Author Topic: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer  (Read 29703 times)

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Offline kyjo

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Re: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer
« Reply #180 on: November 28, 2017, 08:34:42 AM »
Mennin is one of those American composers from my favorite generation of American composers that I have never got into. I just don’t seem to connect with it in the same manner as Copland, Barber, Schuman, Diamond, and Piston. Of course, Schuman and Mennin were ‘adversaries’ if this is a term I can use to describe their relationship. I’m firmly in the Schuman camp.

Interesting, John. At the moment I prefer Mennin to Schuman, though truth be told I haven't heard a great deal of either composer's output. I know that Schuman and Mennin were both Juilliard presidents at some point, but I'm not sure exactly why they were adversaries - I'll have to read up on that.
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Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer
« Reply #181 on: November 28, 2017, 08:36:30 AM »
Likewise, I am apt to prefer Mennin.  But, my ears like Schuman very well, very well indeed.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
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[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
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His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer
« Reply #182 on: November 28, 2017, 08:37:44 AM »
Interesting, John. At the moment I prefer Mennin to Schuman, though truth be told I haven't heard a great deal of either composer's output. I know that Schuman and Mennin were both Juilliard presidents at some point, but I'm not sure exactly why they were adversaries - I'll have to read up on that.

I’ll let someone more knowledgeable on this topic respond, but I believe I read (somewhere) and don’t quote me on this that Schuman didn’t like Mennin personally and kept him from getting several commissions and Mennin thought of Schuman as basically an inferior composer with nothing to say musically. Again, I might be totally wrong and misremembering, but, as I mentioned, a member’s input here that knows of this situation would be helpful.
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer
« Reply #183 on: November 28, 2017, 08:39:35 AM »
I’ll let someone more knowledgeable on this topic respond, but I believe I read (somewhere) and don’t quote me on this that Schuman didn’t like Mennin personally and kept him from getting several commissions and Mennin thought of Schuman as basically an inferior composer with nothing to say musically. Again, I might be totally wrong and misremembering, but, as I mentioned, a member’s input here that knows of this situation would be helpful.

I don't know, but whatever personal tiffs there may have been, we need not relitigate them  0:)
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer
« Reply #184 on: November 28, 2017, 05:34:10 PM »
I don't know, but whatever personal tiffs there may have been, we need not relitigate them  0:)

Oh, it’s for personal amusement only. What another composer thinks about another makes no difference to me. I just like knowing personal stuff about composers. No harm in that of course.
“Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art.” - Claude Debussy

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer
« Reply #185 on: November 29, 2017, 08:21:01 AM »
To be sure.
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot

cilgwyn

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Re: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer
« Reply #186 on: January 21, 2019, 11:18:09 AM »
It is No.5 on that Mercury disc, Jeffrey, coupled with the Ives Symphony No.3 and Three Places in New England and Schuman's New England Triptych.

I don't like making comparisons between composers-as I said above. I can understand you saying that Mennin's "work never moved me as much as.." because I don't think that Mennin is necessarily that sort of composer. However, Mennin's slow movements are, I think, a different story and are perhaps overshadowed by the ferocious energy and drive of the fast movements. There is a lot in those slow movements which does recall the influences on Mennin of the heritage of early polyphony as well as the Vaughan Williams of Symphony No.4.

Creston and Hanson are clearly different types of composers altogether-essentially romantics-and Mennin is different. He is nearer in tone to William Schuman-a composer for whom I have a huge admiration-but there is, perhaps, more surface brilliance in Schuman.

I don't think that Mennin is an 'easy' composer to fully appreciate and the later symphonies, especially Nos. 8 and 9, are certainly not 'easy' pieces but I urge anyone to give them some serious listening. The slow movement of No.9(played at Mennin's memorial service in 1983) is undoubtedly most beautiful.
Interesting! I like Mennin's slow movements. They are rather beautiful,in their own way. Pools of contemplation surrounded by all that ferocious energy. I find his symphonies quite power packed. But,yes! His slow movements are something else! I find myself appreciating his later symphonies,much,more recently. Particularly,the eighth,with all that apocalyptic imagery. I'll have to listen to the Ninth again,now,after reading this old post!

Offline pjme

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Re: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer
« Reply #187 on: October 14, 2019, 02:13:46 AM »
Here is the world premiere recording of Mennin's superb pianoconcerto.

Eunice Podis is terrific (slightly faster than Ogdon?)  and Szell & the Cleveland Orchestra scorchingly involved.
The overal sound is poor though. Too bad....

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/PXIPKnSOoOA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/PXIPKnSOoOA</a>



Eunice Podis

Offline k a rl h e nn i ng

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Re: Peter Mennin(1923-83)-a Great American Symphonic Composer
« Reply #188 on: October 14, 2019, 06:53:32 AM »
Here is the world premiere recording of Mennin's superb pianoconcerto.

Eunice Podis is terrific (slightly faster than Ogdon?)  and Szell & the Cleveland Orchestra scorchingly involved.
The overal sound is poor though. Too bad....

<a href="https://www.youtube.com/v/PXIPKnSOoOA" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer" class="bbc_link bbc_flash_disabled new_win">https://www.youtube.com/v/PXIPKnSOoOA</a>



Eunice Podis


It is one dynamite piece!
Karl Henning, Ph.D.
Composer & Clarinetist
Boston MA
http://www.karlhenning.com/
[Matisse] was interested neither in fending off opposition,
nor in competing for the favor of wayward friends.
His only competition was with himself. — Françoise Gilot