Author Topic: Vaughan Williams's Veranda  (Read 889037 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5840 on: June 30, 2022, 12:56:33 PM »
Psshaw!! You say that as if there were no subtleties to appreciate in the Boléro!!

Yes, you are quite right Karl - Ravel was one of the most sophisticated composers (after all, VW went to study with him) - it is just that some people are a bit snooty about Boléro but I have always liked the 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 k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5841 on: June 30, 2022, 01:06:59 PM »
Yes, you are quite right Karl - Ravel was one of the most sophisticated composers (after all, VW went to study with him) - it is just that some people are a bit snooty about Boléro but I have always liked the work.

Once in our Music Theory class at Wooster (the final quarter of the Theory sequence being a survey of 20th-c. music) a number of the students were dismissive of the Boléro (I don't think I was one, since the piece would mostly have been new to me at the time) and Jack Gallagher challenged them/us: Okay, you think you know all about the piece, sing back the four phrases of the tune to me. It was a great mental exercise.


And, of course, Shostakovich would not have taken the piece for a model, had he not admired it.
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 vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5842 on: June 30, 2022, 01:21:04 PM »
Once in our Music Theory class at Wooster (the final quarter of the Theory sequence being a survey of 20th-c. music) a number of the students were dismissive of the Boléro (I don't think I was one, since the piece would mostly have been new to me at the time) and Jack Gallagher challenged them/us: Okay, you think you know all about the piece, sing back the four phrases of the tune to me. It was a great mental exercise.


And, of course, Shostakovich would not have taken the piece for a model, had he not admired it.
Good points Karl. Past my bedtime here. Bonne Nuit!  :)
"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 #5843 on: June 30, 2022, 10:04:40 PM »
I piece of musical trivia I remember is an assertion I read that Sibelius's 4th (1911) is the first symphony to end other than f or louder (it ends mf).

But VW's London is certainly the first symphony to end niente.

Sibelius 1 ends quietly - the Pathetique effectively niente as the last dynamic is pppp(!) - and many more I'm sure if I put my mind to it - so that's a bit of trivia for the bin!

Offline Biffo

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5844 on: June 30, 2022, 11:43:23 PM »
I piece of musical trivia I remember is an assertion I read that Sibelius's 4th (1911) is the first symphony to end other than f or louder (it ends mf).

But VW's London is certainly the first symphony to end niente.

Haydn's Farewell symphony (No 45) ends with just two muted violins playing

Offline Jo498

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5845 on: July 01, 2022, 12:06:28 AM »
The first famous romantic symphony with a quiet ending was probably Brahms' 3rd (1880s). The Haydn Farewell ist obviously a century earlier but it was more a "novelty" and in any case before symphonies usually had a dramatic arch, usually ending in a triumphal (or certainly emphatic) closure.
Struck by the sounds before the sun,
I knew the night had gone.
The morning breeze like a bugle blew
Against the drums of dawn.
(Bob Dylan)

Offline Irons

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5846 on: July 01, 2022, 07:39:47 AM »
Yes, you are quite right Karl - Ravel was one of the most sophisticated composers (after all, VW went to study with him) - it is just that some people are a bit snooty about Boléro but I have always liked the work.

A few years ago I attended a musical appreciation club in our area. I only went the once but that is not here or there. They played a recording of Boléro and after it finished members were asked to stand up and comment. A lady was first with "Every time I listen to Boléro I hear something new". A clever dick (man) retorted "How? When it is the same music repeated over and over" The audience cruelly burst out laughing. I felt very sorry for her and understood what she meant.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5847 on: July 01, 2022, 07:44:35 AM »
A few years ago I attended a musical appreciation club in our area. I only went the once but that is not here or there. They played a recording of Boléro and after it finished members were asked to stand up and comment. A lady was first with "Every time I listen to Boléro I hear something new". A clever dick (man) retorted "How? When it is the same music repeated over and over" The audience cruelly burst out laughing. I felt very sorry for her and understood what she meant.

Huboons!
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 amw

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5848 on: July 01, 2022, 09:37:03 AM »
I piece of musical trivia I remember is an assertion I read that Sibelius's 4th (1911) is the first symphony to end other than f or louder (it ends mf).

But VW's London is certainly the first symphony to end niente.
Possibly it is the first symphony that doesn’t end either loudly or quietly (and one of very few to end mf or mp—I can’t think of any other examples off the top of my head).

