Cipriani Potter

Started by Albion, January 01, 2011, 02:09:08 AM

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To begin the New Year, here are six of the nine extant symphonies by English composer Cipriani Potter (1792-1871) together with the Overture The Tempest (1837) and the alternative slow movement (1846) for the Symphony in E flat:

Numbering of the Symphonies:

There are currently nine surviving symphonies by Cipriani Potter (1792-1871), although the numbering of them is very confusing. The following list gives a basic chronological number (on the left), together with an alternative numbering often employed.

No.1 in G minor (1819, revised 1824/6)
No.2 in B flat major (1821, revised 1839)
[No.3] in C minor (1826) - potentially No.6
[No.4] in F major (1826) - potentially No.7
[No.5] in E flat major (1828, revised 1846) - potentially No.8
[No.6] in G minor (1832) - potentially No.10
[No.7] in D major (1833) - potentially No.11
[No.8] in C minor (1834) - potentially No. 12
[No.9] in D major (1834) - potentially No.14 or 15

The discrepancies in numbering are based on an acknowledgement that several intervening symphonies are now unfortunately 'missing', presumed lost (for example, three alleged lost works are presumed to intervene between the 1821 B flat major and the 1826 C minor Symphonies).

To compound confusion, Potter was apt to give his symphonies numberings such as 'D no.2' or 'D no.4', leading some scholars to assume that there must have originally been two other symphonies in D (i.e. 'D no.1' and 'D no.3'). Potter himself numbered the 1826 C minor as No.6, the 1826 F major as No.7, the 1828 E flat as No.8 and the 1832 G minor as No.10 on the autograph scores.

It is known that in 1833 Potter responded to a Royal Philharmonic Society commission with a Symphony in A minor. However, shortly after Potter's death, his one-time pupil and eventual successor as Principal of the Royal Academy George Macfarren gave a memorial lecture referring to a corpus of nine symphonies. This total was also confirmed by the first edition of Grove's Dictionary (volume III, 1883) and Brown & Stratton's 'British Musical Biography' (1897), although the latter mentions a 'Symphony in A'. Whatever the numbering system employed, at present there are nine extant works.

I think that these are amongst the finest British symphonies of any period and would be interested in other listeners' reactions to them.
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

J.Z. Herrenberg

I want to bump this thread, as no-one seemed to have noticed it. I haven't yet listened to any of the Potter symphonies, because I discovered this thread only a minute ago...
Music gives a soul to the universe, wings to the mind, flight to the imagination and life to everything. -- Plato