Author Topic: The British Composers Thread  (Read 128530 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #760 on: August 26, 2020, 11:25:05 PM »
I agree Jeffrey. Interesting that "Wild Geese" are not geese but Irish soldiers dreaming of Clare on the battle fields of Fontenoy in 1745.

Originally released in 1968, this is a 1984 re-master.

Jon at York Records bends over backwards to keep his customer happy. By far the best online source of ye old LP. I will PM you contact details as it may come in handy at some time.
I'd forgotten that about the Wild Geese as well Lol. Harty is an interesting composer. The 'Children of Lir' is especially hood and I've always enjoyed the Piano Concerto.
"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 Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #761 on: August 27, 2020, 12:26:50 AM »
Were the comments positive, Olivier?

My apologies Lol, I got mixed up.

Brian's articles pre-date the album (1930's) and there is a large section of articles on the state of British Music at the time, lamenting the deserved but overarching presence of Elgar's music to the detriment of our other composers, but not just English, we have to look at composers from the other UK countries. That particular paragraph reminded readers of Mackenzie for the Scots, Stanford for the Irish and Edward German for the Welsh (The latter was a new name to me, that's why it stood out and I got confused - I read also a few mentions of Ethel Smyth in the book as well). Sorry for the confusion.

Fascinating book, so far as a pre-WW2 view on the state of classical music in the UK and its composers (nothing much has changed really!). HB was an ardent advocate in his articles of not only Elgar's and Delius' music but also Bax, Bantock, Holbrooke, Hadley, etc...
 
Olivier

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #762 on: August 27, 2020, 12:39:21 AM »
I'd forgotten that about the Wild Geese as well Lol. Harty is an interesting composer. The 'Children of Lir' is especially hood and I've always enjoyed the Piano Concerto.

Oh, i'll have to look that version of Children of Lir by Harty, Jeffrey. I only know of a version by Robert Lamb which I listened to when recommended to me a couple of months ago by Aligreto/Fergus. That was at least one work with narration i did enjoy.

my comments to Fergus at the time :

Quote
I have actually genuinely enjoyed it, even if this will most likely be a one-time listen only. I followed the CD along with a  short version of the tale on Wikipedia. Some of the Gaelic names threw me here and there but the various key moments and atmospheres of the story were well depicted in the music. The voice of the female narrator was really engrossing and at times, I was absorbed in the story like a kid sitting by the fireplace.


Olivier

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #763 on: August 27, 2020, 01:37:37 AM »
Oh, i'll have to look that version of Children of Lir by Harty, Jeffrey. I only know of a version by Robert Lamb which I listened to when recommended to me a couple of months ago by Aligreto/Fergus. That was at least one work with narration i did enjoy.

my comments to Fergus at the time :



Good morning Olivier!
Here it is, perhaps Harty's most important work, written towards the end of his life. I noticed that it's available cheaply second-hand on Amazon UK and it's also on You Tube:
"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 Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #764 on: August 27, 2020, 01:43:37 AM »
Thank you Jeffrey, I have saved to watch later on YT.
Olivier

Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #765 on: August 27, 2020, 06:59:07 AM »
My apologies Lol, I got mixed up.

Brian's articles pre-date the album (1930's) and there is a large section of articles on the state of British Music at the time, lamenting the deserved but overarching presence of Elgar's music to the detriment of our other composers, but not just English, we have to look at composers from the other UK countries. That particular paragraph reminded readers of Mackenzie for the Scots, Stanford for the Irish and Edward German for the Welsh (The latter was a new name to me, that's why it stood out and I got confused - I read also a few mentions of Ethel Smyth in the book as well). Sorry for the confusion.

Fascinating book, so far as a pre-WW2 view on the state of classical music in the UK and its composers (nothing much has changed really!). HB was an ardent advocate in his articles of not only Elgar's and Delius' music but also Bax, Bantock, Holbrooke, Hadley, etc...
 

No problem, Olivier. Comforting to know it is not only me that has the odd confused moment.

Your Brian book sounds interesting. I was quite excited to pick up in a second hand bookshop - Twentieth Century Composers: Britain, Scandinavia and The Netherlands by another English composer, Humphrey Searle and Robert Layton. A huge disappointment, in fact dull as ditch water.

