Author Topic: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)  (Read 14862 times)

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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #20 on: October 09, 2011, 03:02:17 PM »
yes, the coupling of father/son was not a great one and I ended up only listening to the Berkeley Senior works. Having said this I had an LP of Berkeley Junior's choral 'Or Shall we Die'- which despite lapsing into bathos at the end I found rather impressive.
"Courage is going from failure to failure without losing enthusiasm" (Churchill).

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Offline Daverz

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #21 on: October 09, 2011, 05:23:29 PM »
The Horn Trio recording by Dennis Brain and friends was my introduction to his music.



(The second set shown seems to contain the first.  The Horn Trio is also in the Dennis Brain Icon box).  I also enjoy Symphonies 1 & 2 on Lyrita, but the music does not have a strong profile.



Offline Christo

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #22 on: October 10, 2011, 09:50:05 PM »
yes, the coupling of father/son was not a great one and I ended up only listening to the Berkeley Senior works. Having said this I had an LP of Berkeley Junior's choral 'Or Shall we Die'- which despite lapsing into bathos at the end I found rather impressive.

(Again) we seem to be sharing exactly the same listening experiences. I found `Or Shall we Die' quite acceptable, in those old days. The other piece that convinced me was his work for strings - forget the title - coupled on another lp with his father's Antiphon, also for strings. Antiphon is a quite impressive, because less abstract, piece from Lennox' later years.
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Offline Christo

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #23 on: October 10, 2011, 09:51:32 PM »
I also enjoy Symphonies 1 & 2 on Lyrita, but the music does not have a strong profile.

I came to appreciate the somewhat troubled Second even more than the First.
… music is not only an 'entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.    RVW, 1948

Elnimio

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #24 on: February 16, 2012, 08:37:05 PM »
His third symphony is fantastic.

Offline Mirror Image

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #25 on: February 16, 2012, 08:54:03 PM »
yes, the coupling of father/son was not a great one and I ended up only listening to the Berkeley Senior works. Having said this I had an LP of Berkeley Junior's choral 'Or Shall we Die'- which despite lapsing into bathos at the end I found rather impressive.

I would buy those Hickox Berkeley recordings if his son's music wasn't on it. :D His son's music can't match his father's. Sigh...I wish Chandos would just release the Hickox recordings of Lennox's.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #26 on: February 17, 2012, 01:24:38 AM »
I would buy those Hickox Berkeley recordings if his son's music wasn't on it. :D His son's music can't match his father's. Sigh...I wish Chandos would just release the Hickox recordings of Lennox's.

Yes, that was a misconceived idea - in that sense the Lyritas are preferable to the Chandos series, desite the excellence of Hickox's performances. My favourites are Symphony No 1, Serenade for Strings and the Concerto for Two Pianos but above postings have encouraged me to listen again to symphonies 2 and 3. I think that Berkeley L. was a fine composer. I had a very brief chat with him at a concert once.
"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 Mirror Image

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #27 on: February 17, 2012, 08:06:35 AM »
Yes, that was a misconceived idea - in that sense the Lyritas are preferable to the Chandos series, desite the excellence of Hickox's performances. My favourites are Symphony No 1, Serenade for Strings and the Concerto for Two Pianos but above postings have encouraged me to listen again to symphonies 2 and 3. I think that Berkeley L. was a fine composer. I had a very brief chat with him at a concert once.

I'll have to check out the Lyrita recordings. Thanks for the recommendation and, I agree, L. Berkeley was a good composer.
"Works of art create rules; rules do not create works of art." - Claude Debussy

Offline Dundonnell

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #28 on: February 17, 2012, 08:43:11 AM »
I shall repeat what I wrote when I started this thread three years ago-

"Berkeley's music is consistently elegant and airy, light in touch without being 'light music', eminently civilised. Sometimes, it seems to me, to be too civilised and elegant. I would welcome a degree more roughness, asperity, anger, passion-but these are obviously purely personal reactions. Berkeley will never be my favourite British composer(Vaughan Williams, Havergal Brian, Rubbra, Simpson, Arnell, Bax, Arnold, Frankel and a few others are more appealing to my tastes) but his fluent music should not be ignored."

