Author Topic: The British Composers Thread  (Read 131610 times)

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Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #700 on: August 07, 2020, 05:21:48 PM »
Have listened to Bate's 3rd Symphony three times already and will clock up many more. I didn't find it derivative which is often a criticism thrown at works from this time and place. May have imagined it, but buried in the opening there is a musical figure reminiscent of a similar theme from Shostakovich's 5th Symphony. Again, for a fleeting moment about at 4.10 during the second movement I am reminded of the same work. But most fleeting as I say, Bate has his own voice in this work. In a nutshell the first movement is powerful and the second, with an ageless quality, noble. The second movement is growing on me at a pace. As for the third = WOW Rock n' Roll meets Cossack dance! The most exciting and thrilling symphonic movement since Nielsen I have heard.

Pictures from Dante by Eric Chisholm is a cinematic work. The first half has echoes of "The Isle of the Dead" which I think has already been said, and the second half of Respighi. Again a strong work which should be heard separately from the Bate, I think. The coda is very effective.

That both these works are premiere recordings is depending how you look it either tragic or a joke.

Since you mention Nielsen, right now I'm listening to that symphony and I'm detecting a closeness with his style, mostly regarding the sense of energy and also some gestures. I can be wrong, but that was what I felt.

I would say this is one of the most exciting and remarkable lesser-known British symphonies I've stumbled upon. It's really memorable and riveting.
«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

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Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #701 on: August 08, 2020, 02:00:47 AM »
Since you mention Nielsen, right now I'm listening to that symphony and I'm detecting a closeness with his style, mostly regarding the sense of energy and also some gestures. I can be wrong, but that was what I felt.

I would say this is one of the most exciting and remarkable lesser-known British symphonies I've stumbled upon. It's really memorable and riveting.

Yes, I agree. Nielsen does not come up by accident. The exuberance of Bate's 3rd is trademark Nielsen.

Pleased you like the work and that the general consensus is positive. I am aware how easy it is to over-praise and slip into hyperbole but genuinely believe the 3rd is a great symphony shamefully neglected. I thank Jeffrey for introducing me to the work and composer. 
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #702 on: August 08, 2020, 02:11:34 AM »
The kids have been gone for years, so the ‘family’ now consists of only two persons  :D. When my wife goes on an errand or for a day (or a week) to visit one of the kids, I pull all the stops, neighbours be damned !  >:D
I thought that I heard "Ride of the Valkyries" coming from somewhere north of me yesterday!  ;)

PD

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #703 on: August 08, 2020, 07:41:56 AM »
Considering as it seems that the UK is now experiencing recurrent yearly bouts of hot weather, doesn't it make sense to at least get a couple of fans?  And for you, Jeffrey, what about trying out some kind of air purifier to help at least when you're inside?  :)
That sounds far too sensible for me PD. We do have a dehumidifier somewhere and I go to sleep with a CPAC machine on my nose (too much information!  :o) It's like waking up in an intensive care unit every day but it helps me sleep.
"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 Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #704 on: August 08, 2020, 02:01:37 PM »
That sounds far too sensible for me PD. We do have a dehumidifier somewhere and I go to sleep with a CPAC machine on my nose (too much information!  :o) It's like waking up in an intensive care unit every day but it helps me sleep.
Oh, no!  Well, I guess that I'm happy that it helps you?  By the way, I'm guessing that you meant a CPAP vs. a CPAC?

PD

Online kyjo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #705 on: August 08, 2020, 05:01:54 PM »
Regarding Bate, I find his 3rd Symphony most impressive and quite exciting, but if anything his 4th is a deeper and more individual work. It has real substance and eloquence IMO. I found his substantial Viola Concerto a bit too derivative of RVW for comfort, though the slow movement is beautiful. It would certainly be nice to hear more of Bate's music, such as his first two symphonies, PCs 1 and 3-5, 3 VCs, multiple ballets, and some chamber music (provided they are extant). He was certainly quite prolific considering how short-lived he was.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #706 on: August 08, 2020, 11:11:00 PM »
Regarding Bate, I find his 3rd Symphony most impressive and quite exciting, but if anything his 4th is a deeper and more individual work. It has real substance and eloquence IMO. I found his substantial Viola Concerto a bit too derivative of RVW for comfort, though the slow movement is beautiful. It would certainly be nice to hear more of Bate's music, such as his first two symphonies, PCs 1 and 3-5, 3 VCs, multiple ballets, and some chamber music (provided they are extant). He was certainly quite prolific considering how short-lived he was.

