Author Topic: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)  (Read 20157 times)

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Offline Maestro267

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #40 on: March 14, 2016, 05:17:15 AM »
RIP Max, and thanks for the music.

http://www.maxopus.com/resources.aspx
« Last Edit: March 14, 2016, 05:20:27 AM by Maestro267 »

Offline Scion7

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #41 on: March 14, 2016, 08:11:47 AM »
80-plus years is a good run.  Sayonara, Sir Peter.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

Offline vandermolen

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #42 on: March 14, 2016, 09:05:59 AM »
Sad news.
"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 aligreto

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #43 on: March 14, 2016, 09:38:37 AM »
I am sorry to hear that sad news.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline relm1

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #44 on: March 15, 2016, 10:58:58 AM »
Very sad news.  Perhaps the administrator could change the title to indicate (1934-2016).

I would like to share a personal memory.  Though I can't call myself a fan of too much of his music, I am a fan of the person.  When I was a young music student, he came to my home town to perform a world premiere of one of his many orchestral works.  An email to him was responded that he would like to invite me to the rehearsal and see my music.  I had the opportunity to sit in an empty auditorium watching him rehearse brand new music with the San Francisco Symphony which was very exciting.  After the rehearsal, he was covered in sweat and eagerly invited me to have a seat in his dressing room back stage.  He looked over my scores and sketches which I am sure would mortify me to dig up just what it was I showed him.  He was very kind and supportive but also sincere.  He told me more about the hard and uncertain life of composing and how one should pursue it only if there was no way to talk them out of it.  He was very humble and insisted I call him Max rather than Sir Peter.  None of the anger in some of his music was evident.  A Humble, thoughtful, purposeful, and very driven man.  Thanks for the advice and encouragement.  I never forgot meeting you to talk about MY music!  RIP.

Offline DaveF

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #45 on: March 15, 2016, 01:49:44 PM »
Yes, one of the good guys, no doubt.  It would be nice to think that a few new (or even reissued) recordings will now appear - but who knows...
Today's listening:




I can remember hearing the 3rd symphony for the first time on the radio, having switched on a few minutes in and not knowing what it was, and being utterly gripped right to the end.  I still bang on, to anyone who will listen and many who won't, to the effect that the 3rd and 5th are two of the greatest symphonies of the second half of the last century.  Max bought me a drink once, but that's hardly unusual; he bought everyone a drink once.
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline Scion7

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #46 on: March 17, 2016, 07:42:44 PM »
Some of his chamber pieces are of interest:  The Piano Trio (A Voyage to Fair Isle), the Quintet for Brass, and his string quartet make for good late-late night listening, after your bird has gone to bed and the contemplative mood strikes.
The Germans, who make doctrines out of everything, deal with music learnedly; the Italians, being voluptuous, seek in it lively, though fleeting, sensations; the French, more vain than perceptive, manage to speak of it wittily; and the English pay for it . . . - Stendhal

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #47 on: February 15, 2018, 08:24:38 AM »
Would certainly like to know myself, snyprrr. This composer is a blindspot for me and I'm quite into 20th Century Brits.

Brass Music on Nimbus, perhaps?


still no closer to cracking open this nut...

Offline kyjo

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #48 on: February 18, 2018, 10:48:44 PM »
Rather unfortunately, the first works of Maxwell Davies I encountered were his Naxos Quartets nos. 1 and 2 and his Symphony no. 1, which I found to be grey, uncompromising, and frankly rather uninteresting works. I was delighted to find that he has a much more approachable, lighter side, as exemplified by his glitzy tone poem Mavis in Las Vegas and the touchingly simple Farewell to Stromness for solo piano. Can any members comment on whether his later symphonies are more approachable than the 1st? I have a feeling that they are.
"Music is enough for a lifetime, but a lifetime is not enough for music" - Sergei Rachmaninoff

Offline Maestro267

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #49 on: February 19, 2018, 01:45:21 AM »
I struggled with the First too, and it's not one that's in my regular rotation by any means. I really enjoyed the Sixth Symphony, from 1996. There are videos on Youtube if you wanna get a flavour of them, but I personally find the later symphonies far more approachable.