The comparisons Christo made with composers like Bliss, Rawsthorne and Cooke remain valid too, It is a pity that the Fourth Symphony, written not long before Berkeley was compelled to stop composing due to the onset of Alzeimer's, is a fairly weak and ineffective composition :(

Offline Lethevich

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #29 on: February 17, 2012, 12:18:14 PM »
His third symphony is fantastic.

That one bowled me over when I first heard it - so condensed, yet expressive - a perfectly crafted thing.
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Offline vandermolen

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #30 on: January 02, 2014, 10:46:06 AM »
I came to appreciate the somewhat troubled Second even more than the First.

I am learning to appreciate Symphony No 2 more and agree.
"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 vandermolen

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #31 on: February 25, 2016, 09:31:41 AM »
A rather touching obituary of Berkeley's wife in the newspaper today:
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/obituaries/12172020/Lady-Berkeley-obituary.html
"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 Scion7

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #32 on: March 06, 2016, 02:34:01 AM »
A rather touching obituary of Berkeley's wife...

Thanks - good article.  Another composer I need to investigate from home, yet largely unkown.  Quite an extensive set of works:

http://www.classicalarchives.com/composer/8573.html

. . . and even more via The Grove.

« Last Edit: March 06, 2016, 02:45:16 AM by Scion7 »
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: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #33 on: March 06, 2016, 11:19:25 AM »
Thanks - good article.  Another composer I need to investigate from home, yet largely unkown.  Quite an extensive set of works:

http://www.classicalarchives.com/composer/8573.html

. . . and even more via The Grove.


Seeing that LP cover was such a nostalgia trip for me. I came across it in the small record library of The Commonwealth Institute in London probably in the mid 1970s. Williamson was Australian hence the Commonwealth connection. I took out the LP many times as I did one featuring music by the New Zealand composer Douglas Lilburn. They both made a huge impact on me although it was the Williamson Violin Concerto which made the greater impression. It is one of my very favourite violin concertos and is a deeply moving work although the Berkeley is very fine too. As someone with an interest in portrait sculpture I also loved the LP cover image (so much better than the CD which features both works, alongside that of Panufnik). I saw the portrait of Menuhin many times when I think it was displayed at the Royal Festival Hall in London - also a great work. So thanks very much for the memory of the fine LP!
"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 Scion7

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89) flipside .....
« Reply #34 on: March 06, 2016, 08:45:54 PM »
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: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89) flipside .....
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2016, 11:28:31 PM »

Thanks. Those were the days! Great disc.  :)
"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 Scion7

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89) ... withdrawn/unpublished
« Reply #36 on: March 07, 2016, 09:12:38 PM »
Would be interesting to find out which of these were later partly re-worked into other pieces.

Suite, 1927; Ov., op.8, 1934, unpubd, withdrawn;
Variation on an Elizabethan Theme (Sellinger's Round), str, 1953, collab. others, unpubd;
Prelude-Intermezzo, fl, vn, va, pf, 1927, unpubd;
Overature., light orch, 1959, unpubd;
Piece, fl, cl, bn, 1929, unpubd;
Suite, fl/pic, ob, vn, va, vc, c1930, unpubd;
Polka, op.5/1, 2 pf, tpt, cym, tambour de basque, triangle, c1934, unpubd,
Minuet, 2 rec, c1924, unpubd;
Sonatine, cl, pf, 1928, unpubd;
Sonata no.1, vn, pf, 1931, unpubd;
March, pf/hpd, 1924, unpubd;
Mr Pilkington's Toye, pf/hpd, 1926, unpubd;
For Vere, pf/hpd, 1927, unpubd;
Paysage, 1944, unpubd;
Prelude and Fugue, op.55/3, clvd, 1960, unpubd
Impromptu, 1941, unpubd;
Theme and Variations, op.73, pf 4 hands, 1968, unpubd;

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 Scion7

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #37 on: March 08, 2016, 09:40:55 PM »
 
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 Scion7

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Re: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #38 on: March 08, 2016, 09:51:49 PM »


The 1959 sound is not bad at all - the sonata is from 1945, and is a rugged little piece.
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: Sir Lennox Berkeley(1903-89)
« Reply #39 on: March 09, 2016, 02:03:32 AM »
I must investigate his chamber music - thank you for posting all those LP images which have inspired me to do so. I have just received the book 'Freda and Lennox' which I shall look forward to reading.
"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).