Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 799862 times)

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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5200 on: October 18, 2021, 09:15:19 AM »
I must have another listen to the Viola Suite Kyle.

I like the whole, but esp. the Moto perpetuo and Musette, Jeffrey.
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Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5201 on: October 18, 2021, 10:59:17 AM »
I knew I could count on you for collection lunacy, which is also a condition I suffer from. :P

Yes, John, I'm sure  ;D
A sad case OCCDCD
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'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: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5202 on: October 18, 2021, 11:00:15 AM »
I like the whole, but esp. the Moto perpetuo and Musette, Jeffrey.
Will look out for those movements Karl.
"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 #5203 on: October 18, 2021, 02:40:54 PM »
Will look out for those movements Karl.

I think you'll enjoy Suite for Viola and Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey. There are a number of fine performances now. I listened to the Power/Brabbins one on Hyperion the other day and was rather satisfied with it.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5204 on: October 20, 2021, 01:00:15 PM »
I think you'll enjoy Suite for Viola and Chamber Orchestra, Jeffrey. There are a number of fine performances now. I listened to the Power/Brabbins one on Hyperion the other day and was rather satisfied with it.
I'll give it a spin John.
"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 #5205 on: October 20, 2021, 01:03:31 PM »
I'll give it a spin John.

Excellent. I'll be curious to know your impressions this time around.
"When a man is in despair, it means that he still believes in something." - Dmitri Shostakovich

Offline Irons

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5206 on: October 28, 2021, 02:00:55 AM »
The first (1958) which is the most intense reading I have heard of the 9th Symphony. The feeling of discovery Sargent brings is palpable.

https://themusicparlour.blogspot.com/2010/07/sir-malcolm-sargent-rpo-vaughan_2.html

An upload is on YT but this is far more natural and captures the finer details of Sir Malcolm Sargent's superb reading with greater clarity. I listened to Sir Adrian's (EMI) monumental recording for comparison. The differences are most stark in the 3rd movement, Boult is a jaunty dance where as Sargent (15.20) brings some Shostakovich black humour to the proceedings. First time I have thought of RVW and DSCH in the same breath. Almost a dancing devil.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5207 on: October 28, 2021, 03:51:01 AM »
The first (1958) which is the most intense reading I have heard of the 9th Symphony. The feeling of discovery Sargent brings is palpable.

https://themusicparlour.blogspot.com/2010/07/sir-malcolm-sargent-rpo-vaughan_2.html

An upload is on YT but this is far more natural and captures the finer details of Sir Malcolm Sargent's superb reading with greater clarity. I listened to Sir Adrian's (EMI) monumental recording for comparison. The differences are most stark in the 3rd movement, Boult is a jaunty dance where as Sargent (15.20) brings some Shostakovich black humour to the proceedings. First time I have thought of RVW and DSCH in the same breath. Almost a dancing devil.
Most interesting Lol! I have the same performance on a Pristine Audio CDR and, like you, I admire that version (you've encouraged me to listen to it again later). Of course that premiere performance has had a very bad press, with the suggestion that Sargent rushed through the under-rehearsed work as quickly as possible. This opinion was reinforced by VW's assistant Roy Douglas (with whom I once had the pleasure of having a cup of tea) in his interesting short book 'Working with RVW'. Douglas obviously couldn't stand Sargent, whom he found aloof and dismissive (he compared him unfavourably with Boult, whom he always found to be courteous and, unlike Sargent, without self-importance). Douglas's view of that performance may well have influenced the general perspective on the premiere of the Ninth Symphony.

PS Now playing:
« Last Edit: October 28, 2021, 04:57:27 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 Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5208 on: October 28, 2021, 05:30:37 AM »
The first (1958) which is the most intense reading I have heard of the 9th Symphony. The feeling of discovery Sargent brings is palpable.

https://themusicparlour.blogspot.com/2010/07/sir-malcolm-sargent-rpo-vaughan_2.html

An upload is on YT but this is far more natural and captures the finer details of Sir Malcolm Sargent's superb reading with greater clarity. I listened to Sir Adrian's (EMI) monumental recording for comparison. The differences are most stark in the 3rd movement, Boult is a jaunty dance where as Sargent (15.20) brings some Shostakovich black humour to the proceedings. First time I have thought of RVW and DSCH in the same breath. Almost a dancing devil.