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 #766 on: August 27, 2020, 07:13:11 AM »
Thank you Jeffrey, I have saved to watch later on YT.
My pleasure Olivier. Coincidentally I'm listening to it now. I find the work rather moving, especially as it progresses and the chorus comes in. The story must have had significance for Harty who was terminally ill when he composed it - his greatest work as far as I'm concerned with a depth unlike any of his compositions that I've heard, enjoyable as they invariably are. Of course it was Harty who made the most extraordinary recording of Walton's First Symphony.
"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 Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #767 on: August 27, 2020, 07:21:56 AM »
Lol,

There are some cheap-ish used copies on Ebay and AMZ. It is in the same vein as "Boult on Music" but all based on Brian's articles, selected and organised by Malcolm McDonald.

The chapters are as follows:

Intro - Havergal Brian, Journalist
1 - Spirit of England
2 - The Older Generation (Cowen, German, McEwen, Parry, Stanford, Sullivan)
3 - Elgar
4 - Delius
5 - Bantock
6 - British Music in Performance
7 - Nationalism, Leagues and Competitions
8 - Near Contemporaries (Bax, Coates, Coleridge Taylor, Davies, Dyson, Foulds, Balfour Gardiner, Grainger, Holbrooke, Holst, Hurlstone, Scott, Sorabji, RVW...)
9 - Younger Composers (Britten, Cooke, Goossens, Mayerl, Walton, Warlock)
10 - Orchestras, Choirs, Bands and the BBC

I skipped the Delius and skimmed the Elgar chapters, both of lesser interest to me but the rest is interesting so far (i am in chapter 8 right now) and it adds some more context to the music I have been immersed into in the last year or two now.

As per his intro in Volume 1, McDonald's plan was to originally release 6 different volumes of HB's articles in total :

1 - British music
2 - European and US music
3 - Conductors, performers and other contemporaries
4 - Great composers of the past
5 - More general music topics
6 - More autobiographical writings

I did have a look at Vol.2 before, available as well, but the composers were not of interest to me.

Shame it stopped at No.2. I wouldn't have minded Vol.3 and 5 myself.
« Last Edit: August 27, 2020, 07:24:32 AM by Papy Oli »
Olivier

Offline Christo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #768 on: August 27, 2020, 09:18:16 AM »
Good morning Olivier!
Here it is, perhaps Harty's most important work, written towards the end of his life. I noticed that it's available cheaply second-hand on Amazon UK and it's also on You Tube:
It's for grabs at the Chandos site together with all of Harty's orchestral output: https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CHAN%2010194#CD
… 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

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #769 on: August 27, 2020, 10:52:38 AM »
It's for grabs at the Chandos site together with all of Harty's orchestral output: https://www.chandos.net/products/catalogue/CHAN%2010194#CD
Thanks Johan!
That's amazing - the box set of complete Harty orchestral works for £5.00.
Just ordered it  :)
"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 Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #770 on: August 27, 2020, 11:21:16 PM »
Lol,

There are some cheap-ish used copies on Ebay and AMZ. It is in the same vein as "Boult on Music" but all based on Brian's articles, selected and organised by Malcolm McDonald.

The chapters are as follows:

Intro - Havergal Brian, Journalist
1 - Spirit of England
2 - The Older Generation (Cowen, German, McEwen, Parry, Stanford, Sullivan)
3 - Elgar
4 - Delius
5 - Bantock
6 - British Music in Performance
7 - Nationalism, Leagues and Competitions
8 - Near Contemporaries (Bax, Coates, Coleridge Taylor, Davies, Dyson, Foulds, Balfour Gardiner, Grainger, Holbrooke, Holst, Hurlstone, Scott, Sorabji, RVW...)
9 - Younger Composers (Britten, Cooke, Goossens, Mayerl, Walton, Warlock)
10 - Orchestras, Choirs, Bands and the BBC

I skipped the Delius and skimmed the Elgar chapters, both of lesser interest to me but the rest is interesting so far (i am in chapter 8 right now) and it adds some more context to the music I have been immersed into in the last year or two now.

