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Author Topic: Ralph Vaughan Williams  (Read 71550 times)
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vandermolen
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« Reply #360 on: January 31, 2006, 01:05:33 AM »

Michael Kennedy, Vaughan Williams's biographer, reckons that "A Pastoral Symphony" is his greatest symphony.
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anasazi
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« Reply #361 on: January 31, 2006, 03:41:41 PM »

agreed, I like #7 a great deal. like Sibelius #4, it always reminds me of wintry landscapes - harsh, bleak, cold, yet with an undeniable beauty and power... 
the slow mvt is really beautiful - it contains that lovely, haunting trumpet solo which may be VWms' "memorial bugle call" to those who fell during the Great War...a voice of sorrow and remembrance sounding over a finally quiet battlefield...
very effective - I would ask this solo on all orchestral trumpet auditions. not esp technically difficult, but expressively, a definite challenge.

Isn't this played on a 'natural' valve-less trumpet? That would make for an interesting audition indeed.   Wink
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« Reply #362 on: January 31, 2006, 04:02:14 PM »



      Doesn't Vaughan Williams use that solo again in a later work? Or is it a similar one?
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Harry
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« Reply #363 on: January 31, 2006, 11:08:53 PM »

I have a serious problem with the first symphony because of the vocal contents. Never play it, the declamatory style provokes me to turn to the stop knob.
Its that typical Englishness about it.
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« Reply #364 on: January 31, 2006, 11:30:11 PM »

I have a serious problem with the first symphony because of the vocal contents. Never play it, the declamatory style provokes me to turn to the stop knob.
Its that typical Englishness about it.
Harry Grin

Interesting, my friend!

Actually, I really like the First, because it strikes me as some of the best setting of Whitman's poetry that I've heard.

Maybe a dud recording is to blame, but it's the Second which fails to attract me . . . .
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Karl Henning
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« Reply #365 on: February 01, 2006, 02:38:22 AM »

Interesting, my friend!

Actually, I really like the First, because it strikes me as some of the best setting of Whitman's poetry that I've heard.

Maybe a dud recording is to blame, but it's the Second which fails to attract me . . . .

Its not the poetry that gives me the shudders, but the way it is presented. I have the recordings from Andre Previn, as well from Haitink.  The rest of VW outpourings is a great pleasure to me.
Whitman's poetry is high on my list Karl!
Harry
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« Reply #366 on: February 01, 2006, 03:13:31 AM »

Its not the poetry that gives me the shudders, but the way it is presented. I have the recordings from Andre Previn, as well from Haitink.

These I have not heard;  I have the Boult. (Of course, even this recording may not quite get the piece in your good grace :-)
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« Reply #367 on: February 01, 2006, 03:59:57 AM »

These I have not heard;  I have the Boult. (Of course, even this recording may not quite get the piece in your good grace :-)

Difficult question, that one Karl! Every step I make in this world is done in good grace. I am in essence a friendly person I think.
Harry
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With your looks you rob their sight, their ears you stop with song,
Poor men! Pursued from every side, the hunt will not last long.
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Calaf
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« Reply #368 on: February 01, 2006, 12:56:48 PM »

I like each and every one of them, but the first (Sea Symphony) remains my favourite. It's long and uneven, but the inspired bits are simply sublime. And so are the Whitman poems. The greatest (if forced to choose) is probably the 6th. Or maybe the 5th.
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« Reply #369 on: February 01, 2006, 01:06:42 PM »

Quote from: Vaughan Williams
It never seems to occur to people that a man might just want to write a piece of music.

(Said of the Sixth Symphony.)
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Karl Henning
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« Reply #370 on: February 01, 2006, 01:53:43 PM »

I have a serious problem with the first symphony because of the vocal contents. Never play it, the declamatory style provokes me to turn to the stop knob.
Its that typical Englishness about it.

      Yup, you've essentially got the 1st pegged.

      Karl - If you haven't got Barbirolli doing the London Symphony (either version, they are radically different, but both are still great), you haven't heard the London Symphony.

The greatest (if forced to choose) is probably the 6th. Or maybe the 5th.

      That's a tough call, but if forced to pick one I WOULDN'T pick, it would probably be the 4th, which always seems just a little bit forced to me.
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« Reply #371 on: February 01, 2006, 03:07:17 PM »

(Said of the Sixth Symphony.)
didn't he also say that Symphony #4 was "about f minor" ??
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« Reply #372 on: February 01, 2006, 10:17:39 PM »

didn't he also say that Symphony #4 was "about f minor" ??

I've heard that too.
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« Reply #373 on: February 01, 2006, 11:10:49 PM »

didn't he also say that Symphony #4 was "about f minor" ??

That, I had not heard. (Of course, there's the "I'm not sure I like it, but it's what I meant" comment on the Fourth.)
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Karl Henning
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« Reply #374 on: February 02, 2006, 02:23:51 AM »

It's understandable that Vaughan Williams would snap, having been pestered and over-analysed constantly over every one of his works. But then again, the first three symphonies each had a subtitle, so perhaps it was only natural for the interested to enquire what subsequent symphonies are "about". He was a potentially volatile person though, despite the relative serenity in some of his music; there is that comment by a friend of Vaughan Willams (to paraphrase) "I recognised something of your venemous temper in the fourth".
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