Author Topic: The British Composers Thread  (Read 131604 times)

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Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #720 on: August 12, 2020, 11:03:36 PM »
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!

I enjoyed the viola concerto as I thought I would. I find it far more of interest the work's style then being derivative or not. Due to a lack of recordings my theory cannot be tested but both the 3rd and 4th Symphonies have no connection with the English pastoral school and yet the Viola Concerto has. I find the symphonies to be cosmopolitan works. Bate spent a third of his adult life abroad and the viola concerto (perhaps, as we don't know) his most "English" work composed in America. Coincidentally, RVW wrote his in France. I wonder if home-sickness is at play here. Not as accomplished as RVW he required a template to compose a pastoral work and who better then to use as an example then his ex-teacher RVW, to whom he dedicated the Viola Concerto to. Pure conjecture, but doesn't alter the fact Bate composed a fine concerto.
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 #721 on: August 12, 2020, 11:51:38 PM »
I enjoyed the viola concerto as I thought I would. I find it far more of interest the work's style then being derivative or not. Due to a lack of recordings my theory cannot be tested but both the 3rd and 4th Symphonies have no connection with the English pastoral school and yet the Viola Concerto has. I find the symphonies to be cosmopolitan works. Bate spent a third of his adult life abroad and the viola concerto (perhaps, as we don't know) his most "English" work composed in America. Coincidentally, RVW wrote his in France. I wonder if home-sickness is at play here. Not as accomplished as RVW he required a template to compose a pastoral work and who better then to use as an example then his ex-teacher RVW, to whom he dedicated the Viola Concerto to. Pure conjecture, but doesn't alter the fact Bate composed a fine concerto.

the world is better for having the Bate Concerto in it - however it came to be written!

Offline pjme

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #722 on: August 13, 2020, 12:28:34 AM »
Has this performance been mentioned yet? The sound isn't perfect.

https://youtu.be/mrOnGinlWuI

Bate symphony nr. 3 / Adrian Boult

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #723 on: August 13, 2020, 01:12:33 AM »
Has this performance been mentioned yet? The sound isn't perfect.

https://youtu.be/mrOnGinlWuI

Bate symphony nr. 3 / Adrian Boult

Fine performance indeed but rather boxed-in sound.
"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 Maestro267

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #724 on: August 15, 2020, 01:44:55 AM »
I've been looking into a bunch of composers who are keeping the British Symphony alive and well here and now. Plenty of them are being released on Toccata.

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #725 on: August 16, 2020, 05:57:58 AM »
By accident (I put this disc on to listen to the Howells pieces and ended up most impressed by the Stevens) I heard these piano pieces by Bernard Stevens today for the first time;



so rummaging through my collection I found this;



I'd forgotten - if I ever knew - how impressive this Symphony No.2 is.  More Stevens exporation is clearly required........

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #726 on: August 16, 2020, 06:56:32 AM »
By accident (I put this disc on to listen to the Howells pieces and ended up most impressed by the Stevens) I heard these piano pieces by Bernard Stevens today for the first time;



so rummaging through my collection I found this;



I'd forgotten - if I ever knew - how impressive this Symphony No.2 is.  More Stevens exporation is clearly required........
The 'Symphony of Liberation' is very good.
"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 kyjo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #727 on: August 16, 2020, 09:07:52 AM »
I've been looking into a bunch of composers who are keeping the British Symphony alive and well here and now. Plenty of them are being released on Toccata.

Indeed, there are many composers out there still writing symphonies (especially in the UK), giving lie to the notion that the symphony is “dead”. It’s just that these composers usually get a lot less attention and exposure than the ones who write gimmicky stuff with flashy, “creative” titles... ::)
"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 #728 on: August 16, 2020, 10:31:06 AM »
the world is better for having the Bate Concerto in it - however it came to be written!
+1
"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 #729 on: August 16, 2020, 12:10:09 PM »
The 'Symphony of Liberation' is very good.

I was reading a bit about that work and it seems to have been very well received at the time.  I will check it out online - the CD seems to be stupidly expensive at the moment......

Offline relm1

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #730 on: August 16, 2020, 03:33:25 PM »
I think I posted this in a different thread but Philip Sawyers Symphony No. 4 is a fantastic new English symphony...please seek it out and other works by this excellent composer.  Very dramatic and exciting music!

https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/NI%206405

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #731 on: August 16, 2020, 10:23:10 PM »
I was reading a bit about that work and it seems to have been very well received at the time.  I will check it out online - the CD seems to be stupidly expensive at the moment......

That's a shame. It won a Daily Express (I think) competition for an orchestral work commemorating the end of WW2 (can't imagine the Express doing that now!)
"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 #732 on: August 16, 2020, 11:07:05 PM »
I think I posted this in a different thread but Philip Sawyers Symphony No. 4 is a fantastic new English symphony...please seek it out and other works by this excellent composer.  Very dramatic and exciting music!

https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/NI%206405

Absolutely - Sawyers' music is excellent.  He has a real sense of handling the orchestra - helped I think in no small way by his years as a professional violinist at Covent Garden.

Offline Maestro267

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #733 on: August 16, 2020, 11:35:46 PM »
Sawyers is definitely one of the composers I'm interested in. I enjoy the works with fancy titles and whatnot as well, but there's something deeply profound about The Symphony. It continues the great tradition of major musical thought.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #734 on: August 17, 2020, 01:57:26 AM »
The 'Symphony of Liberation' is very good.
I don't know Bernard Stevens piano music but I do have a couple of his CDs on Meridian; the one that you also have with the violin concerto and another one which has his 'Symphony of Liberation' and his cello concerto on it too.   :)

PD

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #735 on: August 17, 2020, 05:13:48 AM »
I don't know Bernard Stevens piano music but I do have a couple of his CDs on Meridian; the one that you also have with the violin concerto and another one which has his 'Symphony of Liberation' and his cello concerto on it too.   :)

PD

Did you enjoy the Symphony of Liberation?  I found a relatively cheap copy of the CD so I'll be able to decide for myself soon enough!

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #736 on: August 17, 2020, 09:46:26 AM »
Did you enjoy the Symphony of Liberation?  I found a relatively cheap copy of the CD so I'll be able to decide for myself soon enough!
Excellent! Look forward to hearing your views. It has at least one absolutely beautiful moment.
And that is at the start of the Symphony of Liberation (oboe tune):

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=OUqO5EHKW_M
« Last Edit: August 17, 2020, 09:52:41 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 calyptorhynchus

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #737 on: August 17, 2020, 01:11:18 PM »
Re contemporary symphonies, I have a list of what I consider the greatest symphonies from the beginning (c 1760) to now. Of course it is biased by my biases (almost no Romantics except Bruckner), but I was amazed when I put these symphonies on a timeline to find that besides the 1760-90 period the most crowded period is in fact 1939-90. I’m sure that the drop off after 1990 is mainly the difficulty of finding out about recent and contemporary performances, and the reluctance of record companies to record contemporary classical music that is symphonic (or string quartetic) rather than gimmicky.

Offline Pohjolas Daughter

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #738 on: August 18, 2020, 02:03:27 AM »
Did you enjoy the Symphony of Liberation?  I found a relatively cheap copy of the CD so I'll be able to decide for myself soon enough!
I did!  Been ages since I've listened to it though, so I should give it a revisit soon.

PD

Offline aukhawk

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #739 on: August 18, 2020, 01:28:30 PM »
Indeed, there are many composers out there still writing symphonies (especially in the UK), giving lie to the notion that the symphony is “dead”.

The symphony is an 18thC construct for 18thC manners and ideals - of course it's dead.  As of nearly 200 years ago.