Robert Simpson(1921-1997)

Started by Dundonnell, March 25, 2008, 02:09:14 PM

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kyjo

In the past, I've been quite dismissive of Simpson's music, finding it cold and uninvolving. But recently, I revisited his Eighth Symphony in this excellent performance by the Royal Danish Orchestra under Jerzy Semkow (in decent sound quality):

https://youtu.be/rNh9rNwRtUQ?si=DiKwpcb_n9MhpVdK

Quite powerful, thrilling stuff, and often imbued with a great sense of mystery in the quieter sections. I detected a bit of a similarity to Holmboe's symphonic style in places. Simpson's music fits the bill if I'm in the mood for something not overly warm or emotional, and I'm looking forward to revisiting more of his works with fresh ears!
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

DavidW

I have a couple of recs for passionately performed Simpson:




Handley is an excellent conductor, but he also emphasized the intellectual rigor in Simpson's symphonies.  Trying other conductors might open the door to his music.

foxandpeng

Quote from: kyjo on July 10, 2024, 05:57:17 AMIn the past, I've been quite dismissive of Simpson's music, finding it cold and uninvolving. But recently, I revisited his Eighth Symphony in this excellent performance by the Royal Danish Orchestra under Jerzy Semkow (in decent sound quality):

https://youtu.be/rNh9rNwRtUQ?si=DiKwpcb_n9MhpVdK

Quite powerful, thrilling stuff, and often imbued with a great sense of mystery in the quieter sections. I detected a bit of a similarity to Holmboe's symphonic style in places. Simpson's music fits the bill if I'm in the mood for something not overly warm or emotional, and I'm looking forward to revisiting more of his works with fresh ears!

Lovely to hear this, Kyle. Simpson's music has been a great journey of discovery for me in the last 2 or 3 years, and agree that there are shades of Holmboe in there!
"A quiet secluded life in the country, with the possibility of being useful to people ... then work which one hopes may be of some use; then rest, nature, books, music, love for one's neighbour — such is my idea of happiness"

Tolstoy

calyptorhynchus

#563
For warmth and beauty in Simpson's music I recommend the String Quartet No.1:



(It's on youtube, but as far as I could see someone has split the one track for the Quintet up and there's no playlist  ::) ).

The other work on that disc is the SQ 12, and I must tell everyone of a joke that I just read in Lionel Pike's book, which made me laugh out loud. The SQ 12 is a gigantic slow movement followed by a gigantic scherzo (the slow movement is also very beautiful)—it is itself a joke because if this string quartet had a first movement and a finale it would be so huge as to be unplayable.

Anyway Pike points out that this plan is also followed in the Symphony No.11, then tells this story. After one performance of the SQ 12 he approached the Coull Quartet and congratulated them, but said it must have been exhausting (because they were sweating) and one of them said 'You should hear it when we do the repeats!')  ;D
'Many men are melancholy by hearing music, but it is a pleasing melancholy that it causeth.' Robert Burton

relm1

Quote from: kyjo on July 10, 2024, 05:57:17 AMIn the past, I've been quite dismissive of Simpson's music, finding it cold and uninvolving. But recently, I revisited his Eighth Symphony in this excellent performance by the Royal Danish Orchestra under Jerzy Semkow (in decent sound quality):

https://youtu.be/rNh9rNwRtUQ?si=DiKwpcb_n9MhpVdK

Quite powerful, thrilling stuff, and often imbued with a great sense of mystery in the quieter sections. I detected a bit of a similarity to Holmboe's symphonic style in places. Simpson's music fits the bill if I'm in the mood for something not overly warm or emotional, and I'm looking forward to revisiting more of his works with fresh ears!

This was quite good.  Thanks for posting.