Author Topic: Charles Villiers Stanford  (Read 14172 times)

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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #60 on: July 14, 2021, 08:59:09 AM »
Nos. 3 and 6 are the definite standouts for me - even nos. 4 and 5 didn’t really grab me. I do recall enjoying the finale of no. 1 with its catchy main theme.

The 5th has some gorgeous music. The ending is quite uplifting.
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Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #61 on: July 14, 2021, 10:28:50 AM »
The 5th has some gorgeous music. The ending is quite uplifting.

I have to slightly step back from my earlier comments!  The disc I was listening to was the Handley recording of the 2nd & 3rd Symphonies and I wrote my comment after No.2 only.  Today I completed the disc and did enjoy No.3 a lot.  I still find the bare-faced quote from Brahms intriguing! Was Stanford thinking "If Brahms can 'quote' Beethoven in a symphony I can quote Brahms!"  Whatever the reason it sounds pretty glorious. Helped as ever by those vintage Chandos recordings from the Ulster Hall in Belfast.  The acoustic there gives a warmth and ring to the orchestra that suits the music to a tee.

Jeffrey mentioned enjoying Watts as an artist.  Many forum readers will know the Watts Gallery tucked in the hill next to the A3 in Surrey.  If not its well worth a visit - a curious oasis of Victorian ethos so close to a bustling main road to London! The italianate chapel down the hill is a minor wonder/folly too!


Offline SonicMan46

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #62 on: July 14, 2021, 10:28:59 AM »
Re-post from the listening thread - the attached reviews of Lloyd-Jones are excellent - Dave :)

Quote
Stanford, Charles Villiers (1852-1924) - Symphonies w/ Vernon Handley and the Ulster Orchestra recorded 1987-1991 - I've been listening to Stanford's chamber works most of the week; will spend the afternoon and tomorrow on his symphonies, composed between 1876-1911 - listening on headphones - sound is excellent for these 30+ year old recordings (DDD) - the main competition is shown below, right, i.e. David Lloyd-Jones and the Bournemouth SO on Naxos in 4 volumes - I could find numerous reviews of the Naxos recordings (attached) but virtually none searching Fanfare, MusicWeb, AllMusic, and ClassicsToday for Handley; BUT, the reviews virtually always make mention of comparisons to Handley, which in my reading seems to be a 'toss up' although the more recent Naxos sound may have an edge at times?  Just made a Spotify playlist of the 4 Lloyd-Jones recordings and will give a listen.  Dave :)

P.S. Naxos should box these up in a 'thin' package, but likely if done will just put 4 single jewel cases together, their usually approach!

 

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #63 on: July 14, 2021, 11:14:09 AM »
The 5th has some gorgeous music. The ending is quite uplifting.
3 and 5 are my favourite + the Irish Rhapsody No.4.
"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: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #64 on: July 14, 2021, 11:27:42 AM »
I have to slightly step back from my earlier comments!  The disc I was listening to was the Handley recording of the 2nd & 3rd Symphonies and I wrote my comment after No.2 only.  Today I completed the disc and did enjoy No.3 a lot.  I still find the bare-faced quote from Brahms intriguing! Was Stanford thinking "If Brahms can 'quote' Beethoven in a symphony I can quote Brahms!"  Whatever the reason it sounds pretty glorious. Helped as ever by those vintage Chandos recordings from the Ulster Hall in Belfast.  The acoustic there gives a warmth and ring to the orchestra that suits the music to a tee.

Jeffrey mentioned enjoying Watts as an artist.  Many forum readers will know the Watts Gallery tucked in the hill next to the A3 in Surrey.  If not its well worth a visit - a curious oasis of Victorian ethos so close to a bustling main road to London! The italianate chapel down the hill is a minor wonder/folly too!


Oh, I've been to the Watts Gallery and Chapel many times (my in-laws live quite near to it). RS is right, it's well worth a visit. I even sent one of my History of Art students there to research for her A Level coursework (the Curator was very helpful). Watts was an interesting character. He went to visit friends for the weekend and stayed for 40 years! His painting 'Hope' is one of my favourites and, in a few weeks time, I hope to visit his statue of Tennyson (with his dog) outside Lincoln Cathedral:
« Last Edit: July 14, 2021, 11:29:50 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 amw

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #65 on: July 14, 2021, 01:06:44 PM »
No. 6 is the only symphony I rate. Neither of the two recordings is completely satisfactory, but I can’t tell if that’s the fault of overly timid interpretations or simply bad orchestration. The music seems comparable to early Strauss or early Elgar both in character and in quality, but slightly closer to the former (eg pieces like the violin and cello sonatas, violin concerto, Aus Italien etc).

