Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 734998 times)

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Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5040 on: June 07, 2021, 11:25:18 AM »
I'm usually front and centre of the queue to "knock Norrington".  But I have to say I found his RVW Symphonies much better than I was expecting.  Helped by very fine Decca recording.   I enjoyed his Serenade to Music as well - a genuinely stellar line-up of British singers.

I’ll take your word for it, but I own so much Vaughan Williams in incredible performances that I can’t imagine Norrington ever being of interest enough to pursue his recordings.
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Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5041 on: June 07, 2021, 11:41:12 AM »
+1 for the Brabbins recording of 'A London Symphony' (1920). That series has been great and far preferable IMO to the ones from Manze, Elder or the dreary Norrington releases.

+1 for the 1920 which may well be my favourite London Symphony of all. But Mr Brabbins is also a priceless asset for his championing of other British and C20 composers. Here's for Sir Martyn Brabbins in due course!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5042 on: June 07, 2021, 09:42:19 PM »
I'm usually front and centre of the queue to "knock Norrington".  But I have to say I found his RVW Symphonies much better than I was expecting.  Helped by very fine Decca recording.   I enjoyed his Serenade to Music as well - a genuinely stellar line-up of British singers.
Maybe I should listen again but remember finding No.6 particularly unidiomatic. Unlike fellow admirers of VW I can't stand the 'Serenade to Music' which doesn't help either!
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5043 on: June 07, 2021, 10:15:41 PM »
Maybe I should listen again but remember finding No.6 particularly unidiomatic. Unlike fellow admirers of VW I can't stand the 'Serenade to Music' which doesn't help either!

Wot wot WOT!!  Can't stand the Serenade..?!?!?! (sound of jaw hitting floor SEVERAL TIMES)  Surely one of the all-time great "occasional pieces" (now there's a thread if eve there was).  But joking aside it seems to me that is contains the very essence of RVW's pastoral/ecstatic style.  I played the violin solo part once years ago in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral (well the Lady Chapel there actually which is bigger than most other ordinary churches) and it really was a hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck experience.

Having bigged-up Norrington I'll have to listen to one of his discs again now just to be certain I haven't gone completely gaga without noticing....

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5044 on: June 07, 2021, 11:36:59 PM »
Wot wot WOT!!  Can't stand the Serenade..?!?!?! (sound of jaw hitting floor SEVERAL TIMES)  Surely one of the all-time great "occasional pieces" (now there's a thread if eve there was).  But joking aside it seems to me that is contains the very essence of RVW's pastoral/ecstatic style.  I played the violin solo part once years ago in Liverpool's Anglican Cathedral (well the Lady Chapel there actually which is bigger than most other ordinary churches) and it really was a hairs-on-the-back-of-your-neck experience.

Having bigged-up Norrington I'll have to listen to one of his discs again now just to be certain I haven't gone completely gaga without noticing....
Hahaha
No, I really don't like it, finding it rather cloying and uncharacteristically self-congratulatory (I'm sure you all agree  8)). I much prefer the version without the singing  :o. Having said that, when I first discovered classical music and VW in particular, as a teenager, I only really listened to orchestral rather than vocal music. My attitude is now different so I must have another listen to it.
"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 #5045 on: June 07, 2021, 11:43:20 PM »
I seem to like the Elder performances more than most. Only the disc of Nos 4 & 6 was a disappointment, the rest have been top notch. I hope he completes his cycle and also that the performance of Sancta Civitas with the Halle was recorded.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5046 on: June 08, 2021, 12:13:39 AM »
I seem to like the Elder performances more than most. Only the disc of Nos 4 & 6 was a disappointment, the rest have been top notch. I hope he completes his cycle and also that the performance of Sancta Civitas with the Halle was recorded.
I recall 4 and 6 as particularly disappointing (+ dreary cover art) but 'A Pastoral Symphony' was VG.
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5047 on: June 08, 2021, 06:31:52 AM »
I recall 4 and 6 as particularly disappointing (+ dreary cover art) but 'A Pastoral Symphony' was VG.

Yep, I own all of the Elder releases so far and only the A Pastoral Symphony recording delivers the goods. If I remember correctly, as it’s been quite some since I’ve listened to the recording, that the Pastoral was coupled with Five Variants of ‘Dives and Lazarus’ and the Tallis Fantasia.
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5048 on: June 08, 2021, 07:45:11 AM »
Revisiting RVW 6 in this version



non-Norringtons look away now...... I do like it.  Far from conventional; tempi pushed to relative extremes and for sure some mannered phrasing but overall aninteresting version well worth a listen and not one to be dismissed out of hand.  As I'd remembered helped in no small part by very alert LPO playing and fine DECCA engineering.  Some inner parts and counter-melodies given unfamiliar prominence in an intriguing way. 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5049 on: June 08, 2021, 07:49:54 AM »
Revisiting RVW 6 in this version



non-Norringtons look away now...... I do like it.  Far from conventional; tempi pushed to relative extremes and for sure some mannered phrasing but overall aninteresting version well worth a listen and not one to be dismissed out of hand.  As I'd remembered helped in no small part by very alert LPO playing and fine DECCA engineering.  Some inner parts and counter-melodies given unfamiliar prominence in an intriguing way.
Interesting booklet essay and nice photo of VW in the booklet if I remember correctly! I recall Norrington saying that he wanted to present VW as a mainstream 'European' rather than British composer but I just found it weirdly unidiomatic.
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5050 on: June 08, 2021, 07:57:00 AM »
Interesting booklet essay and nice photo of VW in the booklet if I remember correctly! I recall Norrington saying that he wanted to present VW as a mainstream 'European' rather than British composer but I just found it weirdly unidiomatic.

