Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 814381 times)

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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5220 on: October 30, 2021, 12:00:47 AM »
In fact here's a synopsis of John Kemp's Wager I wrote:

Thankyou for both of your posts - very interesting and something I knew nothing about.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5221 on: October 30, 2021, 12:18:43 AM »
Thankyou for both of your posts - very interesting and something I knew nothing about.
+1
I've also followed the posts about Robert Graves and 'Hugh the Drover' interesting - thanks.
"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 #5222 on: October 30, 2021, 12:20:28 AM »
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.
A most interesting analysis, with which I agree. I liked your Nutcracker point.
"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 #5223 on: October 30, 2021, 06:14:47 AM »
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).

It's interesting to think about work that might have been.  I think there is a ton of sketches and uncompleted works from RVW that are quite tantalizing just imagining what might have been.

Cello Concerto
http://searcharchives.bl.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/display.do?tabs=detailsTab&ct=display&fn=search&doc=IAMS040-001999190&indx=14&recIds=IAMS040-001999190&recIdxs=3&elementId=3&renderMode=poppedOut&displayMode=full&frbrVersion=&dscnt=0&scp.scps=scope%3A%28BL%29&frbg=&tab=local&dstmp=1635603088955&srt=rank&mode=Basic&dum=true&vl(freeText0)=Vaughan%20Williams%20concerto&vid=IAMS_VU2

Thomas the Rhymer, opera
http://searcharchives.bl.uk/primo_library/libweb/action/display.do?tabs=detailsTab&ct=display&fn=search&doc=IAMS032-001964875&indx=7&recIds=IAMS032-001964875&recIdxs=6&elementId=6&renderMode=poppedOut&displayMode=full&frbrVersion=&dscnt=0&frbg=&scp.scps=scope%3A%28BL%29&tab=local&dstmp=1635603224889&srt=rank&mode=Basic&&dum=true&vl(freeText0)=Vaughan%20Williams%20Unfinished%20&vid=IAMS_VU2


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5225 on: October 30, 2021, 01:56:13 PM »
I would have loved for him to have been able to have finished a cello concerto.

PD
'Dark Pastoral' was put together from the surviving sketches for a projected cello concerto:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5tquD727ik
"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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5226 on: October 30, 2021, 02:19:33 PM »
'Dark Pastoral' was put together from the surviving sketches for a projected cello concerto:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5tquD727ik

Most interesting!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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Boston MA
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline vandermolen

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"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 Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5228 on: October 31, 2021, 07:06:27 AM »
Interesting...so about the first 4 minutes were actually composed by Vaughan Williams and then David Matthews took it from there?

PD

Offline kyjo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5229 on: October 31, 2021, 07:14:39 AM »
'Dark Pastoral' was put together from the surviving sketches for a projected cello concerto:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5tquD727ik

Regardless of how much of it is “authentic” RVW, it’s a beautiful work!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline calyptorhynchus

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5230 on: October 31, 2021, 01:44:22 PM »
I also like David Matthews 'reconstruction' of the Third Norfolk Rhapsody. This is completely lost, but there exists a detailed programme note describing the work and the folk tunes it was based on, so Matthews was able to recompose it. If the MS ever turns up it will be interesting to compare the two works!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5231 on: October 31, 2021, 02:55:17 PM »
Interesting...so about the first 4 minutes were actually composed by Vaughan Williams and then David Matthews took it from there?

PD
I think that's right PD.
"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 Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5232 on: November 01, 2021, 04:26:00 AM »
I also like David Matthews 'reconstruction' of the Third Norfolk Rhapsody. This is completely lost, but there exists a detailed programme note describing the work and the folk tunes it was based on, so Matthews was able to recompose it. If the MS ever turns up it will be interesting to compare the two works!
Oh, I didn't know that about their being a third Norfolk rhapsody; I was going to look it up in my Michael Kennedy book just now, but I can't remember where I put the book!   ::)  I'll try again later on--after I've had my first cup of coffee.

Annoyed at herself,

PD

Offline relm1

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5233 on: November 01, 2021, 05:53:13 AM »
What do you think of the unfinished opera?  Seems like it was far along if the vocal score is there and the missing part was provided by Roy Douglas.  The vocal score would basically be all the voice parts with piano accompaniment so though lacking orchestration, someone like David Matthews or Roy Douglas are quite good at approximating the orchestral style of RVW.  Would be interesting to hear a brand new major opera by RVW.

Title: THOMAS THE RHYMER. Vol. ii. Vocal score. Incomplete, lacking the end of Act III, scene i. Copy by Gustav de Mauny, but with part of Act III, scene i in the hand of Roy Douglas. Act I annotated by the composer; annotations by Roy Douglas throughout.
Collection Area: Music Collections
Reference: Add MS 70986
Creation Date: [1958]
Extent and Access:
Extent:
1 item
Language: English
Contents and Scope:
Contents:
THOMAS THE RHYMER. Vol. ii. Vocal score. Incomplete , lacking the end of Act III, scene i. Copy by Gustav de Mauny, but with part of Act III, scene i in the hand of Roy Douglas. Act I annotated by the composer; annotations by Roy Douglas throughout.

ff. ii+145. 360 x 265 and 298 x 238mm.

Richard Roy Douglas, composer and pianist: Joan Ursula Penton Vaughan Williams, formerly Wood née Lock; writer; widow of R Vaughan Williams: Ralph Vaughan Williams, OM; composer: Libretto and vocal score of unfinished opera 'Thomas the Rhymer' by R. Vaughan Williams, libretto by Ursula Vaughan Williams, with annotations by Richard Roy Douglas: [1958]: Copies, partly typewritten.


