Author Topic: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)  (Read 60551 times)

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Scarpia

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #60 on: November 11, 2010, 02:44:50 PM »
I can't help but notice that Hyperion's special "please buy me" promotion (featuring discs that no one in the world has purchased for the longest time) always seems to feature Simpson.   Currently 3 of the 10 least popular Hyperion discs contain Simpson symphonies.   :D  The last batch also features several Simpson releases, if I recall correctly.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #61 on: November 11, 2010, 09:53:57 PM »
Here are a couple of quotes which sum him up nicely as a composer:

"Well, I'm not interested in vogue. I think 'vogue' has ruined composers. Composers have often been in vogue and then faded out. What's in fashion is not important. What is in the substance of the music is what is important. That is what I would try to preserve or try to achieve. And, well, if people want it, that's nice. If they don't, at least I've done my best."

This particular quote is so true and definitely how I feel.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #62 on: November 11, 2010, 09:55:55 PM »
I can't help but notice that Hyperion's special "please buy me" promotion (featuring discs that no one in the world has purchased for the longest time) always seems to feature Simpson.   Currently 3 of the 10 least popular Hyperion discs contain Simpson symphonies.   :D  The last batch also features several Simpson releases, if I recall correctly.

Well Simpson never set out to be a popular composer, which I admire. He made music that he wanted to make. He followed his own muse and I totally respect that even if the music doesn't always strike me as being memorable.
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

Offline Albion

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #63 on: December 31, 2010, 01:48:08 AM »
The Hyperion box set (7 discs) of the complete symphonies has just come down to £25.99 on Amazon - a real bargain and well worth considering if you haven't already acquired these discs:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Robert-Simpson-Royal-Philharmonic-Orchestra/dp/B000IB0DJ4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1293788271&sr=8-1
A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)

cilgwyn

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #64 on: September 07, 2011, 01:25:01 PM »
Looking  at Dundonnell's recommendations I am sorely tempted by the Fourth. I think I will put that on my 'list'!

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #65 on: September 07, 2011, 02:03:26 PM »
Looking  at Dundonnell's recommendations I am sorely tempted by the Fourth. I think I will put that on my 'list'!

If I can make a digital version of Simpson's Fourth it will be interesting to compare it with the Hyperion cd version.

The performance I have on tape is by the B.B.C. Symphony Orchestra conducted by Sir Andrew Davis. To my shame I appear to have taped that performance over the premiere of the work given by the Halle Orchestra under James Loughran :-[

Simpson revised the slow movement from Adagio to Andante. My fear is that the Davis version is the revised version(as on the Handley disc). I actually preferred the original but that may now be lost for good :(

cilgwyn

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #66 on: September 07, 2011, 02:37:07 PM »
This is a cassette you are talking about,I presume? And you taped over the premiere! Ouch!!!

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #67 on: September 07, 2011, 02:53:50 PM »
No. Reel-to-reel tape.

You could tape over things on tape.

Offline springrite

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #68 on: September 09, 2011, 07:40:18 AM »
Hyperion's "Someone Buy Me" sale has Simpson's First and Fourth String Quartets, and I can't help notice that despite his reputation for spikiness and coldness or lack of emotion, the samples make these out to sound like appealing, even genial works. Well, not genial. But appealing.

Simpson's Variations on a Theme of Haydn is one of the best 20th century quartet that I have heard. If you remotely like any of his chamber music, you have to hear this one!
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Offline Lethevich

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #69 on: September 09, 2011, 08:19:09 AM »
Just a quick plug for his piano music.

When I see a single disc purporting to contain the complete piano music of a composer not known for this medium I tend to have immediate concerns that these will just be scraps; bits and pieces.

Simpson's piano music is rather fine, though - and very much in his style, especially the variations.
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #70 on: November 18, 2011, 06:24:22 AM »
Astonishing :o :o

One lives one's life with certain favourite composers and certain favourite works in recordings that are familiar, cherished and acclaimed............and then ::) ::)

I have just discovered-from an impeccable source(someone who knew Robert Simpson personally and very well)-that Simpson was extremely disappointed with some of the famous Vernon Handley readings of his symphonies as recorded for Hyperion: Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 8 in particular. They were under-rehearsed and, therefore, tentative :o

Simpson, apparently, had a far greater opinion of the readings of his symphonies as conducted by Andrew Davis.

Now, there's a turn-up for the books ::)

Anyway...if you want to compare and contrast, I shall, within the next 24 hours, upload four BBC broadcasts of Simpson symphonies to Unsung Composers: the 2nd conducted by the Braga Santos expert Alvaro Cassuto, the 4th in the first performance of the revised version, conducted by Davis, the 5th in its "blistering, white-hot premiere" conducted by Davis(1973), and the 6th in its premiere conducted by Charles Groves(1980).

Now these recordings are from mono tapes so the sound cannot compare with Hyperion stereo but, if you are more interested in performance than sound quality.............. ;D

(I shall also upload John Carewe's 1977 broadcast of Richard Arnell's 5th Symphony. David Wright has written that Martin Yates on Dutton "cannot hold a candle to Carewe" :o

snyprrr

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #71 on: November 18, 2011, 06:30:20 AM »
Astonishing :o :o

One lives one's life with certain favourite composers and certain favourite works in recordings that are familiar, cherished and acclaimed............and then ::) ::)

I have just discovered-from an impeccable source(someone who knew Robert Simpson personally and very well)-that Simpson was extremely disappointed with some of the famous Vernon Handley readings of his symphonies as recorded for Hyperion: Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 8 in particular. They were under-rehearsed and, therefore, tentative :o

Simpson, apparently, had a far greater opinion of the readings of his symphonies as conducted by Andrew Davis.