As per his intro in Volume 1, McDonald's plan was to originally release 6 different volumes of HB's articles in total :

1 - British music
2 - European and US music
3 - Conductors, performers and other contemporaries
4 - Great composers of the past
5 - More general music topics
6 - More autobiographical writings

I did have a look at Vol.2 before, available as well, but the composers were not of interest to me.

Shame it stopped at No.2. I wouldn't have minded Vol.3 and 5 myself.

Interesting, Olivier. Were the articles culled from the same source, a musical journal perhaps?

Malcolm McDonald! Wasn't he also a striker for Newcastle?  :)
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Biffo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #771 on: August 28, 2020, 12:21:47 AM »
Interesting, Olivier. Were the articles culled from the same source, a musical journal perhaps?

Malcolm McDonald! Wasn't he also a striker for Newcastle?  :)

He also played for England (despite his Scottish name). He also found time to write a biography of Brahms for the Dent Master Musicians series.

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #772 on: August 28, 2020, 12:45:55 AM »
Interesting, Olivier. Were the articles culled from the same source, a musical journal perhaps?


They are from a variety of papers he has written for:
- The Musical World, Manchester principal correspondent, including reviewing Hallé concerts (1904-1908)
- The Staffordshire Sentinel (1909-10)
- Various including the English Review. The British bandsman, the Sackbut, etc (1914-1927)
- London's The Musical Opinion, assistant to the editor (1927-1940)
- Only sporadic writings after that

And before Jezetha and other Brianites hunt me down, it is Malcolm MacDonald  0:)
Olivier

Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #773 on: August 28, 2020, 05:48:29 AM »
They are from a variety of papers he has written for:
- The Musical World, Manchester principal correspondent, including reviewing Hallé concerts (1904-1908)
- The Staffordshire Sentinel (1909-10)
- Various including the English Review. The British bandsman, the Sackbut, etc (1914-1927)
- London's The Musical Opinion, assistant to the editor (1927-1940)
- Only sporadic writings after that

And before Jezetha and other Brianites hunt me down, it is Malcolm MacDonald  0:)

Thanks, Olivier.

What's an "a" between friends.  ;) Artistic licence is a marvellous thing. The barcodes won't mind, who incidentally are the first game for the mighty Irons in a couple of weeks.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #774 on: August 28, 2020, 07:36:06 AM »
Thanks, Olivier.

What's an "a" between friends.  ;) Artistic licence is a marvellous thing. The barcodes won't mind, who incidentally are the first game for the mighty Irons in a couple of weeks.

A six-pointer for relegation right from the off for both teams, tough one  :P
Olivier

Offline André

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #775 on: August 29, 2020, 09:34:03 AM »
Thanks Johan!
That's amazing - the box set of complete Harty orchestral works for £5.00.
Just ordered it  :)


+1. Thanks indeed !

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #776 on: August 29, 2020, 11:23:07 AM »
Arrived today from Chandos, amazing value for £5.00 brand new (3xCDs).
Thanks to Christo for alerting us to the offer:

Here's a review if anyone wants to know what it is like:
http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2000/oct00/harty.htm
« Last Edit: August 29, 2020, 12:02:50 PM 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 André

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #777 on: August 29, 2020, 03:15:11 PM »
I ordered it today. I just checked and found I had nothing by Harty  ???.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #778 on: August 30, 2020, 12:54:59 AM »
I ordered it today. I just checked and found I had nothing by Harty  ???.
:o
"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 #779 on: August 30, 2020, 12:59:31 AM »
I ordered it today. I just checked and found I had nothing by Harty  ???.

I still reckon the early Ulster Orchestra/Thomson recordings are technically some of the best Chandos did.  The Irish Symphony included in this box was the Ulster Orchestra's first commercial recording.  Before that they had been the BBC Northern Ireland Orchestra at a time when the BBC did not allow their orchestras to record for other companies (things have changed just a little there now....!).  So there is a freshness and a bloom to the playing that is very appealing.  Always a pleasure to hear Ralph Holmes' refined playing.  But the whole set is excellent and for £5 a joy. 

One of the 2 Naxos discs of Harty does include the "Fantasy Scenes" missing from the Chandos survey and the coupling of Peter Donohoe in the Piano Concerto makes an interesting comparison with Binns for Chandos.  The major un-recorded work is "The Mystic Trumpeter" which can be found on YouTube