The British Composers Thread

Started by Mark, October 25, 2007, 12:26:56 PM

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Irons

Quote from: Symphonic Addict on October 24, 2023, 02:32:30 PMSince you are a professional musician you can detect details that someone like me (an empirical listener) can't, but I didn't feel anything wrong with the performance.

My thoughts too. The other Tovey release on Guild features Tippett String Quartet who I believe enjoy more then adequate reputation.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.

calyptorhynchus

I downloaded the Gurney Piano disk I mentioned earlier on the thread and have been listening.
The Sonata No.3 and the Adagio (the only completed movement of the Sonata No.2) in particular are very good imo.
'Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth.' Robert Burton

calyptorhynchus

Here's a link to a recording of the Morris Sinfonia in C broadcast I mentioned:

https://www.mediafire.com/file/vuho45jt5cwgz1s/Morris_Sinfonia_in_C.mp3/file

It's a very impressive work in four movements, very reminiscent of Holst's Brook Green Suite idiom. It was recorded at an English Music Festival last year with the BBC Concert Orchestra conducted by Martin Yates. For once the EMF and my tastes coincide!

I hope Morris's Symphony, Violin Concerto and other works are revived in due course.
'Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth.' Robert Burton

Irons

Quote from: calyptorhynchus on October 26, 2023, 09:14:45 PMI downloaded the Gurney Piano disk I mentioned earlier on the thread and have been listening.
The Sonata No.3 and the Adagio (the only completed movement of the Sonata No.2) in particular are very good imo.

Yes and thanks for mentioning the release. I don't often buy a CD hot off the press (in fact never) but made a mental note of this late October release. Thanks.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.


Roasted Swan

I've been spending more time digging around in the forgotten backwaters of 20th Century British String Music.  Gems continue to appear.  A lot of these are down to the original pulishers; Oxford University Press or Novellos or Lengnick or Cramers to name but four who actively encouraged contemporary composers to write original music or quite often arrangements (which as discussed recently on another thread I love and others abhor!) suitably technically for student/amateur players but of a musical quality that merits professional performance.

One I was really pleased to find a score of and have now written out inrto performance parts is J. B. McEwen's "The Jocund Dance" which is sub-titled Dance Tunes for String Band.  More interestingly - and something I never realised until I got my hands on the score is in fact this is McEwen's String Quartet No.11 (which never got recorded on Chandos by the Chilingirians) to which he adds an ad. lib. double bass part thereby facilitating the "string band".  TBH this is not McEwen's finest work but it is genuinely a miniature/light work of emminent playability and charm.  The central pair of movements (there are 4 in total) are an elegant slow valse and a tango.

Two other composers offer up similar quartet/string orchestra options for little known works.  Robin Milford writes beautiful music and his miniature quartet/string concertino definitely deserves hearing.  It was recorded on Hyperion by the Guildhall strings 20 years ago now so deserves revival.  I have the original set of parts for this so less work to perform this!  Lastly Gordon Jacob's Denbigh Suite another either/or work.

I've also spent some time writing out some of Alec Rowley's works for Strings.  Rowley was nothing if not prolific and this results in him using some recurring compositional formulas and tricks not always to the music's benefit.  But the best music is certainly worth an airing.  I rather like the brief "Legend" for solo violin, piano and strings.  There's a bigger Fantasie written for Kathleen Riddick and her orchestra which would be worth hearing although a couple of passages sound like "composing by the yard".....

Roy Bland


relm1

I enjoyed this.  A contemporary, hour-long cantata on the sea.  Very good recording!


Irons

Been listening and liking Geoffrey Bush (not to be confused with Alan Bush) Symphony No.1.



Reading a synopsis of his life I was not surprised to discover his youth was spent as a chorister at Salisbury Cathedral as the opening of his 1st Symphony felt like entering a vast Cathedral. Similar to Malcolm Arnold a second urgent theme pops out of nowhere.
The second movement "Elegiac Blues" is inspired by the death of Constant Lambert.
The finale has the urgency of the first movement but more playful.
Geoffrey Bush is a fine orchestrator, particularly impressive how he blends instruments which comes over well in a fine Lyrita recording. Out of symphonies by 'second division' English composers I would place the Geoffrey Bush 1st close to top of the pile.