Offline DaveF

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #50 on: February 19, 2018, 02:38:27 AM »
It's sad to say, but Max seems to me to be a fairly uninspired interpreter of his own works, and I find it a pity that no other conductor has taken up the symphonies in a big way.  The only two non-Max recordings are Rattle's of no.1 and Downes's of no.3, both of which are favourites of mine (yes, I struggled with no.1 too, but repeated listenings at last made sense of it).  So my recommendations would be Downes in no.3, despite its dreadful boxy acoustic (OOP, but regularly turns up second-hand) and no.5 - conducted by Max, but on form in this one at least.
"All the world is birthday cake" - George Harrison

Offline relm1

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #51 on: February 20, 2018, 07:47:57 AM »
The Symphony No. 10 is very approachable and well performed I believe by the London Symphony Orchestra.  His ballets are good too.  I quite like the naxos release of the Carolyne Mathilda suites.  Piano Concerto is a big bold work with a rousing climax.  There is a lot of very good music in Max's oeuvre. 

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #52 on: November 22, 2018, 12:28:58 AM »
Anyone explored the quartets? What are the highlights?

(Feeling angry that they chased Synprrr away)
« Last Edit: November 22, 2018, 12:33:03 AM by Mandryka »
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline relm1

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #53 on: November 26, 2018, 05:52:11 PM »
Anyone explored the quartets? What are the highlights?

(Feeling angry that they chased Synprrr away)

The Naxos quartets (2002-7) are fantastic.  Classical Review says this of No. 7: "I have recently listened again to Naxos Quartet No.7. This 53 minute work is worthy of Beethoven. Yes, I put it that strongly." here is the review: http://theclassicalreviewer.blogspot.com/2012/02/peter-maxwell-davies-naxos-quartets.html

Offline Mandryka

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #54 on: November 28, 2018, 09:44:55 AM »
The Naxos quartets (2002-7) are fantastic.  Classical Review says this of No. 7: "I have recently listened again to Naxos Quartet No.7. This 53 minute work is worthy of Beethoven. Yes, I put it that strongly." here is the review: http://theclassicalreviewer.blogspot.com/2012/02/peter-maxwell-davies-naxos-quartets.html

I can hear that 7 has some good things in it and is well worth exploring, the composers remarks on the Naxos website are inspiring, thanks.
Wovon man nicht sprechen kann, darüber muss man schweigen

Offline schnittkease

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #55 on: November 28, 2018, 04:00:41 PM »
I haven't heard the Naxos quartets in well over a year, but I remember them being consistently very fine.

Offline aligreto

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #56 on: December 23, 2018, 06:30:00 AM »
Cross post from The Listening Thread


Davies: O Magnum Mysterium [Davies]





Davis says “The whole work is a meditation on the soprano solo heard at the outset - on the wonder and promise of the Nativity”. Sonically and texturaly this is an interesting work. The final organ fantasia, played by Simon Preston, is a set of variations on the “O Magnum mysterium” melody and is an intriguing and engaging piece of music in itself; it is somewhat dark, disconcerting and quite atmospheric.
It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak and leave no doubt.

Offline relm1

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #57 on: June 03, 2019, 03:35:54 PM »
I lament that Sir Peter Maxwell Davies isn't better represented on forums like this.  His fantastic website is dead (I just checked) and it was probably the gold standard of what a contemporary composers website should be like full of articles, recordings, program notes, news, etc.  Today, I get a "The connection has timed out" message when checking it.   :(  I will agree his output was inconsistent but he certainly deserves better than obscurity. 

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #58 on: June 03, 2019, 03:39:31 PM »
I lament that Sir Peter Maxwell Davies isn't better represented on forums like this.  His fantastic website is dead (I just checked) and it was probably the gold standard of what a contemporary composers website should be like full of articles, recordings, program notes, news, etc.  Today, I get a "The connection has timed out" message when checking it.   :(  I will agree his output was inconsistent but he certainly deserves better than obscurity.

Well, at least, the Liszt website is up and running. 8)

http://www.lisztsoc.org.uk/
"Humility is society's greatest misconception."

My "Top 5" Favorite Composers: Debussy, Mahler, Strauss, Sibelius and Bartók


Offline Maestro267

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Re: Peter Maxwell Davies (1934-2016)
« Reply #59 on: June 03, 2019, 10:29:32 PM »
I lament that Sir Peter Maxwell Davies isn't better represented on forums like this.  His fantastic website is dead (I just checked) and it was probably the gold standard of what a contemporary composers website should be like full of articles, recordings, program notes, news, etc.  Today, I get a "The connection has timed out" message when checking it.   :(  I will agree his output was inconsistent but he certainly deserves better than obscurity.

Hear hear. That website was really great in helping me to understand a work like Worldes Blis a bit more, with its extended and detailed programme note, far more detailed than that which appears in the CD booklet.