To return to the 4th is on my to do list. I didn't find it as coherent as the 3rd but entirely possible that getting to know Bate's work better I will appreciate it more second time. I have ordered the Viola Concerto, being derivative is a criticism that is beginning to turn into a mantra which always makes me suspicious. If it is, so be it, but I can think of worse composers to be derivative from. Odd with recent Bate discussion, that far as I'm aware, not one mention of his Cello Concerto - is it that bad? 
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #707 on: August 08, 2020, 11:31:46 PM »
Oh, no!  Well, I guess that I'm happy that it helps you?  By the way, I'm guessing that you meant a CPAP vs. a CPAC?

PD
OT
Ye, that's right PD
"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: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #708 on: August 08, 2020, 11:34:24 PM »
To return to the 4th is on my to do list. I didn't find it as coherent as the 3rd but entirely possible that getting to know Bate's work better I will appreciate it more second time. I have ordered the Viola Concerto, being derivative is a criticism that is beginning to turn into a mantra which always makes me suspicious. If it is, so be it, but I can think of worse composers to be derivative from. Odd with recent Bate discussion, that far as I'm aware, not one mention of his Cello Concerto - is it that bad?
I've hardly listened to the Cello Concerto so must rectify that soon. I agree with Kyle about enjoying Symphony No.4, with its great 'doomed defiance' ending, just as much as Symphony 3.
"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 Roasted Swan

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #709 on: August 09, 2020, 02:17:39 AM »
To return to the 4th is on my to do list. I didn't find it as coherent as the 3rd but entirely possible that getting to know Bate's work better I will appreciate it more second time. I have ordered the Viola Concerto, being derivative is a criticism that is beginning to turn into a mantra which always makes me suspicious. If it is, so be it, but I can think of worse composers to be derivative from. Odd with recent Bate discussion, that far as I'm aware, not one mention of his Cello Concerto - is it that bad?

In the spirit of full disclosure, I don't feel the love for Bate's music generally that many do here!  I enjoy it but would not place it generally above other neglected British music that I feel should be resurrected first.  So that said, no real surprise that I enjoyed the Cello Concerto without feeling it was a lost masterpiece.  No doubting the quality of the performance and the dedication of the performers who no doubt have greater insights into the merits of the work than I.  I have no issue with music that is nominally "derivative" either - most things are to some degree and novelty alone is no guarantee of quality.

Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #710 on: August 09, 2020, 08:58:02 AM »
In the spirit of full disclosure, I don't feel the love for Bate's music generally that many do here!  I enjoy it but would not place it generally above other neglected British music that I feel should be resurrected first.  So that said, no real surprise that I enjoyed the Cello Concerto without feeling it was a lost masterpiece.  No doubting the quality of the performance and the dedication of the performers who no doubt have greater insights into the merits of the work than I.  I have no issue with music that is nominally "derivative" either - most things are to some degree and novelty alone is no guarantee of quality.

I doubt "a lost masterpiece" exists. I have full confidence in the fullness of time working out what is great, good and not so good and have no trouble following the line laid by posterity in the order of worth in the world of music. Taste does have a role though otherwise we would all listen to Bach, Beethoven and Brahms and not bother with the rest. I quite like the fact you do not enjoy Bate's music as much as I do - even if I have only listened to two works! If he only makes a connection with a few listeners then his music is worthwhile and neglect a travesty. Much as I try Bax leaves me cold and yet his reputation is far ahead of Bate ......no accounting for taste!
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #711 on: August 09, 2020, 10:37:47 PM »
I doubt "a lost masterpiece" exists. I have full confidence in the fullness of time working out what is great, good and not so good and have no trouble following the line laid by posterity in the order of worth in the world of music. Taste does have a role though otherwise we would all listen to Bach, Beethoven and Brahms and not bother with the rest. I quite like the fact you do not enjoy Bate's music as much as I do - even if I have only listened to two works! If he only makes a connection with a few listeners then his music is worthwhile and neglect a travesty. Much as I try Bax leaves me cold and yet his reputation is far ahead of Bate ......no accounting for taste!

