Author Topic: The British Composers Thread  (Read 128531 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #780 on: August 30, 2020, 01:52:18 AM »
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

Interesting, thanks. I like the Naxos recording of the PC 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 Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #781 on: August 30, 2020, 02:01:03 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

Thanks Jeffrey, I have found it on Qobuz so i'll stream it soon. I think I might have sampled it briefly for the Lir only and went for a full listen of the Lamb version instead at the time. I'll revisit that Harty again.
Olivier

Offline Maestro267

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #782 on: August 30, 2020, 05:11:19 AM »
I knew I had a Harty disc somewhere! I finally found it, so now I'm enjoying the wonderful Irish Symphony. This work contains genuinely one of my favourite endings to a symphony. It always gives me goosebumps. After the minor-key climax with the tam-tam stroke, a big and full D major chord diminuendo, the most gorgeous woodwind/harp chord, and then the rest of the orchestra comes back into a crescendo.

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #783 on: August 30, 2020, 10:29:57 AM »
I knew I had a Harty disc somewhere! I finally found it, so now I'm enjoying the wonderful Irish Symphony. This work contains genuinely one of my favourite endings to a symphony. It always gives me goosebumps. After the minor-key climax with the tam-tam stroke, a big and full D major chord diminuendo, the most gorgeous woodwind/harp chord, and then the rest of the orchestra comes back into a crescendo.
Oh, I've been rather dismissive of this work - must correct that!
"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 #784 on: August 30, 2020, 10:51:52 PM »
I knew I had a Harty disc somewhere! I finally found it, so now I'm enjoying the wonderful Irish Symphony. This work contains genuinely one of my favourite endings to a symphony. It always gives me goosebumps. After the minor-key climax with the tam-tam stroke, a big and full D major chord diminuendo, the most gorgeous woodwind/harp chord, and then the rest of the orchestra comes back into a crescendo.

I had a similar experience. With the Harty discussion in full flow I checked my shelves and came across his Violin Concerto on an analogue Chandos LP. I have not (re) played it yet but do recall it being a most pleasant piece.
« Last Edit: August 30, 2020, 10:54:03 PM by Irons »
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 #785 on: August 30, 2020, 11:05:59 PM »
I had a similar experience. With the Harty discussion in full flow I checked my shelves and came across his Violin Concerto on an analogue Chandos LP. I have not (re) played it yet but do recall it being a most pleasant piece.

Actually - seeing that the Violin Concerto disc is analogue - perhaps that was the 1st Ulster Orchestra disc and the Irish Symphony the 2nd! (whatever the truth).  Just checked - yes - the VC was recorded June 1979 and the Symphony in October 1980.  Help.... 40 years ago!!

Offline Irons

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #786 on: August 31, 2020, 12:21:56 PM »
Actually - seeing that the Violin Concerto disc is analogue - perhaps that was the 1st Ulster Orchestra disc and the Irish Symphony the 2nd! (whatever the truth).  Just checked - yes - the VC was recorded June 1979 and the Symphony in October 1980.  Help.... 40 years ago!!

40 years is a recent recording for me. :) Yes, June 1979 is correct. I may have it wrong but when the Couzens' set out with their own label, Chandos after working freelance for RCA they pinned their flag to Harty. Maybe he wasn't a higher enough profile? Anyway, they switched to Bax at the perfect moment - introduction of CD and as they say, the rest is history.

The first movement of the Harty Violin Concerto was for me not that impressive, but the following slow movement is beautiful, absolutely lovely. The finale belongs to the Emerald Isle and is great fun.
You must have a very good opinion of yourself to write a symphony - John Ireland.

Offline kyjo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #787 on: August 31, 2020, 06:45:18 PM »
The Harty PC is a very enjoyable work in the Rachmaninoff vein. I don't recall thinking too highly of the Irish Symphony, but I should give it another listen.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Maestro267

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #788 on: September 01, 2020, 03:49:52 AM »
Interesting to note that the Chandos recording of the Piano Concerto is some 7 minutes longer than the Naxos.

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #789 on: September 02, 2020, 03:50:27 AM »
Has anybody read this please ? is it any good ?

Olivier

Offline Biffo

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #790 on: September 02, 2020, 06:17:11 AM »
Has anybody read this please ? is it any good ?



It depends on how much of Barbirolli-nut you are. The autobiographical chapters are very interesting and so are some of the lectures and speeches but as the book is comprehensive the latter become repetitive. Barbirolli addressed the same organisations - Halle Society, New York Philharmonic Symphony League, Lord Provost of Glasgow etc on a regular basis and tends to repeat himself. Also he repeats the same anecdotes. As the speeches were spread out over 40 years he can be forgiven that. Reading them as a book is a different matter.