Online Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5234 on: November 01, 2021, 07:02:01 AM »
Listened for a second time to Dark Pastoral.  Enjoyable..lovely for what it is; I am having a bit of a hard time not wondering where VW would have gone with it in terms of a concerto though.

Found my Kennedy book.  Very little about it in there other than that Vaughan Williams was "continually 'tinkering' with it and that he would have liked to have completed it in time to have it for a special concert for Casal's 80th birthday, but instead arranged something else for it.  Also, at the back of the boo under "Selected List of Works", then "Uncompleted" it lists Cello Concerto.  Sketches 1942-3.  Three movements:  Rhapsody, Lento, Finale.  Intended for Casals."

And it also lists after that the opera that Relm1 is wondering about.

In answer to your question R1, could be interesting to hear it.  I know the folk song (by Fairport Convention) about Tam Lin (which apparently was used as a source in Ursula's libretto along with Thomas The Rhymer--which I don't know anything about).

PD

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5235 on: November 01, 2021, 07:19:01 AM »
'Dark Pastoral' was put together from the surviving sketches for a projected cello concerto:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E5tquD727ik

As anticipated, a beauty!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Elgarian Redux

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5236 on: December 22, 2021, 12:39:01 PM »


Well, it's been a while. But a few days ago I stumbled across a CD I haven't played for ages, and popped VW's Phantasy Quintet into the player. When I got to the slow movement, and that exquisite tune, my eyes filled with tears and I just heartached my way through to the end. Since then I've played it every day.

For some unaccountable reason I had forgotten completely about this piece, even though I have a vague memory of having discussed it here years ago. It's not that I don't listen to VW: I do. I listened to most of the symphonies recently, and the Wasps, and stuff like that. But not this. How on earth did I ever forget about this?

Anyway, be that all as it may. My reason for resurrecting myself and troubling my old chums at GMG with this news is that maybe you can explain to me why this piece is (relatively) little known, and rarely commented on? Is it musically simplistic in some way that makes it of less interest to people who really understand music? (You'll realise that I don't number myself among them.) What does Karl think, for instance? Am I on my own in finding it utterly adorable? Are there any Old Softies out there like me who reach for the Kleenex when they hear it?

I've just been scouring the web for alternative recordings of it, and have found a few and ordered them (Nash, English String Quartet, and Medici), so my New Year will be flooded with Phantasy Quintetness. That seems like something to perk up 2022.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope you're all OK in these troubled times.

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5237 on: December 22, 2021, 12:50:00 PM »


Well, it's been a while. But a few days ago I stumbled across a CD I haven't played for ages, and popped VW's Phantasy Quintet into the player. When I got to the slow movement, and that exquisite tune, my eyes filled with tears and I just heartached my way through to the end. Since then I've played it every day.

For some unaccountable reason I had forgotten completely about this piece, even though I have a vague memory of having discussed it here years ago. It's not that I don't listen to VW: I do. I listened to most of the symphonies recently, and the Wasps, and stuff like that. But not this. How on earth did I ever forget about this?

Anyway, be that all as it may. My reason for resurrecting myself and troubling my old chums at GMG with this news is that maybe you can explain to me why this piece is (relatively) little known, and rarely commented on? Is it musically simplistic in some way that makes it of less interest to people who really understand music? (You'll realise that I don't number myself among them.) What does Karl think, for instance? Am I on my own in finding it utterly adorable? Are there any Old Softies out there like me who reach for the Kleenex when they hear it?

I've just been scouring the web for alternative recordings of it, and have found a few and ordered them (Nash, English String Quartet, and Medici), so my New Year will be flooded with Phantasy Quintetness. That seems like something to perk up 2022.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope you're all OK in these troubled times.

One of the best Naxos releases regarding Vaughan Williams IMO. Absolutely great music, and that Phantasy Quintet is a delight indeed!

Merry Christmas to you too!
Give us something else; give us something new; for Heaven's sake give us something bad, so long as we feel we are alive and active and not just passive admirers of tradition!

Carl Nielsen

Offline Elgarian Redux

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5238 on: December 22, 2021, 12:55:44 PM »
One of the best Naxos releases regarding Vaughan Williams IMO. Absolutely great music, and that Phantasy Quintet is a delight indeed!

Merry Christmas to you too!

Oh bless you. There are Two of Us, then!!

You realise of course that I'm not in any sense ignoring the two quartets. They are scrumptious in a truly VW-ish way. But they don't make me burst into tears. That's the thing.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5239 on: December 22, 2021, 01:10:45 PM »


Well, it's been a while. But a few days ago I stumbled across a CD I haven't played for ages, and popped VW's Phantasy Quintet into the player. When I got to the slow movement, and that exquisite tune, my eyes filled with tears and I just heartached my way through to the end. Since then I've played it every day.

For some unaccountable reason I had forgotten completely about this piece, even though I have a vague memory of having discussed it here years ago. It's not that I don't listen to VW: I do. I listened to most of the symphonies recently, and the Wasps, and stuff like that. But not this. How on earth did I ever forget about this?

Anyway, be that all as it may. My reason for resurrecting myself and troubling my old chums at GMG with this news is that maybe you can explain to me why this piece is (relatively) little known, and rarely commented on? Is it musically simplistic in some way that makes it of less interest to people who really understand music? (You'll realise that I don't number myself among them.) What does Karl think, for instance? Am I on my own in finding it utterly adorable? Are there any Old Softies out there like me who reach for the Kleenex when they hear it?

I've just been scouring the web for alternative recordings of it, and have found a few and ordered them (Nash, English String Quartet, and Medici), so my New Year will be flooded with Phantasy Quintetness. That seems like something to perk up 2022.

Merry Christmas to all. I hope you're all OK in these troubled times.

It is just possible that I've neglected the Phantasy Quintet thus far. Clearly this must be remedied!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot