Author Topic: The British Composers Thread  (Read 63966 times)

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Online Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #440 on: August 13, 2019, 05:59:51 AM »
You have to hear 'The Trees so High'. It is in a class of its own IMO. Lol (Irons) agrees.
 :)

Thanks to this thread I listened to the Lyrita recording last night, Jeffrey. So beautifully paced and the choral ending is icing on cake.
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #441 on: August 14, 2019, 01:20:41 AM »
Thanks to this thread I listened to the Lyrita recording last night, Jeffrey. So beautifully paced and the choral ending is icing on cake.
Yes, it's a most wonderful performance Lol and one of Vernon Handley's finest achievements as well in my opinion. I wouldn't be without the Chandos twofer either, not least because of the Sainton works.
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 01:25:41 AM by vandermolen »
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #442 on: August 14, 2019, 01:29:36 AM »
Also his Symphony n 2. on Dutton IMHO is a great piece clearly inspired at RVW First

This is the 'Odysseus' Symphony I think. It didn't make much of an impression on me but I must have another listen to it following your recommendation.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #443 on: August 15, 2019, 01:40:46 AM »
I'm looking to branch out into hearing more English/British composers. My knowledge there is limited almost entirely to Vaughan Williams, who I like but don't really love. His music is clearly great, but I have to be in the right mood, etc.

If anyone can point me in the direction of key works, or better yet great recordings of said works, that would be greatly appreciated. One I'm particularly curious about is Delius, as he spent time living in my home state of Florida and wrote music about it. I'm looking at this CD:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Hu0HaAiyL.jpg

... anyone have it? Other than that, how are those EMI "British Composers" series discs? This one, for example, looks good:



Elgar kind of mystifies me and I'm still looking for a way into his music. I'm convinced there is something great there but I don't know what.

Online Biffo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #444 on: August 15, 2019, 03:01:54 AM »
I'm looking to branch out into hearing more English/British composers. My knowledge there is limited almost entirely to Vaughan Williams, who I like but don't really love. His music is clearly great, but I have to be in the right mood, etc.

If anyone can point me in the direction of key works, or better yet great recordings of said works, that would be greatly appreciated. One I'm particularly curious about is Delius, as he spent time living in my home state of Florida and wrote music about it. I'm looking at this CD:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Hu0HaAiyL.jpg

... anyone have it? Other than that, how are those EMI "British Composers" series discs? This one, for example, looks good:



Elgar kind of mystifies me and I'm still looking for a way into his music. I'm convinced there is something great there but I don't know what.

I don't have the disc you mention but I do have a fine recording of the Florida Suite from Mackerras and the Welsh National Opera Orchestra. This Double Decca also contains his North Country Sketches and several shorter works. Appalachia is another work inspired by his time in America and one of my favourites; Mackerras/WNOO have also recorded that work for Decca. Both albums highly recommended.

Delius told Eric Fenby (his amanuensis and friend) that before moving to Florida he never looked at nature then for six months he did nothing else; clearly Florida made a big impact on him.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #445 on: August 15, 2019, 03:44:40 AM »
I'm looking to branch out into hearing more English/British composers. My knowledge there is limited almost entirely to Vaughan Williams, who I like but don't really love. His music is clearly great, but I have to be in the right mood, etc.

If anyone can point me in the direction of key works, or better yet great recordings of said works, that would be greatly appreciated. One I'm particularly curious about is Delius, as he spent time living in my home state of Florida and wrote music about it. I'm looking at this CD:

https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/I/61Hu0HaAiyL.jpg

... anyone have it? Other than that, how are those EMI "British Composers" series discs? This one, for example, looks good:



Elgar kind of mystifies me and I'm still looking for a way into his music. I'm convinced there is something great there but I don't know what.

I have that CD and it is very good. Barbirolli was a fine interpreter of Elgar and Vaughan Williams. My favourite Delius work is 'In a Summer Garden' but also the Violin and Piano concerto. Might I suggest Moeran's Symphony as well worth exploring. There are a number of recordings.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #446 on: August 15, 2019, 05:21:08 AM »


Elgar kind of mystifies me and I'm still looking for a way into his music. I'm convinced there is something great there but I don't know what.


I find it so interesting you say that and admire you a lot for having a go. I think it a fact that Elgar does not travel well and a few Americans I have talked to dismiss the 1st and admit there is worth in the 2nd. I think both symphonies are great and also the two concerti. Go for it! Barbirolli conducting Elgar's 1st Symphony and report back. I'm not sure Delius is a good starting point.
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

Offline vers la flamme

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #447 on: August 15, 2019, 07:05:37 AM »
Noted, thanks everyone. I’m listening to Mackerras’ recording of Delius’ Florida Suite and I like it. I like how atmospheric it is, very pastoral. I think this is a staple of English music or at least all that I know. I’ll look out for this two disc set.

I’ll give that Barbirolli/Elgar a shot. I have the Elgar Sea Pictures on Naxos and I like it, but before I got that (for free) I hadn’t heard anything of his that interested me. Anyway, I’m a fan of Barbirolli and I’ll give the music a shot on the strength of his interpretive abilities alone.

