Author Topic: Peter Racine Fricker(1920-1990): Catalogue of the Orchestral and Choral Music  (Read 6393 times)

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cilgwyn

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 ;D
In terms of inspiration:

Symphony No 1  (A fine symphony!)

Symphony No 2  (A slight step down from the first,but,imho,still a fine symphony with a thrilling,edge of the seat ride through the final bars and an absorbing (Andante) second movement).


Symphony No 3  :-\ (But,a state of the art,hybrid SACD recording & a really first rate performance,may yet,persuade me?! It did alert me to the qualities of this composer!)




Symphony No 4  ( I'll have another go,before long;although,not sure it will get me,anywhere?! Disappointly diffuse and meandering! :()


Symphony No 5 (I'm not convinced that superior sound quality would persuade me?! (Albeit,being able to hear that organ in Chandos style sound quality,might help a little bit.....maybe?! :-\ :()


That said,I would still welcome brand new recording's of the complete set! But certainly,the first two. And I think No3,would be worth it,despite my mixed feelings!!






Offline vandermolen

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Having a CD sort out I came across an old Lyrita CD with David Morgan's Violin Concerto which I remembered liking on LP. The CD is coupled with Fricker's Violin Concerto which I never remember hearing before - but that will be rectified soon.
"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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I like Symphony 2 - it has a terrific, very exciting, final section:


This CD is now prohibitively expensive but all three works are excellent. The craggy Orr Symphony was a great discovery for me, reminding me of the music of Havergal Brian and Carlos Chavez. The Simpson is my favourite of his cycle too.

My copy has been dispatched, due to arrive in 3-4 weeks. Hopefully I’ll get what I ordered - not always the case  ???.

Right now I’m on my second listening of disc one of the symphonies 1-4 set. Definitely music that demands patience and rewards it. I am reminded of the fastidiousness, refusal of effects and economy of means displayed by Fricker’s contemporaries like Simpson, Jones, Hoddinott, Mathias. So far I find his music quite approachable, certainly more so than Humphrey Searle’s, which still refuses to open up for me. There is nothing jolly or conventionally ‘melodious’ (like Arnold or Arnell, for example). I wouldn’t say the music is acerbic, but assertive and gritty certainly apply IMO. I agree that the first symphony is a powerful work, with an especially eloquent and gripping slow movement.

I love the 3 movement structure for a symphony, it announces a desire by the composer to present complex material in a clear-headed, concise way. Such is the case with Fricker’s second symphony. French composer Henri Sauguet composed 4 symphonies, adopting that 3 movement cast for his last 2 (composed in 1955 and 1971), his musical language becoming more pithy, spiky, sometimes enigmatic. I find a parallel with Fricker’s 2nd. Also with Sibelius 4 and 5 (the second movement).

Next in line will be symphonies 3 and 4. By that time I should have reçeived the EMI disc with the Fricker/Orr/Simpson works. Which should tail in neatly with my next project, listening to the 11 symphonies of Robert Simpson. I haven’t heard them since I purchased the series upon their release.

cilgwyn

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Eloquently put,and concise,with an economy,worthy of Fricker! I wish I could post like that?!! I really am going to have to hear the symphonies of Henri Sauguet,aren't I? I know they have quite a few admirer's here. And no too many to collect! It's funny,but Fricker's music isn't the sort of music that usually appeals to me. For all it's (maybe,on first encounter?) apparent dour,griitty,acerbic demeanour;I find allot of variety,even colour,that I don't find in some of his contemporaries.
I have recently begun to find myself ,increasingly,drawn to the symphonies of Robert Simpson. I remember,quite some years ago,how initial enthusiasm,seemed to,quickly,dwindle way. Now,years later,I am finally collecting the rest of the cycle. No's 6 & 7,remaining,frustratingly,out of my reach at present,due to the high prices asked by sellers. As soon as I see a copy at a reasonable price I will,most certainly,snap it up. I would say more,but tea beckons!! ::) ;D

Offline vandermolen

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Eloquently put,and concise,with an economy,worthy of Fricker! I wish I could post like that?!! I really am going to have to hear the symphonies of Henri Sauguet,aren't I? I know they have quite a few admirer's here. And no too many to collect! It's funny,but Fricker's music isn't the sort of music that usually appeals to me. For all it's (maybe,on first encounter?) apparent dour,griitty,acerbic demeanour;I find allot of variety,even colour,that I don't find in some of his contemporaries.
I have recently begun to find myself ,increasingly,drawn to the symphonies of Robert Simpson. I remember,quite some years ago,how initial enthusiasm,seemed to,quickly,dwindle way. Now,years later,I am finally collecting the rest of the cycle. No's 6 & 7,remaining,frustratingly,out of my reach at present,due to the high prices asked by sellers. As soon as I see a copy at a reasonable price I will,most certainly,snap it up. I would say more,but tea beckons!! ::) ;D

Sauguet's 'Expiatoire' Symphony is a particular favourite although all four are worthwhile.
"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).

