The British Composers Thread

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

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Pohjolas Daughter

Quote from: Irons on March 17, 2024, 01:40:37 AMI admire your honesty as rather then being amused I'm slightly embarrassed by my love of English music. I would be mortified if thought by others of xenophobic tendencies. To be an expat must make the appreciation that much greater. I was told a story of a Brit living abroad driving when some English music came over his car radio. Sobbing with tears rolling down his face he was forced to pull over!
Now I will have to see if I can come up with 23. ;)    
@calyptorhynchus and @Irons

23?!  Uh, oh...I'm sunk!  :-[

Pohjolas Daughter

Daverz



Richard Rodney Bennett: Piano Concerto, from the complete Kovacevich on Philips box.

According to Wikipedia:

"Sir Richard Rodney Bennett CBE (29 March 1936 – 24 December 2012) was an English composer of film, TV and concert music, and also a jazz pianist and vocalist. He was based in New York City from 1979 until his death there in 2012.
[...]
He later studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Howard Ferguson and Lennox Berkeley. Ferguson regarded him as extraordinarily brilliant, having perhaps the greatest talent of any British composer in his generation, though lacking in a personal style. During this time, Bennett attended some of the Darmstadt summer courses in 1955, where he was exposed to serialism. He later spent two years in Paris as a student of the prominent serialist Pierre Boulez between 1957 and 1959."

I sampled some of the Bennett releases on Chandos, but just could not connect with his rather Bergian music at the time.  I had more success with this recording of the Piano Concerto played brilliantly by Kovacevich, perhaps because I knew what to expect.  I suppose this is the same as the recording on Lyrita; I can't imagine Kovacevich recording this twice.


 

vandermolen

Quote from: Daverz on April 08, 2024, 01:55:53 PM

Richard Rodney Bennett: Piano Concerto, from the complete Kovacevich on Philips box.

According to Wikipedia:

"Sir Richard Rodney Bennett CBE (29 March 1936 – 24 December 2012) was an English composer of film, TV and concert music, and also a jazz pianist and vocalist. He was based in New York City from 1979 until his death there in 2012.
[...]
He later studied at the Royal Academy of Music with Howard Ferguson and Lennox Berkeley. Ferguson regarded him as extraordinarily brilliant, having perhaps the greatest talent of any British composer in his generation, though lacking in a personal style. During this time, Bennett attended some of the Darmstadt summer courses in 1955, where he was exposed to serialism. He later spent two years in Paris as a student of the prominent serialist Pierre Boulez between 1957 and 1959."

I sampled some of the Bennett releases on Chandos, but just could not connect with his rather Bergian music at the time.  I had more success with this recording of the Piano Concerto played brilliantly by Kovacevich, perhaps because I knew what to expect.  I suppose this is the same as the recording on Lyrita; I can't imagine Kovacevich recording this twice.


 
I had that LP! Great nostalgia trip  :)
"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).

Roasted Swan

#1463
If it weren't for the efforts of Dutton the music of Montague Phillips would be all but forgotten.  The three discs on that label represent pretty much the only/all of his available music.

He is one of those composers who aspired to being a great and serious writer yet who greatest "hit" was in the the world of lighter music.  In Phillips' case with an operetta in the 20's called "The Rebel Maid" which is quite nice but more Edward German than George Gershwin (given the year).  But this is the same dilemma that afflicted the likes of John Foulds (or Haydn Wood?) but Foulds seemed to find a degree(?) of reconcillation between writing commercial/light music and his big serious works.  Phillips' music is really attractive but does fall between the two stools of light and serious.  So too "big"/tricky for your average end of the pier orchestra but too "light" for proper orchestras and conductors to programme.  He also lacks the melodic memorability of a Coates or Ketelbey but the orchestration is lovely and the harmony rich and romantic.

Certainly on the evidence of these Dutton discs (his music appears nowhere on the Hyperion or Marco Polo/Naxos British Light Music Series) he deserves a hearing and is tremendously well played by the reliable BBC Concert Orchestra.  There is one rather fine/bigger score that does not appear on these discs -Suite "The World in the Open Air" for orchestra which I have the sheet music for in my orchestral parts library but never heard "live".  Anyone who enjoys British/20th century light(er) music should certainly give him a listen.  Checking out his Proms appearances is quite salutory - really quite a few performances up until the mid 1920's (back in the day when Proms Programmes were a pot-pourri of songs and orchestral and noveliteis....) but pretty much nothing since.


calyptorhynchus

Just heard that Andrew Davis has died. Great champion of British music...
'Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth.' Robert Burton

vandermolen

Quote from: calyptorhynchus on April 22, 2024, 01:19:08 AMJust heard that Andrew Davis has died. Great champion of British music...
As seen here:
"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).

calyptorhynchus

My St George's Day listening so far:

The Lark Ascending
Robert Simpson SQ12 and String Quintet 1

I think I'll go Elizabethan/Jacobean this afternoon with Byrd and Dowland.
'Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth.' Robert Burton

Luke

No better St George's Day listening for me, in England, in April, than the overwhelming masterpiece that is April-England, by John Foulds. A piece that gets to the heart of things, one that is always a treat to hear.

Roasted Swan

Quote from: Luke on April 23, 2024, 01:45:12 AMNo better St George's Day listening for me, in England, in April, than the overwhelming masterpiece that is April-England, by John Foulds. A piece that gets to the heart of things, one that is always a treat to hear.

Completely agree - genuinely remarkable, occupying a similar landscape - literal and emotional to Bridge's equally masterful Enter Spring.

calyptorhynchus

I finished the day with Brian's English Suite No.5 and some of Tye's consorts played on recorders.

But I must listen to the Foulds.
'Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth.' Robert Burton

Luke

To be listened to (loud) whilst bowling along through a sunny, verdant swathe of springtime English countryside. There's an alchemical brilliance about the piece: April (fanfares) + England (folksong style melody) = the stunning, mystical build-up over a ground bass in the central section, which represents growth, fertility, life, burgeoning etc. Ecstatic stuff.

Big David

This is a fascinating thread.  I listen to a lot of British music and there's stuff here I've not heard of.  I shall explore a lot of these works.

Today I listened to the Piano Concerto and Symphony no. 3 by John Joubert.  The pianist is Martin Jones, with the BBC NOW con. William Boughton.

calyptorhynchus

Another new discovery.



Eleanor Alberga was born in Jamaica, but lives in the UK. These string quartets are excellent.

There is also a Lyrita disc with her Violin Concertos, which I haven't heard yet, and a new disk with her Symphony is coming out later in May.

And her Piano Concerto is being broadcast on BBC Radio 3 on Tuesday evening UK time.
'Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth.' Robert Burton

calyptorhynchus

And here is the link to Eleanor Alberga's Piano Concerto (world premiere)

https://mega.nz/file/3eZTHQhb#UMVSiKLYWGZCGSlW6h7nv7Ip5i8GLsUtfYwQtG7syas

Broadcast Tuesday 14 May 2024, BBC Radio 3
Alim Beisembayev, piano
Royal Liverpool Philharmonic Orchestra
Domingo Hindoyan, conductor

There are four movements: Love - Play - Beauty - Excitement

 :)
'Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth.' Robert Burton