Vaughan Williams's Veranda

Started by karlhenning, April 12, 2007, 06:03:44 AM

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Mirror Image

Btw, LKB did you buy that RVW Boult symphony Tower Records/Warner Japanese hybrid SACD set?
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

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


LKB

Not as yet, my budget needs to recover from vacation last month, and l have some family birthdays over the next two weeks. But I'm determined to own the set, and soon.  8)
Mit Flügeln, die ich mir errungen...

Mirror Image

Quote from: LKB on August 01, 2022, 11:15:10 AM
Not as yet, my budget needs to recover from vacation last month, and l have some family birthdays over the next two weeks. But I'm determined to own the set, and soon.  8)

Great to read. :)
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

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


vandermolen

Quote from: LKB on August 01, 2022, 10:22:08 AM
Tonight I'll be singing Dona Nobis Pacem, with a community chorus and accompanied on the piano. Looking forward to it, though the choral results will be far from professional. Hopefully it won't rain, as we're outdoors.
Wonderful! Hope it went well.
"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).

Christo

Quote from: LKB on August 01, 2022, 10:22:08 AM
Tonight I'll be singing Dona Nobis Pacem, with a community chorus and accompanied on the piano. Looking forward to it, though the choral results will be far from professional. Hopefully it won't rain, as we're outdoors.
Dona Nobis Pluviam
... 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

Pohjolas Daughter


kyjo

I was recently listening to RVW's highly intriguing late Violin Sonata (1952), in this excellent recording by Hugh Bean and David Parkhouse:



The first two movements represent RVW at his most "modern" and complex - full of irregular rhythms, unpredictable harmonies, and scintillating virtuosity for both instruments. Great stuff - so it comes as a slight disappointment to me that the variation-form third movement returns to a much more "comfortable", traditional modal idiom, but it's still beautiful music nonetheless. Interestingly, the theme is taken directly from the third movement of his early Piano Quintet (which is also a theme-and-variations) from the other end of his illustrious career.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

vandermolen

Quote from: kyjo on August 07, 2022, 08:05:16 PM
I was recently listening to RVW's highly intriguing late Violin Sonata (1952), in this excellent recording by Hugh Bean and David Parkhouse:



The first two movements represent RVW at his most "modern" and complex - full of irregular rhythms, unpredictable harmonies, and scintillating virtuosity for both instruments. Great stuff - so it comes as a slight disappointment to me that the variation-form third movement returns to a much more "comfortable", traditional modal idiom, but it's still beautiful music nonetheless. Interestingly, the theme is taken directly from the third movement of his early Piano Quintet (which is also a theme-and-variations) from the other end of his illustrious career.
Interesting review Kyle. It's actually one of my favourite pieces of chamber music and that is easily the best performance. I found the recent (much praised) Jennifer Pike recording to be oddly 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).

Lisztianwagner

Quote from: kyjo on August 07, 2022, 08:05:16 PM
I was recently listening to RVW's highly intriguing late Violin Sonata (1952), in this excellent recording by Hugh Bean and David Parkhouse:



The first two movements represent RVW at his most "modern" and complex - full of irregular rhythms, unpredictable harmonies, and scintillating virtuosity for both instruments. Great stuff - so it comes as a slight disappointment to me that the variation-form third movement returns to a much more "comfortable", traditional modal idiom, but it's still beautiful music nonetheless. Interestingly, the theme is taken directly from the third movement of his early Piano Quintet (which is also a theme-and-variations) from the other end of his illustrious career.

Sounds an interesting work! I don't know RVW's Violin Sonata, I may listen to it if I find a good recording on youtube or spotify.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler

vandermolen

Quote from: Lisztianwagner on August 07, 2022, 11:13:30 PM
Sounds an interesting work! I don't know RVW's Violin Sonata, I may listen to it if I find a good recording on youtube or spotify.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1yIyVwfBAQ0
"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).

Lisztianwagner

"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler

k a rl h e nn i ng

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

kyjo

Quote from: Lisztianwagner on August 07, 2022, 11:13:30 PM
Sounds an interesting work! I don't know RVW's Violin Sonata, I may listen to it if I find a good recording on youtube or spotify.

The Bean/Parkhouse recording has recently been uploaded to YT with a scrolling score, which is highly interesting to see given the music's frequent complexity: https://youtu.be/UMetoXv8rck
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Lisztianwagner

Quote from: kyjo on August 08, 2022, 09:04:57 AM
The Bean/Parkhouse recording has recently been uploaded to YT with a scrolling score, which is highly interesting to see given the music's frequent complexity: https://youtu.be/UMetoXv8rck

Thank you, it was quite helpful to follow the score; the Violin Sonata is a charming, suggestive piece, and as a matter of fact, it's true the first two movements sound more modern and complex for the various rhythmic changes, the contrasts of sharp, bold harmonies, without disdaining dissonances, but also for the timbral variety; there's more virtuosity too, very brilliant and well combined in the melodic lines of the instruments. While the third movement shows a simpler, more contemplative and nostalgic atmosphere, that can be found in many of RVW's previous works.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler

kyjo

Quote from: Lisztianwagner on August 08, 2022, 01:43:29 PM
Thank you, it was quite helpful to follow the score; the Violin Sonata is a charming, suggestive piece, and as a matter of fact, it's true the first two movements sound more modern and complex for the various rhythmic changes, the contrasts of sharp, bold harmonies, without disdaining dissonances, but also for the timbral variety; there's more virtuosity too, very brilliant and well combined in the melodic lines of the instruments. While the third movement shows a simpler, more contemplative and nostalgic atmosphere, that can be found in many of RVW's previous works.