Offline aligreto

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #66 on: November 28, 2021, 08:47:17 AM »
I recently re-listened to Stanford's Irish Rhapsodies [Handley]





Irish Rhapsody No. 1
This is a fine, well executed work. Stanford weaves Irish folk music into a, then, modern sounding idiom. The music still sounds energetic and fresh in this presentation. The orchestration is very fine.

Irish Rhapsody No. 2
This music is very lyrical and I like its dark hues. The wonderful tone is crafted by the use of dynamics, wonderful harmonies and counterpoint, rich scoring filled with drama and tension and fine pacing. The orchestration is very fine and rich but it is never dense. This is a wonderfully multi-textured work. Handly has a very good feel for this music and it is given very fine treatment here.

Irish Rhapsody No. 3 
This is a very lyrical work. It is also a cell concertante work. Both elements combine wonderfully here. The music is both expansive and intense. There is a wonderfully natural flow to the cello line which is exciting and spirited. 

Irish Rhapsody No. 4 
I really like the tone and atmosphere of this work. The music is beguiling and very captivating. The scoring is wonderful and, as the music progresses, it becomes more expansive and atmospheric. The music is in a constant state of flux and the various changes in tone, pacing, atmosphere and levels of both tension and drama are always very compelling. This is wonderful music and music making. The levels of intensity are very engrossing. This work, and presentation, has a powerful presence.

Irish Rhapsody No. 5 
I find the tone of this work to be a curious mixture of the upbeat grounded on the disconcerting. The essentially joyful themes are not fully unleashed; something is, curiously, holding it back which I find to be quite intriguing. I find the central, slow, section to be quite idyllic yet still poignant. However, all is resolved at the conclusion. The harmonies and scoring are very fine and effective.

Irish Rhapsody No. 6 
I find that the emotionally charged concertante music of the opening section is wonderfully engaging with its relatively sparse but very effective orchestral accompaniment. I like the gradual augmentation in the orchestral forces as the work progresses. The work concludes on a jubilant and positive note. 
« Last Edit: November 28, 2021, 08:57:01 AM by aligreto »
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #67 on: November 28, 2021, 09:49:32 AM »
I recently re-listened to Stanford's Irish Rhapsodies [Handley]





Irish Rhapsody No. 1
This is a fine, well executed work. Stanford weaves Irish folk music into a, then, modern sounding idiom. The music still sounds energetic and fresh in this presentation. The orchestration is very fine.

Irish Rhapsody No. 2
This music is very lyrical and I like its dark hues. The wonderful tone is crafted by the use of dynamics, wonderful harmonies and counterpoint, rich scoring filled with drama and tension and fine pacing. The orchestration is very fine and rich but it is never dense. This is a wonderfully multi-textured work. Handly has a very good feel for this music and it is given very fine treatment here.

Irish Rhapsody No. 3 
This is a very lyrical work. It is also a cell concertante work. Both elements combine wonderfully here. The music is both expansive and intense. There is a wonderfully natural flow to the cello line which is exciting and spirited. 

Irish Rhapsody No. 4 
I really like the tone and atmosphere of this work. The music is beguiling and very captivating. The scoring is wonderful and, as the music progresses, it becomes more expansive and atmospheric. The music is in a constant state of flux and the various changes in tone, pacing, atmosphere and levels of both tension and drama are always very compelling. This is wonderful music and music making. The levels of intensity are very engrossing. This work, and presentation, has a powerful presence.

Irish Rhapsody No. 5 
I find the tone of this work to be a curious mixture of the upbeat grounded on the disconcerting. The essentially joyful themes are not fully unleashed; something is, curiously, holding it back which I find to be quite intriguing. I find the central, slow, section to be quite idyllic yet still poignant. However, all is resolved at the conclusion. The harmonies and scoring are very fine and effective.

Irish Rhapsody No. 6 
I find that the emotionally charged concertante music of the opening section is wonderfully engaging with its relatively sparse but very effective orchestral accompaniment. I like the gradual augmentation in the orchestral forces as the work progresses. The work concludes on a jubilant and positive note.
Interesting survey Fergus. I think that No.4 is especially impressive. I noticed today that No.3 was included in the Chandos two CD release of British Cello Concertos.
"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 aligreto

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Re: Charles Villiers Stanford
« Reply #68 on: November 28, 2021, 11:16:23 AM »
Interesting survey Fergus. I think that No.4 is especially impressive. I noticed today that No.3 was included in the Chandos two CD release of British Cello Concertos.

A bit of a stretch, methinks.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.