Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 668709 times)

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Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4640 on: August 26, 2020, 02:45:15 AM »
Copied from the WAYLTN thread:
Now playing. Vaughan Williams: Heroic Elegy and Triumphal Epilogue (1901-2). Possibly my favourite (along with the Piano Quintet) of his early, unpublished works. I find it memorable and, in places, moving with odd flashes of Vaughan Williams's mature style. It sounds a bit like the music of VW's teachers Parry and Stanford but I see that as a plus:


Your posting prompted me to listen to the same recording of the RVW piece. I haven't listened to it for an age - for me there is a definite hint of Wagner.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4641 on: August 26, 2020, 12:41:29 PM »
Your posting prompted me to listen to the same recording of the RVW piece. I haven't listened to it for an age - for me there is a definite hint of Wagner.
Yes, I agree Biffo. Do you enjoy the work? I played it through three times today with much pleasure. It is a nice CD.
"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 Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4642 on: August 27, 2020, 01:58:59 AM »
Yes, I agree Biffo. Do you enjoy the work? I played it through three times today with much pleasure. It is a nice CD.

I enjoyed the work but I have to admit I don't listen to it very often - I bought it more out of curiosity than anything. Listening to it 'blind' I don't think I would have recognised it as RVW.

Next up The Children of Lir (Thomson/Ulster) - another work I haven't listened to for ages

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4643 on: August 27, 2020, 03:49:28 AM »
I enjoyed the work but I have to admit I don't listen to it very often - I bought it more out of curiosity than anything. Listening to it 'blind' I don't think I would have recognised it as RVW.

Next up The Children of Lir (Thomson/Ulster) - another work I haven't listened to for ages

Harty's greatest work I think.
"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 vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4644 on: August 27, 2020, 07:32:18 AM »
This October release (in the UK) is now on offer on the Presto website:

I just sampled the extracts of the symphony on their website and I thought that it sounds a wonderful performance, especially the Passacaglia.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 07:37:38 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).

Offline Irons

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4645 on: September 09, 2020, 10:40:37 PM »
Browsing in a charity shop yesterday I came across a Philips RVW CD with Marriner. An attractive line-up but don't really need another Fantasia, one work stuck out like a sore thumb Variations for Orchestra. A new one on me and reading the notes it is roughly contemporaneous of the 9th Symphony so not an obscure piece. The liner notes inform originally composed for Brass Band and orchestrated by Gordon Jacob. I'm looking forward to hearing the work.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4646 on: September 10, 2020, 06:51:56 AM »
Browsing in a charity shop yesterday I came across a Philips RVW CD with Marriner. An attractive line-up but don't really need another Fantasia, one work stuck out like a sore thumb Variations for Orchestra. A new one on me and reading the notes it is roughly contemporaneous of the 9th Symphony so not an obscure piece. The liner notes inform originally composed for Brass Band and orchestrated by Gordon Jacob. I'm looking forward to hearing the work.

The Brass band original is the filler to Brabbins' London Symphony and the Jacob orchestration was a filler on Douglas Bostock's underwhelming Job.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4647 on: September 10, 2020, 06:59:17 AM »
Browsing in a charity shop yesterday I came across a Philips RVW CD with Marriner. An attractive line-up but don't really need another Fantasia, one work stuck out like a sore thumb Variations for Orchestra. A new one on me and reading the notes it is roughly contemporaneous of the 9th Symphony so not an obscure piece. The liner notes inform originally composed for Brass Band and orchestrated by Gordon Jacob. I'm looking forward to hearing the work.
I've always liked the Variations for Orchestra in its different manifestations.
"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 vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4648 on: September 10, 2020, 12:29:51 PM »
I noticed that the Bryden Thomson box set of the complete symphonies features in the Chandos sale for £20. Seems like a good bargain:
"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 calyptorhynchus