Absolutely - any Art that connects with even a single person has merit.  I suppose the more "universal" the connection, the "greater" the Art.  I am sure there are 'lost' masterpieces out there - of course as soon as we know about them they are not lost any more!  A touch of the Rumsfeldian "known unknowns" perhaps?!

Offline Andante

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #712 on: August 10, 2020, 02:05:32 AM »
What an interesting thread I have only just seen it so will spend some time reading from the beginning.
Andante always true to his word has kicked the Marijuana soaked bot with its addled brain in to touch.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #713 on: August 10, 2020, 05:00:35 AM »
Might be of interest here.
Released next month:
https://youtu.be/1WQcETwqRNM
"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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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #714 on: August 10, 2020, 06:32:02 AM »
My current foray into the works of Richard Arnell (after a few years of neglect :-[) has rekindled my admiration for the composer. His sense of fantasy and a certain unpredictability remind me of George Antheil, while his flair for colour and the occasional splashy gesture strike me as quite un-English.

I just noticed there is a 7th symphony I didn't know existed. I thought he had written only 6 of them. Must investigate this !

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #715 on: August 10, 2020, 07:09:13 AM »
My current foray into the works of Richard Arnell (after a few years of neglect :-[) has rekindled my admiration for the composer. His sense of fantasy and a certain unpredictability remind me of George Antheil, while his flair for colour and the occasional splashy gesture strike me as quite un-English.

I just noticed there is a 7th symphony I didn't know existed. I thought he had written only 6 of them. Must investigate this !
It's here André, although my main interest in this CD is in Bate's IMO terrific 4th Symphony. Arnell's symphonies were a great discovery for me, especially No.3 which I played over and over again when it first appeared on CD and the very moving No.5. I enjoyed all the others as well:
"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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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #716 on: August 10, 2020, 08:42:53 AM »
Thanks Jeffrey ! I see the cover states ‘realised and completed by Martin Yates’, so that would suggest the work was upon the composer’s death. Which probably accounts for my impression of just 6 symphonies...

Offline Symphonic Addict

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #717 on: August 11, 2020, 11:31:47 AM »
Arnell's 7th Symphony is quite good IMO. I don't care if it wasn't finished by the composer himself. For its merits is an interesting completion.
«Music is liquid architecture; architecture is frozen music.»

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Online kyjo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #718 on: August 12, 2020, 08:27:24 AM »
To return to the 4th is on my to do list. I didn't find it as coherent as the 3rd but entirely possible that getting to know Bate's work better I will appreciate it more second time. I have ordered the Viola Concerto, being derivative is a criticism that is beginning to turn into a mantra which always makes me suspicious. If it is, so be it, but I can think of worse composers to be derivative from. Odd with recent Bate discussion, that far as I'm aware, not one mention of his Cello Concerto - is it that bad?

I agree that “derivative” is an overused and inaccurate criticism often leveled at the music of lesser-known composers, and I enjoy a lot of music that is often called “derivative”. But I think in the case of Bate’s Viola Concerto, the criticism is somewhat justified. ;)

And yeah, I’ve been meaning to check out his Cello Concerto!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #719 on: August 12, 2020, 08:33:09 AM »
I agree that “derivative” is an overused and inaccurate criticism often leveled at the music of lesser-known composers, and I enjoy a lot of music that is often called “derivative”. But I think in the case of Bate’s Viola Concerto, the criticism is somewhat justified. ;)

And yeah, I’ve been meaning to check out his Cello Concerto!
The Viola Concerto is a fine work and Bate does have his own style despite the possible influences.
"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).