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5849 on: July 01, 2022, 05:45:41 PM »
I don't know, John. If I listen to, say, Egdon Heath and the Tallis Fantasia, I'm not hearing the work of two composers whose musical language is so utterly different as you appear to suggest.

Yes, I'm sure there are parallels these two works stylistically. I guess my whole point is they have their own thought processes and ways of approaching their own music that distinguishes them for the other. There's a certain lyricism in RVW for example that is instantly recognizable. Just as there's a rhythmic element in Holst that I find distinctive. Anyway, I never said there weren't similarities between the two composers just as there were some shared similarities between Debussy and Ravel or Shostakovich and Weinberg. I know the composer in question when I hear their music and that's all I'm saying.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5850 on: July 01, 2022, 08:37:34 PM »
OT
The thing about Sibelius's 4th Symphony is that it's the only symphony I know which doesn't end either loudly or softly.
"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 André

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5851 on: July 03, 2022, 06:23:01 AM »
OT
The thing about Sibelius's 4th Symphony is that it's the only symphony I know which doesn't end either loudly or softly.

True. The 4th doesn’t have a conclusion, it just ends.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5852 on: July 03, 2022, 11:25:54 PM »
True. The 4th doesn’t have a conclusion, it just ends.
Yes, exactly!
"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 #5853 on: July 04, 2022, 04:43:38 AM »
True. The 4th doesn’t have a conclusion, it just ends.

Sibelius is a master at endings.  They're all so well judged even when it's ambivalent. 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5854 on: July 04, 2022, 05:03:44 AM »
Sibelius is a master at endings.  They're all so well judged even when it's ambivalent.
I agree!
"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 #5855 on: July 06, 2022, 12:15:27 AM »
Back to VW. I'm currently greatly enjoying this CD of two poetic, atmospheric and reflective works from later on in VW's composing career. They make a very nice programme:
"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 #5856 on: July 06, 2022, 12:46:05 AM »
Back to VW. I'm currently greatly enjoying this CD of two poetic, atmospheric and reflective works from later on in VW's composing career. They make a very nice programme:


Perhaps I should give An Oxford Elegy another try, it is years since I last heard it. I am not keen on works with a spoken narration.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5857 on: July 06, 2022, 12:58:28 AM »
Perhaps I should give An Oxford Elegy another try, it is years since I last heard it. I am not keen on works with a spoken narration.
Yes, your not the only one Biffo. The narration is quite recessed in the Centaur recording (not like Jack May on Nimbus who sounds like a General barking out military instructions) which allows me to soak up and enjoy the overall atmosphere of the piece. Oddly enough I often enjoy works which include a narration, like Copland's 'Lincoln Portrait' or some versions of Sinfonia Antartica (Boult/Decca, Previn/RCA).
« Last Edit: July 06, 2022, 01:00:43 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 vandermolen

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Re: Vaughan Williams's Veranda
« Reply #5858 on: July 06, 2022, 05:14:20 AM »
From WAYLTN thread:
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.5 (RPO, Gibson)
A fine, moving and IMO most underrated performance.
I have it on an original HMV Series CD, coupled with Berglund's recording of Symphony No.6. Two fine Sibelian performances. This was one of the best (alongside the Moeran Symphony, Dilkes, Ireland and Bax) releases in that fine old series - now it's all popular classics at HMV. Sorry, I sound like a terrible snob!

Any other views on this performance?
"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 #5859 on: July 06, 2022, 07:11:20 AM »
From WAYLTN thread:
Vaughan Williams: Symphony No.5 (RPO, Gibson)
A fine, moving and IMO most underrated performance.
I have it on an original HMV Series CD, coupled with Berglund's recording of Symphony No.6. Two fine Sibelian performances. This was one of the best (alongside the Moeran Symphony, Dilkes, Ireland and Bax) releases in that fine old series - now it's all popular classics at HMV. Sorry, I sound like a terrible snob!

Any other views on this performance?


Listening to it now on Spotify - woodwinds sound too bright and forward but that could be Spotify. It now only seems to be available as part of a two-disc set with the Berglund 4 & 6; as I already have them in the Warner Berglund Icon set it is a bit of a non-starter. The album cover has wasps on it, presumably because it also contains the Aristophanic Suite, all 8'35 of it.

I will hunt round a bit more as it sounds like a fine performance.