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4649 on: September 14, 2020, 12:52:57 PM »
The Variations for Orchestra isn’t a work I know well so I listened to both versions and I have to say the original brass band version is heaps better. It was composed as a test piece for a bb competition and as you go through you can see which instruments, combinations and textures are being tested and the whole work has a wonderful integrity and is well suited to bb. By contrast the orchestral version doesn’t have the same point and although the work is in VW’s “ripest style” as Tovey would say (comparable to the 9th Symphony) Jacobs makes it seem tame.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4650 on: September 14, 2020, 10:44:27 PM »
The Variations for Orchestra isn’t a work I know well so I listened to both versions and I have to say the original brass band version is heaps better. It was composed as a test piece for a bb competition and as you go through you can see which instruments, combinations and textures are being tested and the whole work has a wonderful integrity and is well suited to bb. By contrast the orchestral version doesn’t have the same point and although the work is in VW’s “ripest style” as Tovey would say (comparable to the 9th Symphony) Jacobs makes it seem tame.

I agree with you completely.  Gordon Jacob is a brilliant and sensitive orchestrator (his Elgar Organ Sonata is stunning) but the character of the Brass Band Variations comes through so much better in the original.  I would go further - this works needs to be played by a proper brass band and NOT an orchestral brass ensemble.  The difference in timbre between the two is so marked.  This galled me about the version used as the filler on the Brabbins/Hyperion/RVW 2 nominally played by the "RCM Brass Band".  No such ensemble exists.  Compare the sound of that recording to the Black Dyke Mills or The Williams Fairey band recordings on Chandos.  The proverbial chalk and cheese




Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4651 on: September 15, 2020, 05:56:02 AM »
I agree with you completely.  Gordon Jacob is a brilliant and sensitive orchestrator (his Elgar Organ Sonata is stunning) but the character of the Brass Band Variations comes through so much better in the original.  I would go further - this works needs to be played by a proper brass band and NOT an orchestral brass ensemble.  The difference in timbre between the two is so marked.  This galled me about the version used as the filler on the Brabbins/Hyperion/RVW 2 nominally played by the "RCM Brass Band".  No such ensemble exists.  Compare the sound of that recording to the Black Dyke Mills or The Williams Fairey band recordings on Chandos.  The proverbial chalk and cheese



Interesting RS. I have Vol 2 of the Chandos CD and thoroughly enjoyed the Henry V Overture by Vaughan Williams. Anyway, following your recommendation, I have now ordered Volume 1 at a give-away price second-hand.
"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 Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4652 on: September 15, 2020, 06:12:50 AM »
Interesting RS. I have Vol 2 of the Chandos CD and thoroughly enjoyed the Henry V Overture by Vaughan Williams. Anyway, following your recommendation, I have now ordered Volume 1 at a give-away price second-hand.

Please do report back when you've had a chance to listen to it.  I got riled out of all proportion(!) by the RCM "Brass Band" version and more by the fact that no reviews bothered to pick up on the fact that they were patently not a brass band!  The rest of the "Brass Masters" disc is excellent in any case.  Cyril Jenkins' "Life Divine" makes for an epic/almost cinematic opening and the Robert Simpson "Energy" is a fascinating and unusual work by him.  And you even get a good Severn Suite thrown in!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4653 on: September 15, 2020, 07:29:16 AM »
Please do report back when you've had a chance to listen to it.  I got riled out of all proportion(!) by the RCM "Brass Band" version and more by the fact that no reviews bothered to pick up on the fact that they were patently not a brass band!  The rest of the "Brass Masters" disc is excellent in any case.  Cyril Jenkins' "Life Divine" makes for an epic/almost cinematic opening and the Robert Simpson "Energy" is a fascinating and unusual work by him.  And you even get a good Severn Suite thrown in!
Excellent! Will do RS. I was curious about the Cyril Jenkins work. I've never heard of him. I enjoyed Vol. 2 more than expected, especially that VW Henry V 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: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #4654 on: September 15, 2020, 07:40:39 AM »
The Variations for Orchestra isn’t a work I know well so I listened to both versions and I have to say the original brass band version is heaps better. It was composed as a test piece for a bb competition and as you go through you can see which instruments, combinations and textures are being tested and the whole work has a wonderful integrity and is well suited to bb. By contrast the orchestral version doesn’t have the same point and although the work is in VW’s “ripest style” as Tovey would say (comparable to the 9th Symphony) Jacobs makes it seem tame.
Exactly my feeling too.
… 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