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1  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Enguerrand-Friedrich Lühl-Dolgorukiy on: Today at 02:28:51 am
let's not derail what's left of our forum with needless acrimony.

Hi Maris, great to hear from you again. My sentiments exactly, although I do recall similar spats at Unsung Composers (of less-than-blessed memory)...

2  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: The British "Mighty Handful" on: Today at 02:04:59 am
So you are saying that because of the internet, now anyone can post anything that is easily accessible, there is no longer such a thing as the "test of time"?  That all composers currently posting music online won't be forgotten because audience and critics have something easily accessible beyond a single performance?  Stravinsky actually wrote about this lamenting that the ease of which music was consumable due to broadcasting hurt its longevity because the audience and scholars didn't have to put effort to gain an understanding of what it was they were listening to. 


No, I am simply saying that because the internet (and, for that matter, radio and sophisticated recording capability) was not available to audiences and critics before the 1920s composers had very little chance of having their works properly judged on one or two (often ill-prepared) performances. I refer you again to consider the vast production of composition during the late 19th century into the 20th: how can this mass of work be even addressed, let alone properly assessed, without industrious exploration?

Yes, in our present age of "disposable" music seemingly everything can be had at the tap of a computer key. No doubt much has been uploaded that is not for posterity (although it may well give many listeners pleasure, and that is all to the good) but it is surely a blatant fact that our knowledge of the classical repertoire is steered towards an accepted canon of composers and their works. To get beyond this and explore is both our right and our responsibility...

3  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931) and Horatio Parker (1863-1919) on: Today at 01:51:42 am
Two further (possibly preferable) recordings of Parker's Hora novissima, Op.30 (1893) -,+Op.30+(1893)

4  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: The British "Mighty Handful" on: January 15, 2021, 04:49:05 pm
That or they didn't stand the test of time.  Brahms said something similar around 1890 in "Conversations with Composers" where he listed several composers that haven't fared well, the exception being the young Richard Strauss who at the time sounded far more like Brahms than the style he is more remembered for.

Ah, the dreaded "test of time". Remember that between 1870 and 1914 (onwards) every year British composers were bombarded with requests and commissions (from annual and triennial festivals and institutions such as the Philharmonic Society) in an already-crowded international market where significant composers such as Wagner, Verdi, Dvorak, Tchaikovsky and Grieg were still active: at best a premiere was scheduled, often with inadequate rehearsal-time allocated by a disinterested committee.

The "test of time" is a fallacy which takes no account of this "over-production". Before the era of broadcast, recording and musical archaeology twentieth-century critics had nothing to assess (when they could even be bothered) beyond published vocal scores for choral works and operas or piano reductions for orchestral works (very few British compositions were published in full score and archival holdings of holographs were far less accessible than they are now). Any work which is heard only in an unrecorded live concert once (or at best twice) has absolutely no chance of proper assessment...

5  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931) and Horatio Parker (1863-1919) on: January 15, 2021, 04:11:03 pm
Interesting.  It reminds me somewhat of Elgar.

And for the same reason, greatly to be treasured...

6  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / The British "Mighty Handful" on: January 15, 2021, 03:07:16 pm
The five most prominent composers acknowledged by Charles Willeby in his 1893 survey Masters of English Music ( were Arthur Sullivan (allocated 103 pp), Alexander Mackenzie (70 pp), Frederic Cowen (84 pp), Hubert Parry (24 pp) and Charles Villiers Stanford (21 pp).

In 1902 the American composer Horatio Parker stated that "I have great hopes for English music. With Cowen, Elgar, Mackenzie, Parry, and Stanford the nation has made great progress within my own memory" (Musical Times, September 1st 1902, p.591). Apart from the obvious substitution of Elgar for Sullivan (who had died in 1900) it is interesting that the same perception was widespread internationally: Mackenzie and Cowen are still awaiting proper discovery...

7  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / George Whitefield Chadwick (1854-1931) and Horatio Parker (1863-1919) on: January 15, 2021, 09:38:01 am
Two of my favourite late-Romantic American composers are Chadwick and Parker. Chadwick's orchestral music has received some splendid recordings:

Symphony No.2 (1883-85) - Albany SO/ Julius Hegyi (New World Records 80339, now NW-339-2, 1986)

Melpomene (1887); Rip Van Winkle (1879); Tam O' Shanter (1914-15) - Detroit SO/ Neeme Jarvi (Chandos CHAN 9439, 1996)

Symphony No.2 (1883-85); Symphony No.3 (1893-94) - Detroit SO/ Neeme Jarvi (Chandos CHAN 9685, 1998)

Symphonic Sketches (1895-1904); Melpomene (1887); Tam O'Shanter (1914-15); Suite symphonique (1905-09); Aphrodite (1910-11); Elegy (1920) - Czech State PO/ Jose Serebrier (Reference Recordings RR-2104CD, 2002)