Most interesting Lol! I have the same performance on a Pristine Audio CDR and, like you, I admire that version (you've encouraged me to listen to it again later). Of course that premiere performance has had a very bad press, with the suggestion that Sargent rushed through the under-rehearsed work as quickly as possible. This opinion was reinforced by VW's assistant Roy Douglas (with whom I once had the pleasure of having a cup of tea) in his interesting short book 'Working with RVW'. Douglas obviously couldn't stand Sargent, whom he found aloof and dismissive (he compared him unfavourably with Boult, whom he always found to be courteous and, unlike Sargent, without self-importance). Douglas's view of that performance may well have influenced the general perspective on the premiere of the Ninth Symphony.

PS Now playing:

I just listened to some of it on the Pristine Classical website:  Wow!  And (even over my computer) what great sound!  I must say that I'm stunned though over the feud/squabbling between Tin Ear and Andrew Rose.  And saddened too.  Does T.E. run the Music Parlour website and provide all of the uploads there?  I did read that A.R. had worked as an audio engineer for the BBC.  What qualifications does T.E. have?  Sorry if I'm opening up a can of worms here.

PD

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5209 on: October 28, 2021, 06:17:40 AM »
I just listened to some of it on the Pristine Classical website:  Wow!  And (even over my computer) what great sound!  I must say that I'm stunned though over the feud/squabbling between Tin Ear and Andrew Rose.  And saddened too.  Does T.E. run the Music Parlour website and provide all of the uploads there?  I did read that A.R. had worked as an audio engineer for the BBC.  What qualifications does T.E. have?  Sorry if I'm opening up a can of worms here.

PD
I was aware of some dispute but can't remember the details. I've bought quite a few Pristine releases and always find communications from them to be rather curt and unfriendly.

Going back to the VW release above it's worth mentioning Dmitri Mitropoulos's 1945 recording of 'A London Symphony' with which Sargent's recording of the Ninth Symphony is coupled. It's rather a fine performance but the sound is very poor and muffled in places. Also, bizarrely, Mitropoulos brings back the chimes of Big Ben as the last notes in the Symphony! I think that VW would have taken a dim view of this, as no doubt he would have by the radio announcer referring to this first name as 'Ralf' rather than 'Rafe'!
"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 #5210 on: October 28, 2021, 06:49:32 AM »
I just listened to some of it on the Pristine Classical website:  Wow!  And (even over my computer) what great sound!  I must say that I'm stunned though over the feud/squabbling between Tin Ear and Andrew Rose.  And saddened too.  Does T.E. run the Music Parlour website and provide all of the uploads there?  I did read that A.R. had worked as an audio engineer for the BBC.  What qualifications does T.E. have?  Sorry if I'm opening up a can of worms here.

PD

Worms there are. I will PM you.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5211 on: October 28, 2021, 07:58:46 AM »
Most interesting Lol! I have the same performance on a Pristine Audio CDR and, like you, I admire that version (you've encouraged me to listen to it again later). Of course that premiere performance has had a very bad press, with the suggestion that Sargent rushed through the under-rehearsed work as quickly as possible. This opinion was reinforced by VW's assistant Roy Douglas (with whom I once had the pleasure of having a cup of tea) in his interesting short book 'Working with RVW'. Douglas obviously couldn't stand Sargent, whom he found aloof and dismissive (he compared him unfavourably with Boult, whom he always found to be courteous and, unlike Sargent, without self-importance). Douglas's view of that performance may well have influenced the general perspective on the premiere of the Ninth Symphony.

PS Now playing:

I was wondering how that London Symphony was.  I did think (even over my computer) that the recording of the Ninth (the part that I heard anyway on their website) was quite good and in very good sound.

Worms there are. I will PM you.
Thanks....I think?  :-\  Are all of the downloads on the Music Parlour free?  Or does he also sell them?

PD

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5212 on: October 28, 2021, 11:19:55 AM »
Worms there are. I will PM you.

Thought I saw "worm sign" ....
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5213 on: October 28, 2021, 11:22:58 AM »

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5214 on: October 29, 2021, 09:18:20 AM »
Been listening to 'A Cotswold Romance' (a cantata derived from the opera 'Hugh the Drover'). It was pleasant enough but did not fill me with desire to hear the complete opera. Parts of it suggested a vocal version of 'The Wasps Overture' (a work I dislike), with too much of 'Merrie England' and Morris Dancing for my liking, but there were some attractive passages. Still, as I'm off to the Cotswolds next Friday to stay in a 'Shepherd's hut' on a farm for a few days (no wi-fi, no TV, cut off from cat group etc) it seemed like the perfect listening choice! Far more interesting was the incidental music for 'Death of Tintagiles' - this is Vaughan Williams at his darkest, with echoes of 'Riders to the Sea', 6th Symphony and the darker pages of the Flemish Farm film music. An interesting CD but maybe for die-hard admirers.