Extracting the Britishness from a British composer, how....odd. Even with Rozhdestvensky’s cycle with his Russian forces, the nationality of the composer is never in question. It’s bizarre that someone would try to interpret this music any other way. What next? Will Norrington try and conduct Copland and make him sound more European than American? Will he smooth over the Shaker tune ’Simple Gifts’ in Appalachian Spring to make it sound more Germanic? ::)
« Last Edit: June 08, 2021, 08:01:56 AM by Mirror Image »
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5051 on: June 08, 2021, 08:42:15 AM »
Extracting the Britishness from a British composer, how....odd. Even with Rozhdestvensky’s cycle with his Russian forces, the nationality of the composer is never in question. It’s bizarre that someone would try to interpret this music any other way. What next? Will Norrington try and conduct Copland and make him sound more European than American? Will he smooth over the Shaker tune ’Simple Gifts’ in Appalachian Spring to make it sound more Germanic? ::)

As I say I'm no Norrington apologist - but I hear none of this "non-Britishness".  Not sure a) what that means and b) how it would be achieved.  By all means don't like it - but DON'T don't like it without having actually heard it!

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5052 on: June 08, 2021, 02:05:14 PM »
As I say I'm no Norrington apologist - but I hear none of this "non-Britishness".  Not sure a) what that means and b) how it would be achieved.  By all means don't like it - but DON'T don't like it without having actually heard it!

Listen to Vaughan Williams and then listen Mahler. Which one sounds more British? Even if you didn’t know where either composer came from, you’ll know exactly what I mean when you hear them. Nationality within music is something that, for me, is more about a feeling rather than something that I can put into words. It’s something that is identifiable. As I’ve said earlier, I’m not enamored nor impressed with Norrington’s conducting, but this isn’t without experience. I’ve heard the man conduct Holst, Mahler et. al. I wasn’t enthralled by what I heard and that should be enough to formulate an opinion on him. I would rather rip the hairs out of my head than listening to another one of his horrible recordings!
« Last Edit: June 09, 2021, 05:36:09 AM by Mirror Image »
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5053 on: June 09, 2021, 01:24:21 AM »
Listen to Vaughan Williams and then listen Mahler. Which one sounds more British? Even if you didn’t know where either composer came from, you’ll know exactly what I mean when you hear them. Nationality within music is something that, for me, is more about a feeling rather than something that I can put into words. It’s something that is identifiable. As I’ve said earlier, I’m not enamored nor impressed Norrington’s conducting, but this isn’t without experience. I’ve heard the man conduct Holst, Mahler et. al. I wasn’t enthralled by what I heard and that should be enough to formulate an opinion on him. I would rather rip the hairs out of my head than listening to another one of his horrible recordings!

I second that. I have also heard him live in Mozart, Brahms and Schutz and it was uniformly ghastly. His arid Mahler 9 doesn't bear thinking about.

Offline André

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5054 on: June 09, 2021, 05:06:07 AM »
I second that. I have also heard him live in Mozart, Brahms and Schutz and it was uniformly ghastly. His arid Mahler 9 doesn't bear thinking about.

The thing with some artists is that sometimes a couple of listenings to what they do is enough to turn you off for good of anything that has their name on it. Norrington is one such case. Even when he is not bad I find him irritating. A rare talent indeed.

Offline foxandpeng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5055 on: June 13, 2021, 04:24:42 AM »
Revisiting the 1913 version of Symphony #2, and am moved again not only because of the inventiveness and richness of the music, but also of the way this sounds in my headphones. I know little about the skill of recording engineers but this exceeds my expectations each time I hear it.

I know that lists change, preferences shift and mood when listening is important, but RVW's London Symphony is probably my favourite piece of music right now.

Hearing his #3 in the same cycle is not far behind. Cows and gates aside, this music is grounding and restorative in ways that few others achieve for me.
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Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5056 on: June 13, 2021, 07:01:05 AM »
Revisiting the 1913 version of Symphony #2, and am moved again not only because of the inventiveness and richness of the music, but also of the way this sounds in my headphones. I know little about the skill of recording engineers but this exceeds my expectations each time I hear it.

I know that lists change, preferences shift and mood when listening is important, but RVW's London Symphony is probably my favourite piece of music right now.

Hearing his #3 in the same cycle is not far behind. Cows and gates aside, this music is grounding and restorative in ways that few others achieve for me.
+1  :)

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5057 on: June 13, 2021, 07:45:43 AM »
"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 #5058 on: June 13, 2021, 09:57:35 AM »
Thoroughly enjoying this CD tonight (it can also be found on Naxos):
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5059 on: June 13, 2021, 07:35:31 PM »
Thoroughly enjoying this CD tonight (it can also be found on Naxos):


I don’t listen to film music very often, but I like that Three Portraits from the England of Elizabeth quite a bit. It was featured in the Previn cycle of symphonies.
“When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something.” - Dmitri Shostakovich