Now, there's a turn-up for the books ::)

Anyway...if you want to compare and contrast, I shall, within the next 24 hours, upload four BBC broadcasts of Simpson symphonies to Unsung Composers: the 2nd conducted by the Braga Santos expert Alvaro Cassuto, the 4th in the first performance of the revised version, conducted by Davis, the 5th in its "blistering, white-hot premiere" conducted by Davis(1973), and the 6th in its premiere conducted by Charles Groves(1980).

Now these recordings are from mono tapes so the sound cannot compare with Hyperion stereo but, if you are more interested in performance than sound quality.............. ;D

(I shall also upload John Carewe's 1977 broadcast of Richard Arnell's 5th Symphony. David Wright has written that Martin Yates on Dutton "cannot hold a candle to Carewe" :o

So, the 6/7 disc  is the one to get?! ;) ;D

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #72 on: November 18, 2011, 06:54:18 AM »
Could be ;D

However......THE one to get imo is the 9th. An absolute masterpiece :) :)

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #73 on: November 18, 2011, 07:05:27 AM »
The 6/7th, 9th and 11th/Nielsen discs were the stand-outs of the series for me.

I find 8 and (especially 10) surprisingly unengaging at this present time, not sure why.
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snyprrr

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #74 on: November 19, 2011, 05:40:31 AM »
The 6/7th, 9th and 11th/Nielsen discs were the stand-outs of the series for me.

I find 8 and (especially 10) surprisingly unengaging at this present time, not sure why.

Could be ;D

However......THE one to get imo is the 9th. An absolute masterpiece :) :)

Ive been considering re-getting some of these, and 6/7 seems to be the one,... I'm less familiar with them as opposed to 9.

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #75 on: November 19, 2011, 08:01:44 AM »
6-7 do have a great yin/yang contrast when presented together on CD, a bit like Pettersson's 10th and 11th, I think you will enjoy it.
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Offline Archaic Torso of Apollo

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #76 on: November 20, 2011, 03:48:54 AM »
I have just discovered-from an impeccable source(someone who knew Robert Simpson personally and very well)-that Simpson was extremely disappointed with some of the famous Vernon Handley readings of his symphonies as recorded for Hyperion: Nos. 1, 3, 5 and 8 in particular. They were under-rehearsed and, therefore, tentative :o

Interesting. While I enjoy the Handley recordings, I often get a feeling that they could be done differently and perhaps better. But with no other recordings and no access to the scores, I really can't tell.

Maybe the problem is the orchestra (RPO). The other ones, with Bournemouth especially, sound perfectly fine to me.
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Offline madaboutmahler

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #77 on: January 28, 2012, 10:54:14 AM »
Was introduced to Simpson's music today, when my teacher at the Royal Academy of Music, Matthew Taylor played me Handley's recording of Symphony no.7. Was left absolutely speechless. Absolutely amazing music, really incredible! I must listen to more of his music, so am planning to put the complete Simpson symphonies at the top of my birthday list! ;)
After we listened to it, I asked Matthew about his friendship with Robert, we discussed that for quite a while. Obvious how much of an influence Robert had on him. I can see him becoming a massive influence on me now too....
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Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #78 on: January 28, 2012, 12:03:39 PM »
Was introduced to Simpson's music today, when my teacher at the Royal Academy of Music, Matthew Taylor played me Handley's recording of Symphony no.7. Was left absolutely speechless. Absolutely amazing music, really incredible! I must listen to more of his music, so am planning to put the complete Simpson symphonies at the top of my birthday list! ;)
After we listened to it, I asked Matthew about his friendship with Robert, we discussed that for quite a while. Obvious how much of an influence Robert had on him. I can see him becoming a massive influence on me now too....

Well done, Daniel :) :)

Simpson is one of my favourite composers ;D. I love the symphonies-particularly Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 9. Matthew Taylor was Simpson's own choice to conduct the recording of No.11 which is dedicated to Taylor. So you have a superb source of information about Simpson available to you ;D

Try listening to the slow movement of Symphony No.2 if you want to hear the most superb example of a musical pallindrome :)

Being really naughty ;D ;D you might ask Matthew Taylor to record Simpson's Cello and Flute Concertos :)

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Re: Robert Simpson(1921-1997)
« Reply #79 on: January 29, 2012, 05:28:48 AM »
Well done, Daniel :) :)

Simpson is one of my favourite composers ;D. I love the symphonies-particularly Nos. 2, 3, 4 and 9. Matthew Taylor was Simpson's own choice to conduct the recording of No.11 which is dedicated to Taylor. So you have a superb source of information about Simpson available to you ;D

Try listening to the slow movement of Symphony No.2 if you want to hear the most superb example of a musical pallindrome :)

Being really naughty ;D ;D you might ask Matthew Taylor to record Simpson's Cello and Flute Concertos :)

That's great! I can imagine Simpson becoming a favourite composer of mine too! I seemed to instantly connect with the 7th symphony which Matthew played me. Was absolutely incredible. Looking forward to listening to the rest of the symphonies now, the box set is at the top of my birthday list! :)
Yes, I am very lucky to have Matthew as my teacher. He is a great man, and has an amazing knowledge. We talk about so much music. Including quite a lot of Mahler as well! :D It was only yesterday that we really started talking about and listening to Simpson though, despite several short mentions in the past. I'll try and sneak your request into a conversation with Matthew then ;)
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