cilgwyn

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I'll have another look at the Sauguet,thread. I like André'S analysis of the Fricker symphonies. Much better than mine!! :( ;D And the third symphony as "controlled vehemence"?! ??? :)  I'm stll undecided about the third. I think it's a powerful symphony. I'm just not sure I like it as much as the first two. And they feel more tight knit (I wish I could think of a better term;but there are painters here & everyone can see through the front window. It's like being on Big Bro'!!
I'm going to need another listen to No 3. I've got Cosi fan tutte on,at the moment!! ??? ;D

cilgwyn

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I listened to No 3 again,last night. With an arresting opening,and I can hear why the Radio 3 broadcast,of it,back in the mid 90's,grabbed my attention. I didn't know any Fricker,then. Although,did have an old RCA Lp of his First Symphony,which didn't do much for me at the time. Maybe,it was the transfer? Maybe,I had other things on my mind? Maybe,I was too stupid?!! ::) ;D Anyway,that was then!! Back to the third! I rather enjoyed listening to this symphony. There are some good ideas there;and,as,with the first two,I like his slow movement. It does feel diffuse after the first two,though. I like that pounding motif,though;and the feeling of "controlled vehemence"(referred to in the booklet,incidentally!)! I do think this is the sort of work that would benefit from a really first class,state of the art,recording. Come on,Chandos,Bis!! I think I'll have another listen,later? I still prefer it to some other,overrated,works that shall remain nameless (well here,anyway! ;D) and some underrated works,that some people here,rate too highly (again,these shall pass nameless,here. It's too soon after breakfast,anyway!! They said,go to work on an egg..........not,eggs!! ::) ;D).

cilgwyn

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I'm listening to the third again,now. I've got to admit,I think I do rather like this symphony and find it strangely gripping. This Musicweb review (link below) refers to Barry Wordsworth's performance (which is the one I would have heard and recorded,via Radio 3,in the mid 90's) as "even more dynamic",and reinforcing his opinion that "No 3 is the high point of the cycle". I think he was probably right? (about it being "more dynamic"). I had an off air cassette,in very good sound,for one of my home recordings (Itter should have seen my equipment! ??? :o ::)). I must have a look and see if the Art Music Forum have an upload of that performance. I think they do? (I may have even made a cd-r,of it,and listened to it?!! ::) ;D)

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2017/Oct/Fricker_sys_REAM2136.htm

cilgwyn

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(For notes please see the introduction to the William Wordsworth Catalogue)

PETER RACINE FRICKER: A CATALOGUE OF THE ORCHESTRAL AND CHORAL MUSIC

1946:       Adagio
1946-47:  Symphonietta
                 Suite for School Orchestra
1948:      Rondo Scherzoso: 18 minutes
1948-49: Symphony No.1, op.9: 28 minutes     + (First Edition LP)
1949:      Prelude, Elegy and Finale for String Orchestra, op.10   + (Pye LP)
1949-50: Concerto for Violin and Small Orchestra(Violin Concerto No. 1): 20 minutes  + (Lyrita cd)
1950:      Concertante for Cor Anglais and String orchestra(Concertante No.1), op.13: 12 minutes
1950-51: Symphony No.2, op.14: 30 minutes  + (EMI cd)
1951:      Concertante No.2 for Three Pianos, Strings and Timpani, op.15: 14 minutes
                Ballet "Canterbury Prologue", op.16
1952-53: Viola Concerto, op.18: 27 minutes
1952-54: Concerto for Piano and Small Orchestra, op.19: 26 minutes
1953-54: Violin Concerto No.2(Rhapsodia Concertante): 22 minutes
1954:      Dance Scene, op.22: 11 minutes
1955:      Litany for Double String Orchestra, op.26: 16 minutes
                Musick's Empire for chorus and small orchestra, op.27
1956:     Orchestral Fantasie: 2 minutes
1958:     Oratorio "The Vision of Judgment" for tenor, soprano, chorus and orchestra,  op.29: 50 minutes
               Waltz for Restricted Orchestra
               Comedy Overture, op.32: 4 minutes
1959:      Cantata 'Colet' for chorus, soloists and orchestra: 13 minutes
               Toccata for Piano and Orchestra, op.33: 12 minutes
1960:     Symphony No.3, op.36: 31 minutes
1961-62: Cantata for Tenor and Chamber Ensemble, op.37
1963:     'O Longs Desirs'-Five Songs for Soprano and Orchestra, op.39: 21 minutes
1964-66: Symphony No.4, op.43: 34 minutes
1965:     Four Songs for High Voice and orchestra, op.42a: 7 minutes
1966:     Three Scenes, op.45: 16 minutes
1967:     Seven Counterpoints, op.47: 18 minutes
1967:     Magnificat for soprano, contralto, tenor, chorus and orchestra, op.50: 23 minutes
1968:     Concertante No.4 for Flute, Oboe, Violin and Strings, op.52: 12 minutes
1971:     Nocturne for Chamber Orchestra, op.63: 9 minutes    (Cheltenham Festival)
1972:     Introitus, op.66: 11 minutes
1976:     Symphony No.5 for Organ and Orchestra, op.74
1976-77: Sinfonia for Seventeen Wind Instruments (In Memoriam Benjamin Britten), op.76: 11 minutes   
1979:     Laudi Concertante for Organ and Orchestra, op.80: 32 minutes
1982:     Rondeaux for Horn and Orchestra, op.87: 20 minutes    (Cheltenham Festival)
1984:     Oratorio "Whispers At These Curtains" for baritone, boys' choir, chorus and orchestra, op.88: 50 minutes   (Three Choirs' Festival)
1985:     Concertino for St.Paul's, op.91: 20 minutes
1986:     Concerto for Orchestra, op.93: 18 minutes   (Cheltenham Festival)
1987-88: Walk By Quiet Water, op.96: 11 minutes
1989:     Piano Concerto No.2, op.97: 26 minutes
              With Joyance, op.100: 11 minutes

Plenty for an adventurous recording label to get on with!! ;D

cilgwyn

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I think I will have another listen to the Fourth Symphony,later. Listening to it in a half painted room,with patches of bare concrete (some of it,damp!) and no blind on one window (it's like being on Big Brother! Except that, if I turn around,I'm looking through their window! ??? :o!!) and boxes of belongings on the floor,does seem to add something to the bleak,desolate,and occasionally angry mood  ("Finish the job,you m****!!" >:() of Frickers music.