PS 'I'm listening to 'A Cotswold Romance' again and enjoying it more. I get it, that Vaughan Williams was trying to create an English national opera and, of course, it makes sense in that context. If you enjoy the 'Five Tudor Portraits' (as I do) you might enjoy this:
« Last Edit: October 29, 2021, 09:44:40 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).

Online MusicTurner

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5215 on: October 29, 2021, 11:25:30 AM »
Been listening to 'A Cotswold Romance' (a cantata derived from the opera 'Hugh the Drover'). It was pleasant enough but did not fill me with desire to hear the complete opera. Parts of it suggested a vocal version of 'The Wasps Overture' (a work I dislike), with too much of 'Merrie England' and Morris Dancing for my liking, but there were some attractive passages. Still, as I'm off to the Cotswolds next Friday to stay in a 'Shepherd's hut' on a farm for a few days (no wi-fi, no TV, cut off from cat group etc) it seemed like the perfect listening choice! Far more interesting was the incidental music for 'Death of Tintagiles' - this is Vaughan Williams at his darkest, with echoes of 'Riders to the Sea', 6th Symphony and the darker pages of the Flemish Farm film music. An interesting CD but maybe for die-hard admirers.


PS 'I'm listening to 'A Cotswold Romance' again and enjoying it more. I get it, that Vaughan Williams was trying to create an English national opera and, of course, it makes sense in that context. If you enjoy the 'Five Tudor Portraits' (as I do) you might enjoy this:

That sounds really great with the trip. I find the CD very appealing and the Romance fresh, it's a CD I'd certainly include in a basic VW collection, but didn't check the details of the story :)
« Last Edit: October 29, 2021, 11:28:37 AM by MusicTurner »

Online vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5216 on: October 29, 2021, 02:38:30 PM »
That sounds really great with the trip. I find the CD very appealing and the Romance fresh, it's a CD I'd certainly include in a basic VW collection, but didn't check the details of the story :)
Thanks - I think that I was a bit harsh on the CR and have been enjoying it much more - 'Death of Tintagiles' was a revelation.
"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 relm1

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5217 on: October 29, 2021, 04:14:41 PM »
Been listening to 'A Cotswold Romance' (a cantata derived from the opera 'Hugh the Drover'). It was pleasant enough but did not fill me with desire to hear the complete opera. Parts of it suggested a vocal version of 'The Wasps Overture' (a work I dislike), with too much of 'Merrie England' and Morris Dancing for my liking, but there were some attractive passages. Still, as I'm off to the Cotswolds next Friday to stay in a 'Shepherd's hut' on a farm for a few days (no wi-fi, no TV, cut off from cat group etc) it seemed like the perfect listening choice! Far more interesting was the incidental music for 'Death of Tintagiles' - this is Vaughan Williams at his darkest, with echoes of 'Riders to the Sea', 6th Symphony and the darker pages of the Flemish Farm film music. An interesting CD but maybe for die-hard admirers.


PS 'I'm listening to 'A Cotswold Romance' again and enjoying it more. I get it, that Vaughan Williams was trying to create an English national opera and, of course, it makes sense in that context. If you enjoy the 'Five Tudor Portraits' (as I do) you might enjoy this:

Yet again, I totally agree with you that "Hugh the Drover" cantata comes across as the less interevesting version of RVW's merrie England music.  The one thing though, sometimes the underscore has more depth than the crowd pleasing moments that makes its way into a suite.  A simple example, I prefer the entire Nutcracker over the suite because some of my favorite moments aren't in the suite.  Sometimes a work needs time to breathe to show it's strength structurally.  Just having a climax is boring if it didn't have to earn that climax but that developmental section probably wouldn't be in a suite.  I also agree that "Death of Tintagiles" was far more interesting but also darker.  I guess I consistently prefer meditative or dark RVW over 'Merrie England' RVW.

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5218 on: October 29, 2021, 07:20:34 PM »
I bought a copy of the Hyperion set of Hugh the Drover in a bargain bin about 15 years ago and I have listened to it with pleasure several times. It's real VW and no sillier than any other opera. The real problem is the libretto which is very clunky. There is one passage, a quintet for the main characters, which is very impressive.

However, talk of Hugh the Drover reminded me of one of those might-have-been stories. After Hugh the Drover was produced and didn't do that well the young Robert Graves (pre Goodbye to all That and the Claudius novels) approached VW with his opera script John Kemp's Wager. Unfortunately VW didn't want to do another opera with a rural setting and was already working on other things (perhaps including Sir John in Love). This is a great pity as Graves' script is fantastic (well, for an opera libretto anyway) and it wouldn't have needed so much work as Hugh the Drover as it is a ballad opera with spoken dialogue, and all the numbers are settings of folk-songs. So VW would have just had to write an overture, a few pieces of incidental music and accompaniments to the numbers (and it would have been very congenial for him).