You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.

Maestro267

John Foulds' A World Requiem was premiered on this day 100 years ago, at the Royal Legion Festival of Remembrance on Armistice Day of 1923 at the Royal Albert Hall.

Irons

C.W. Orr: A Cotswold Hill Tune.


A short piece I find utterly charming. Primary a composer of songs 'A Cotswold Hill Tune' the only orchestral work Orr wrote, thanks in no small part to Eugene Goossens.
I love the story (courtesy of 'The Land of Lost Content') of Orr strolling down Oxford Street and spying Mr and Mrs Delius, proceeding to follow the couple into a restaurant where he introduced himself. Delius invited Orr to join them for a meal.
English pastoralism not for everyone but beautiful artworks featured in video above a bonus.   
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.

vandermolen

Quote from: Irons on December 22, 2023, 01:29:49 AMC.W. Orr: A Cotswold Hill Tune.


A short piece I find utterly charming. Primary a composer of songs 'A Cotswold Hill Tune' the only orchestral work Orr wrote, thanks in no small part to Eugene Goossens.
I love the story (courtesy of 'The Land of Lost Content') of Orr strolling down Oxford Street and spying Mr and Mrs Delius, proceeding to follow the couple into a restaurant where he introduced himself. Delius invited Orr to join them for a meal.
English pastoralism not for everyone but beautiful artworks featured in video above a bonus.   
Very charming! Thanks for posting it Lol. It sounds a bit like Delius.
"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).

Cato

Quote from: Irons on December 22, 2023, 01:29:49 AMC.W. Orr: A Cotswold Hill Tune.


A short piece I find utterly charming. Primary a composer of songs 'A Cotswold Hill Tune' the only orchestral work Orr wrote, thanks in no small part to Eugene Goossens.

I love the story (courtesy of 'The Land of Lost Content') of Orr strolling down Oxford Street and spying Mr and Mrs Delius, proceeding to follow the couple into a restaurant where he introduced himself. Delius invited Orr to join them for a meal.


English pastoralism is not for everyone but beautiful artworks featured in video above a bonus.


 


Quote from: vandermolen on December 23, 2023, 01:43:13 AMVery charming! Thanks for posting it Lol. It sounds a bit like Delius.


Many thanks for the link!

I was thinking of an old joke yesterday: "What is your opinion of English Classical Music?

"Oh, you mean Elgar!"

And I was thinking of this because we (i.e. Mrs. Cato and I ) were listening to English Christmas Carols from various recordings, one from the 1980's called Carols from New College and another from the Catholic Westminster Choir in London called Adeste Fideles on the Hyperion label.

Such marvelous music!  Throughout the years have my favorites been Once in Royal David's City (a.k.a. Irby by Henry Gauntlett, In the Bleak Mid-Winter by the appropriately named Henry Darke, the anonymous The Holly and the Ivy, and Peter Warlock's I Sing of a Maiden.

Not every hymn/carol on the CD's comes from a British composer, but the musicianship of the performers is exquisite and a tribute to Music programs in England.

And speaking of Elgar, I was listening to this classic recording this morning:



"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Cato

Quote from: Cato on December 23, 2023, 02:12:58 AMMany thanks for the link!

I was thinking of an old joke yesterday: "What is your opinion of English Classical Music?

"Oh, you mean Elgar!"

And I was thinking of this because we (i.e. Mrs. Cato and I ) were listening to English Christmas Carols from various recordings, one from the 1980's called Carols from New College and another from the Catholic Westminster Choir in London called Adeste Fideles on the Hyperion label.

Such marvelous music!  Throughout the years have my favorites been Once in Royal David's City (a.k.a. Irby by Henry Gauntlett, In the Bleak Mid-Winter by the appropriately named Henry Darke, the anonymous The Holly and the Ivy, and Peter Warlock's I Sing of a Maiden.