Moeran is one who was recently recommended to me as well. I’ll check out his first symphony.

Thanks anyone. Any other greats I’m missing?

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #448 on: August 15, 2019, 12:27:39 PM »
Noted, thanks everyone. I’m listening to Mackerras’ recording of Delius’ Florida Suite and I like it. I like how atmospheric it is, very pastoral. I think this is a staple of English music or at least all that I know. I’ll look out for this two disc set.

I’ll give that Barbirolli/Elgar a shot. I have the Elgar Sea Pictures on Naxos and I like it, but before I got that (for free) I hadn’t heard anything of his that interested me. Anyway, I’m a fan of Barbirolli and I’ll give the music a shot on the strength of his interpretive abilities alone.

Moeran is one who was recently recommended to me as well. I’ll check out his first symphony.

Thanks anyone. Any other greats I’m missing?
Yes, Walton Symphony 1
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online Roasted Swan

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #449 on: August 15, 2019, 09:55:39 PM »
Yes, Walton Symphony 1

+1 for Walton 1..... and while you trying Walton listen to your local band here..... (James Judd/Aaron Rosand/Florida PO)



Judd is a fine conductor (who does an excellent Elgar 1 by the way) - but this includes some typically stirring film music plus the wonderful - and just recently departed - Aaron Rosand in the violin concerto.  This work shows the more elusive deeply lyrical side of Walton that the Symphony reveals less of.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #450 on: August 31, 2019, 10:49:59 AM »
A marvellous (IMO) new release. I enjoyed every work (although less so the Cowen). However, the great new discovery for me was Patrick Hadley's tone poem 'Kinder Scout' of 1923. I expect that it will be of interest to Lol (Irons) of this forum in view of how much he enjoyed Hadley's poetic and moving masterpiece (which I can't recommend enough) 'The Trees so High'. 'Kinder Scout' lasts under seven minutes but I found it deeply affecting and am listening to it over and over again (or to use a phrase which amused the sadly missed cilgwyn, I can't stop playing it).
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Online Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #451 on: September 04, 2019, 10:31:36 AM »
A marvellous (IMO) new release. I enjoyed every work (although less so the Cowen). However, the great new discovery for me was Patrick Hadley's tone poem 'Kinder Scout' of 1923. I expect that it will be of interest to Lol (Irons) of this forum in view of how much he enjoyed Hadley's poetic and moving masterpiece (which I can't recommend enough) 'The Trees so High'. 'Kinder Scout' lasts under seven minutes but I found it deeply affecting and am listening to it over and over again (or to use a phrase which amused the sadly missed cilgwyn, I can't stop playing it).


Most interesting, Jeffrey. Another Hadley work is good news indeed, and 1923 is a significant year in the history of the football club I follow. Did you attend the recent Dorothy Howell Prom?

This gives me the opportunity to comment on the Alwyn VC after heads up from Jeffrey. On first hearing the subtlety of the work was lost on me but after subsequent hearings the penny dropped and I have grown to love the concerto. The first two movements are delicate and understated with a sad dreamlike quality. Melancholy is an overused term to describe music but this is what it is. The third movement is more traditional in concept. That the score sat forgotten in a draw for fifty years I cannot comprehend. I am full of admiration for the soloist Lydia Mordkovitch, a heavy hand would destroy this work but she does not fall into that trap. With her it is all about the music and respect for the composer. She was well taught by David Oistrakh.   
And behind the slime and the croaking there was , sure enough, like an old master beneath a layer of dirt, the noble outline of that divine music. - Hermann Hesse, Steppenwolf.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #452 on: September 04, 2019, 11:55:04 AM »
Most interesting, Jeffrey. Another Hadley work is good news indeed, and 1923 is a significant year in the history of the football club I follow. Did you attend the recent Dorothy Howell Prom?

This gives me the opportunity to comment on the Alwyn VC after heads up from Jeffrey. On first hearing the subtlety of the work was lost on me but after subsequent hearings the penny dropped and I have grown to love the concerto. The first two movements are delicate and understated with a sad dreamlike quality. Melancholy is an overused term to describe music but this is what it is. The third movement is more traditional in concept. That the score sat forgotten in a draw for fifty years I cannot comprehend. I am full of admiration for the soloist Lydia Mordkovitch, a heavy hand would destroy this work but she does not fall into that trap. With her it is all about the music and respect for the composer. She was well taught by David Oistrakh.
Interesting Lol. Yes, I was at the Dorothy Howell Prom and greatly enjoyed every work, especially Weinberg's 3rd Symphony but it was great to hear Howell's 'Lamia' live. Glad you enjoyed the Alwyn VC. I think that it was rejected by the likes of Rubbra on the BBC listening panel which, much as I admire Rubbra's own music, really annoys me as I think that the Alwyn is one of the great British violin concertos.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

Offline Maestro267

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #453 on: September 12, 2019, 07:51:12 AM »
Picked up a Lyrita twofer with Symphonies 1-4 and a couple of other shorter works by Peter Racine Fricker. I'm all for obscure 20th-century British symphonies, and this label is a goldmine for them.