1224959829]
I did not.  I did however pick up the Cello Concerto and Oboe Concerto on NAXOS. I don't remember much about it. perhaps I owe it another listen.
[/quote]

Perhaps you do ;D

The Oboe Concerto is a delightful piece. The Cello Concerto is a bit tougher and not perhaps among the very greatest of British cello concertos but nevertheless a worthy addition to the canon. Its neglect over the past 40 years is astonishing- but then there are other British cello concertos which have suffered even worse neglect(the Brian, the Lennox Berkeley and the Cooke).

I would add to what I wrote in December that the three Rawsthorne symphonies are distinguished works and either of the two sets is worth buying.
The 1st Symphony ranks with the Symphonic Studies as Rawsthorne at his very best-vigorous, dynamic, incisive music-but the 2nd, the Pastoral, is an underestimated work of real beauty, albeit melancholic beauty, while the more thorny 3rd has a magnificent Sarabande as its second movement.

Rawsthorne is one of those British composers whose music is too often ignored and deserves to be played more often(but probably never will be now :() There is often a certain dryness, an asperity, a lack of a certain measure of warmth which means that I find him a composer I can respect, admire but not love as I can say Rubbra or Alwyn.

Offline tjguitar

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #10 on: October 25, 2008, 01:34:23 PM »
Quote
Perhaps you do Grin

The Oboe Concerto is a delightful piece.

Truth be told i'm not a huge fan of the oboe in general.  But I will take another listen. :)

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #11 on: January 04, 2009, 03:21:24 PM »
quote author=tjguitar link=topic=786.msg240629#msg240629 date=1224959829]
I did not.  I did however pick up the Cello Concerto and Oboe Concerto on NAXOS. I don't remember much about it. perhaps I owe it another listen.


Perhaps you do ;D

The Oboe Concerto is a delightful piece. The Cello Concerto is a bit tougher and not perhaps among the very greatest of British cello concertos but nevertheless a worthy addition to the canon. Its neglect over the past 40 years is astonishing- but then there are other British cello concertos which have suffered even worse neglect(the Brian, the Lennox Berkeley and the Cooke).

I would add to what I wrote in December that the three Rawsthorne symphonies are distinguished works and either of the two sets is worth buying.
The 1st Symphony ranks with the Symphonic Studies as Rawsthorne at his very best-vigorous, dynamic, incisive music-but the 2nd, the Pastoral, is an underestimated work of real beauty, albeit melancholic beauty, while the more thorny 3rd has a magnificent Sarabande as its second movement.

Rawsthorne is one of those British composers whose music is too often ignored and deserves to be played more often(but probably never will be now :() There is often a certain dryness, an asperity, a lack of a certain measure of warmth which means that I find him a composer I can respect, admire but not love as I can say Rubbra or Alwyn.

Totally agree with this view although I do love Rawsthorne's score for 'The Cruel sea' (Chandos/cond Rumon Gamba) which is wonderfully atmospheric sea music. His Symphonic Studies has great depth and poetry despite the rather academic title, which probably did the piece no favours. Symphony No 1 has similar depth.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Online vandermolen

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2009, 09:55:39 AM »
I have been listening to Rawsthorne's Symphonic Studies (1939) and wanted to put in a plug for it. I think that it is Rawsthorne's masterpiece.  Despite the rather academic title, it is a powerful score, which I find oddly moving, in an understated way - rather like some of John Irelan'ds work.  There are three recordings (Constant Lambert, John Pritchard and the Naxos below). The Naxos CD is an excellent introduction to Rawsthorne's music. There is a good review of it on the Amazon UK site.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 09:59:14 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Kuhlau

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #13 on: March 15, 2009, 11:32:25 AM »
I'll join you in praise for Rawsthorne's Symphonic Studies, and add that his Concertante pastorale for Flute, Horn & Strings (a world premiere recording of which can be found on Naxos, catalogue number 8.553567) is also well worth getting to know.

FK

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #14 on: March 15, 2009, 12:30:03 PM »
I'll join you in praise for Rawsthorne's Symphonic Studies, and add that his Concertante pastorale for Flute, Horn & Strings (a world premiere recording of which can be found on Naxos, catalogue number 8.553567) is also well worth getting to know.