I read the book from cover to cover but did it in batches.

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #791 on: September 02, 2020, 06:44:51 AM »
It depends on how much of Barbirolli-nut you are. The autobiographical chapters are very interesting and so are some of the lectures and speeches but as the book is comprehensive the latter become repetitive. Barbirolli addressed the same organisations - Halle Society, New York Philharmonic Symphony League, Lord Provost of Glasgow etc on a regular basis and tends to repeat himself. Also he repeats the same anecdotes. As the speeches were spread out over 40 years he can be forgiven that. Reading them as a book is a different matter.

I read the book from cover to cover but did it in batches.

Thank you for your impressions, Biffo. Looking at the table of contents, I had some reservations about the composers being covered (very little matching my tastes) but the autobiographical elements, what touches to the orchestra running and conducting would be of interest. Similar volumes (Boult on Music, and to another extent Brian on Music) were very informative for me. Might eventually get this one too and, like you, approach it piecemeal like I did with the other books.

edit: I have his biography by Charles Reid on my shelves, unread to this day. Bought it cheap years ago in a charity shop on a whim, long before i had any idea of an interest in British composers. Will have to address that.     
« Last Edit: September 02, 2020, 06:48:47 AM by Papy Oli »
Olivier

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #792 on: September 29, 2020, 04:46:10 AM »
I'm reposting one of Papi Oli's posts from the bargains page;

Dutton Vocalion has an Autumn sale going on on their website.

Bate's Third at £4.99, Arnell's Third at £4.99, the Foulds volumes at £2.99-£4.99, etc...


All I would add is you need to jump to about halfway down page 12 of the sale items;

https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/products.php?cat=4&pg=12

for the start of the "classical" discs.  A lot of good British music which of course Vocalion are justly famed for including some Havergal Brian, the early Bax Symphony, Ireland/Elgar/Delius/Bush etc etc - definitely worth a trawl for the Brit-music-inclined..........

Offline André

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #793 on: September 29, 2020, 04:54:31 AM »
I'm reposting one of Papi Oli's posts from the bargains page;

Dutton Vocalion has an Autumn sale going on on their website.

Bate's Third at £4.99, Arnell's Third at £4.99, the Foulds volumes at £2.99-£4.99, etc...


All I would add is you need to jump to about halfway down page 12 of the sale items;

https://www.duttonvocalion.co.uk/products.php?cat=4&pg=12

for the start of the "classical" discs.  A lot of good British music which of course Vocalion are justly famed for including some Havergal Brian, the early Bax Symphony, Ireland/Elgar/Delius/Bush etc etc - definitely worth a trawl for the Brit-music-inclined..........

+1. I bought a few myself  ;).

 Some items - quite a few actually - are unavailable. They show a 0£ price tag. I don’t know if it’s because they are oop or just sold out. I very much wanted to get the Bate 4 / Arnell 7 disc but it escaped my grubby hands.  :'(

Offline Roasted Swan

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #794 on: October 01, 2020, 09:21:46 AM »
I've enjoyed this disc recently.  A treasure trove of all-but-forgotten composers and arrangers.  Well (if not brilliantly) played by a British Army String Orchestra



A couple of real gems and except for the Bantock/Farnaby arrangements all premiere recordings......

Offline vandermolen

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #795 on: October 01, 2020, 09:25:09 AM »
I've enjoyed this disc recently.  A treasure trove of all-but-forgotten composers and arrangers.  Well (if not brilliantly) played by a British Army String Orchestra



A couple of real gems and except for the Bantock/Farnaby arrangements all premiere recordings......
Interesting. Allan Macbeth is a great name!
"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 #796 on: October 01, 2020, 10:40:51 AM »
Interesting. Allan Macbeth is a great name!

I was given the library (sheet music) of the Hastings Sun Lounge Orchestra and for a few years I used that music to give concerts using that library with professional colleagues.  The trouble was it was all but impossible to cover costs let alone make any money from it!  In that library are two pieces by Allan Macbeth - the "Forget-me-not" Intermezzo included here - a real little charmer and another thing called "Gaily through the World" which I have no recollection of what it is like at all!  This disc is rather a gem because it includes some real treasures such as Fred Hartley's arrangements and Eric Thiman too.  The Ernest Markham-Lee is a modest delight as well.

Offline Papy Oli

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Re: The British Composers Thread
« Reply #797 on: October 01, 2020, 12:12:41 PM »
I've enjoyed this disc recently.  A treasure trove of all-but-forgotten composers and arrangers.  Well (if not brilliantly) played by a British Army String Orchestra



A couple of real gems and except for the Bantock/Farnaby arrangements all premiere recordings......

Thank you for the heads-up on this one, RS. Saved to stream later.
Olivier