Great analysis, Ilaria, with which I very much agree. Last night I was listening to that other great chamber work of RVW's, his String Quartet no. 2 (the superb Maggini recording on Naxos). Like the Violin Sonata, it is most effective in its contrasts between astringent dissonance and RVW's signature hymn-like modality. It's also unique amongst string quartets in that the most important role is given not to the first violin, but to the viola, contributing to the work's darkly-colored hue (the work was dedicated to a violist friend of his).
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Lisztianwagner

Quote from: kyjo on August 10, 2022, 03:22:15 PM
Great analysis, Ilaria, with which I very much agree. Last night I was listening to that other great chamber work of RVW's, his String Quartet no. 2 (the superb Maggini recording on Naxos). Like the Violin Sonata, it is most effective in its contrasts between astringent dissonance and RVW's signature hymn-like modality. It's also unique amongst string quartets in that the most important role is given not to the first violin, but to the viola, contributing to the work's darkly-colored hue (the work was dedicated to a violist friend of his).

Sounds a very intriguing piece, thanks for the suggestion, Kyle, I'll certainly listen to it!
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler

Lisztianwagner

Some thoughts about Vaughan Williams' String Quartet No. 2 (I listened to the Maggini performance, that was superb):

I greatly enjoyed the composition, which is very particular for the great prominence given to the viola as principal instrument instead of the violin; nonetheless it's a beautiful, meditative work, quite dark and haunting in mood for the harmonic tensions, the rhythmic and timbric variations, and the contrapuntal texture of the movements. The first movement is stormy and suggestive for the often irregular ryhtms and dynamics, as it sometimes proceeds powerfully, sometimes it abruptly calms down; the second movement continues in a gloomy atmosphere, growing in intensity till a short climax that immediately fades in a solo, first of violin, then of viola, which quietly leads to the conclusion; the Scherzo is tense and anxious, with the viola definitely prominent, while the violins and cello develop the same melodic lines just changed in key and octave; the final forth movement doesn't lose the melancholic, desolating atmosphere, but now a more serene, peaceful tinge can be perceived too, especially in the ending.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler

vandermolen

Quote from: Lisztianwagner on August 12, 2022, 12:01:05 PM
Some thoughts about Vaughan Williams' String Quartet No. 2 (I listened to the Maggini performance, that was superb):

I greatly enjoyed the composition, which is very particular for the great prominence given to the viola as principal instrument instead of the violin; nonetheless it's a beautiful, meditative work, quite dark and haunting in mood for the harmonic tensions, the rhythmic and timbric variations, and the contrapuntal texture of the movements. The first movement is stormy and suggestive for the often irregular ryhtms and dynamics, as it sometimes proceeds powerfully, sometimes it abruptly calms down; the second movement continues in a gloomy atmosphere, growing in intensity till a short climax that immediately fades in a solo, first of violin, then of viola, which quietly leads to the conclusion; the Scherzo is tense and anxious, with the viola definitely prominent, while the violins and cello develop the same melodic lines just changed in key and octave; the final forth movement doesn't lose the melancholic, desolating atmosphere, but now a more serene, peaceful tinge can be perceived too, especially in the ending.
Nice analysis! It rates IMO with the Violin Sonata as his greatest chamber 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).

vandermolen

Vaughan Williams's music featured towards the end of the film 'Benediction' (about the life of the war poet Siegfried Sassoon) which I watched on DVD today ('A Pastoral Symphony', Elder/Hallé) and the Tallis Fantasia (LPO/Boult)
"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).

Lisztianwagner

Quote from: vandermolen on August 13, 2022, 12:11:52 AM
Nice analysis! It rates IMO with the Violin Sonata as his greatest chamber work.

Thank you! I haven't listened to enough Vaughan Williams' chamber music to say the String Quartet No.2 is his greatest chamber work, but it is absolutely a marvelous, captivating work and maybe the one I enjoyed more so far. It also sounds more original than the String Quartet No.1 (however composed about 34 years earlier), which instead seems to be very influenced by Ravel's harmonic textures and colour, especially in the first movement, where the similarities with the String Quartet in F major are certainly evident.
"Tradition is not the worship of ashes, but the preservation of fire." - Gustav Mahler