FK

Thanks, I shall look out for that work.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Christo

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #15 on: March 15, 2009, 12:34:35 PM »
I'll join you in praise for Rawsthorne's Symphonic Studies, and add that his Concertante pastorale for Flute, Horn & Strings (a world premiere recording of which can be found on Naxos, catalogue number 8.553567) is also well worth getting to know.

FK

I agree with all of you, thus far: the Symphonic Studies are the quintessential Rawsthorne, a marvelous piece. I still prefer Pritchard's Lyrita recording, the most atmospheric reading of it IMHO (but this might be a case of early loves that won't die). Strange that his very first orchestral composition should be his best!

I think something similar happened with Lennox Berkeley: both neoclassicists had their finest hour in the late 1930s and the 1940s. Afther that, "their time" was over and both fled into a more "modern", but also more abstract and less powerful idiom in the 1950s.
… 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

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #16 on: March 15, 2009, 01:21:55 PM »
I agree with all of you, thus far: the Symphonic Studies are the quintessential Rawsthorne, a marvelous piece. I still prefer Pritchard's Lyrita recording, the most atmospheric reading of it IMHO (but this might be a case of early loves that won't die). Strange that his very first orchestral composition should be his best!

I think something similar happened with Lennox Berkeley: both neoclassicists had their finest hour in the late 1930s and the 1940s. Afther that, "their time" was over and both fled into a more "modern", but also more abstract and less powerful idiom in the 1950s.

Totally agree with you Johan, about both Rawsthorne and Berkeley. The Pritchard is my favourite too, although I have it on LP and not (yet) on CD. I wish that Lyrita had issued it on CD with Symphony No 1 as on LP. My favourite Rawsthornes are Piano Concerto No 2, Symphonic Studies, Symphony No 1,The Cruel Sea, film music and for Berkeley, Symphony No 1, Concerto for two Pianos and Serenade for Strings. Williamson is IMHO another example of the same phenomena with the early Elevamini (Symphony 1) and Violin Concerto being firm favourites. On the continent Klaus Egge and JBS( ;D) are other examples of composers whose early works are, I believe, their best works.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

'The test of a work of art is, in the end, our affection for it, not our ability to explain why it is good' (Stanley Kubrick).

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #17 on: March 15, 2009, 01:22:38 PM »
Rawsthorne's Clarinet Concerto preceded the Symphonic Studies...but I take your point :)

Rawsthorne and Berkeley were friends and great admirers of each others music. From Peter Dickinson's book about Berkeley I get the impression that the composer was far from being in tune with many other British composers; he appears to have had little time for Elgar or Vaughan Williams, for example.

Offline Christo

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #18 on: March 15, 2009, 01:47:33 PM »
Totally agree with you Johan, about both Rawsthorne and Berkeley. The Pritchard is my favourite too, although I have it on LP and not (yet) on CD. I wish that Lyrita had issued it on CD with Symphony No 1 as on LP. My favourite Rawsthornes are Piano Concerto No 2, Symphonic Studies, Symphony No 1,The Cruel Sea, film music and for Berkeley, Symphony No 1, Concerto for two Pianos and Serenade for Strings. Williamson is IMHO another example of the same phenomena with the early Elevamini (Symphony 1) and Violin Concerto being firm favourites. On the continent Klaus Egge and JBS( ;D) are other examples of composers whose early works are, I believe, their best works.

No disagreement here  ;) - but I confess I don't know the The Cruel Sea film music (you confessed your love for it so many times, recently, that I'm considering to buy it, if it's still to be found somewhere.  :)

Rawsthorne's Clarinet Concerto preceded the Symphonic Studies...but I take your point :)

Rawsthorne and Berkeley were friends and great admirers of each others music. From Peter Dickinson's book about Berkeley I get the impression that the composer was far from being in tune with many other British composers; he appears to have had little time for Elgar or Vaughan Williams, for example.

Point taken!~ I didn't know Berkeley and Rawsthorne were close friends, but I always considered them a rather similar type of composers. I can see why Rawsthorne didn't feel much connected to Elgar or RVW - his own style is really rather different indeed.
« Last Edit: March 15, 2009, 01:52:23 PM by Christo »
… 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 Dundonnell

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Re: Alan Rawsthorne
« Reply #19 on: March 15, 2009, 01:53:46 PM »