Not every hymn/carol on the CD's comes from a British composer, but the musicianship of the performers is exquisite and a tribute to Music programs in England.

And speaking of Elgar, I was listening to this classic recording this morning:





The video is in fact available on YouTube: "Elgar Cello Concerto, Du Pre."  There is also an early videotape of her playing this concerto, while a very young Daniel Barenboim conducts the orchestra.
"Meet Miss Ruth Sherwood, from Columbus, Ohio, the Middle of the Universe!"

- Brian Aherne introducing Rosalind Russell in  My Sister Eileen (1942)

Christo

Have listened to Ruth Gipps' Third Symphony (1965) with some regularity over the past year. With my hand on my heart, I can now declare that it is my favourite 'third' of all time.
The competition, for me, includes third symphonies by a.o.: Ralph Vaughan Williams, John Kinsella, Carl Nielsen, Stanley Bate, Eduard Tubin, Herman Koppel, David Diamond, Ludwig van Beethoven, Felix Mendelssohn-Bartholdy. Recommended!

... 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

Symphonic Addict

Oh, seriously? I heard that Chandos CD and whilst the music is nice and entertaining enough, to me it is hardly essential. Give me the 3rds by Nielsen or Beethoven instead.  ;)
Part of the tragedy of the Palestinians is that they have essentially no international support for a good reason: they've no wealth, they've no power, so they've no rights.

Noam Chomsky

Christo

Quote from: Symphonic Addict on December 23, 2023, 01:35:31 PMOh, seriously? I heard that Chandos CD and whilst the music is nice and entertaining enough, to me it is hardly essential. Give me the 3rds by Nielsen or Beethoven instead.  ;)
Yes, I'm serious: I find it suberb. And I forgot many third symphonies, of course, among them those by Leevi Madetoja, Erland von Koch and Camille Saint-Saëns.
... 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

Irons

Quote from: vandermolen on December 23, 2023, 01:43:13 AMVery charming! Thanks for posting it Lol. It sounds a bit like Delius.

A pleasure, Jeffrey. Delius had his disciples of which Orr and Warlock were two.

Quote from: Cato on December 23, 2023, 03:07:48 AMThe video is in fact available on YouTube: "Elgar Cello Concerto, Du Pre."  There is also an early videotape of her playing this concerto, while a very young Daniel Barenboim conducts the orchestra.

Coincidently, I listened to du Pre/Barbirolli Elgar CC a couple of days ago. I worry that over time that recording will wear thin due to overindulgence but I'm still thrilled by it.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

I opened the door people rushed through and I was left holding the knob - Bo Diddley.

Roy Bland


Roasted Swan

Quote from: Roy Bland on January 07, 2024, 08:45:03 PM

From Simon Callaghan's website;

"For release on Lyrita in March 2024.

This CD brings together three prolific but little-known British composers: Dorothy Howell (1898-1982), Pamela Harrison (1915-90), and Madeleine Dring (1923-77). Working in the same country at the same time, these composers had much in common. All studied at either the Royal Academy or Royal College of Music, and went on to have dual careers as composer-performers. They wrote tonal music in a style that would fall out of fashion in the later twentieth century, which has certainly contributed to their disappearance from concert halls. And above all, they composed with a great sense of humour. The music on this disc sparkles with wit and energy. In the mid-twentieth century the two piano combination was popular both in the concert hall and for light entertainment. It proved a perfect medium for composers who liked to bring a lightness of touch to their work, allowing them to write pieces that were fun both to play and to watch.

Madeleine Dring Danza Gaya
Madeleine Dring Valse française
Madeleine Dring Italian Dance
Madeleine Dring Caribbean Dance
Pamela Harrison Dance Little Lady
Dorothy Howell Recuerdos preciosos No. 1 in B minor
Dorothy Howell Recuerdos preciosos No. 2 in E♭
Madeleine Dring Sonata for 2 Pianos
Madeleine Dring Three for Two
Madeleine Dring Tarantelle
Madeleine Dring Four Duets
Dorothy Howell Mazurka
Dorothy Howell Spindrift
Madeleine Dring Lilliburlero Variations"