Graves' script was published in 1925, but has never been reprinted. However, some enterprising composer could still have a go at it and I think I would still be a worthwhile thing to do (and would pretty much write itself).

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5219 on: October 29, 2021, 07:26:06 PM »
In fact here's a synopsis of John Kemp's Wager I wrote:

Setting: the 1820s

John Kemp, a descendant of William Kemp the Elizabeth stage-clown, lives in the fictitious village of Campden Cantorum in Somerset. He is a carpenter and joiner and a local champion, revered for his physical prowess.

A new postman has been appointed to the village, Henry Dee, who is a dishonest Londoner hoping to get rich by his appointment but resentful of having to live in a backward and remote village. He voices his opinions of the villagers’ customs and lack of sophistication to them and to John Kemp. Kemp is already beginning to dislike him. The local morris troupe assemble and decide to rehearse their play. They persuade Dee to play the Dragon. Kemp plays St George and kills the Dragon, although Dee expects this Kemp gives him an extra hard beating, at which he protests. St George also goes on to kill a Turkish knight, who, however, is resurrected by the Doctor, and there is much sword dancing. Dee swears revenge against Kemp and when Virginia, Kemp’s sweetheart, appears he tries to impress her with his office and uniform, but she rebuffs him.

Virginia and Kemp declare their love for each other, but Virginia has promised her mother, recently deceased, that she will not marry Kemp until she is 21. Now her mother is dead she has to support herself by being a lady’s companion, and her lady is travelling to America. She promises to return in four years when she is 21 to marry Kemp. Kemp promises to work hard and save money in that period. They promise to write to each other.

Four years later and Kemp is a changed man, he is bitter because he has not heard from Virginia despite her promise to write to him and his constant letters to her. His hard work has isolated him from village life. However, now that the four years are up and Virginia has not returned he resolves to make his fortune with a wager, he wagers with the Duke of Campden to undertake three feats of prowess to be determined by the Duke, the sum wagered being 1000 guineas. The first feat proposed is for him to fight his way, against anyone who opposes him, one at a time, from the church of nearby Campden Saltorum to Campden Cantorum church. Dee, knowing Kemp is a strong swimmer, but hoping he will drown, butts in and proposes that he swim 15 miles across the Bristol Channel in his coat and topboots. Kemp agrees to these challenges and the Duke then proposes as the third challenge that Kemp will successfully deceive all of the villagers for one whole year.

The first feat Kemp easily wins, though Dee, at one points knocks him over from behind, only to be floored in turn by one the village girls. For the second feat the main characters adjourn to the shores of the Bristol Channel and the Duke provides a boat to follow Kemp and pull him out if he begins to sink. The villagers watch him anxiously and he swims strongly away from the shore only to be swallowed up in a bank of mist. At that point the Duke’s boat is hit by another craft and Kemp is presumed lost.

Three years later in the village and Virginia returns, now a rich woman as her ‘lady’ died and left her all her property. She tells the Widow Green, the inn-keeper, that she has returned to find out what happened to John and to find out why she never heard from him. She is despondent when told that John is presumed drowned, but when she is told that John wrote constantly to her for four years and never received any letters from her she begins to suspect treachery. Dee turns up and woos Virginia, but she rebuffs him again.

John’s sailor-brother Jack, who has returned to claim his brother’s property and been living in the village for a year, decides to sell John’s house and property by auction. As a foretaste he brings some items down to the inn and begins auctioning them off, Virginia buys some of the items and makes a bid for the whole estate.

Of course ‘Jack Kemp’ is really John is disguise, who swam the Channel without an accompanying boat and then went travelling, playing the fool, in the Middle East and Asia.

The Post Office catches fire and during efforts to put it out it is discovered that Dee has been enriching himself by stealing money from letters, he also detained all of John and Virginia’s letters to each other. The villagers drag Dee in and are about to lynch him but Jack simply lets him go as says cannot act as judge because he is not impartial.

The next day, the year of deceiving the villagers being up, he reveals himself to the Duke and the villagers, who were completely taken in by his staid demeanour and false beard. The Duke agrees he has won his wager. Virginia appears, John woos her as Jack, she refuses him, and then he reveals his true identity and the lovers are reunited.

The villagers rejoice at the denouement and John’s miraculous reappearance and the villagers and the Duke offer him a wish in honour of his forthcoming marriage. John asks that the traditional play acted in the first act have a change made to it: the player playing St George is to receive an extra whack from the dying Dragon’s tail.