Euterpe (1903); Angel of Death (1917-18); Aphrodite (1910-11); Melpomene (1887); Thalia (1882) - Nashville SO/ Kenneth Schermerhorn (Naxos 8559117, 2002)

Adonais (1899); Cleopatra (1904); A Pastoral Prelude (1890); Sinfonietta (1904) - BBC Concert O/ Keith Lockhart (Dutton Epoch CDLX 7293, 2012)

There is a 1995 broadcast performance of Chadwick's opera The Padrone (1912) -

By contrast Parker has received rather less attention:

Hora novissima, Op.30 (1893); Organ Concerto, Op.55 (1902) - Duane Andersen (bass-baritone), Kent Hall (tenor), Julie Simson (mezzo-soprano), Anna Soranno (soprano), Stephen Krahn (organ)/ Nebraska Chamber O/ Nebraska Wesleyan University Choir/ Abendmusik Chorus/ John Levick (Albany TROY 124/25, 1994)

Cahal Mor of the Wine-Red Hand, Op.40 (1893) - Patrick Mason (baritone)/ Odense SO/ Paul Mann (Bridge 9254, 2008)

A Northern Ballad, Op.46 (1899) - Albany SO/ Julius Hegyi (New World Records 80339, now NW-339-2, 1986)

A Northern Ballad, Op.46 (1899) - RPO/ Karl Krueger (Bridge 9190, 2006)

Organ Concerto, Op.55 (1902) - Franz Hauk (organ)/ Ingolstadt PO/ Alfredo Ibarra (Guild GMCD7182, 2006)

Vathek, Op.56 (1903) RPO/ Karl Krueger (Bridge 9124A/C, 2003)

Howard Hanson conducted the Eastman Rochester SO in the Prelude and Interlude from Parker's opera Mona, Op.71 (1912) (Mercury LP SR90524) -

whilst Richard Korn conducted the Hamburg PO in the Interlude from Mona (Allegro LP 3150) -

In addition there is an off-air recording of Neemi Jarvi conducting the Detroit SO in Parker's Count Robert of Paris Overture Op.24b (1890) -

and Richard Korn conducting the Orchestra of America in Parker's Fairyland Suite, Op.77b (1915) -

Two works which I would really like to hear are Chadwick's Symphony No.1 in C, Op.5 (1881) and Parker's only Symphony, Op.7 (1885): the manuscript score of the Chadwick is scanned and on IMSLP (,_Op.5_(Chadwick,_George_Whitefield)), the manuscript score and parts of the Parker are in Philadelphis (

Perhaps these would make an enterprising, enlightening and entertaining coupling...

8  Little-known music of all eras / Books about composers and their music / Re: The Symphonic Poem in Britain 1850-1950 on: January 14, 2021, 12:30:56 pm
I fear I shall succumb, especially as a paperback is available (I'd be able to resist the 70 pound hardback more easily).

I think the only options (at the moment) are either hardback or eBook (PDF).

A few of my favourite works in the genre are Macbeth (1859) by Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873), The Passing of Beatrice (1892) and Villon (1909) by William Wallace (1860-1940) and The Raven (1900) and Ulalume (1903) by Joseph Holbrooke (1878-1958)...


9  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: William Wallace (1860-1940) on: January 13, 2021, 10:55:21 pm
Hi Jim, great to hear from you.

It was the Irish Wallace! William Vincent Wallace (1812-1865) travelled  widely and reached America (mainly residing in New Orleans and New York) in the early 1840s: in 1844 he did indeed write a Violin Concerto entitled Souvenir de New York but whether it survives or not I don't know...

10  Little-known music of all eras / Books about composers and their music / The Symphonic Poem in Britain 1850-1950 on: January 13, 2021, 05:54:31 pm
Possibly of interest:

11  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / William Wallace (1860-1940) on: January 13, 2021, 05:45:24 pm
The Scotsman Wallace has been doubly unfortunate in sharing his name with both the medieval warrior and the successful Irish earlier nineteenth-century operatic composer (William Vincent Wallace): internet searches leave him a very poor third. Yet his music is distinctive and well worth exploring.

Luckily, there are two excellent Hyperion discs devoted to the orchestral music:

CDA66848 - Symphonic Poem No.5, Sir William Wallace (1905); Symphonic Poem No.6, Villon (1909); Symphonic Poem No. 1, The Passing of Beatrice (1892), Symphonic Poem No.3, Sister Helen (1899) BBC Scottish SO/ Martyn Brabbins

CDA66987 - Prelude to The Eumenides (1893); Pelleas and Melisande Suite (1897); Creation Symphony (1896-99) BBC Scottish SO/ Martyn Brabbins

Although Henry Cotter Nixon's Symphonic Poem Palamon and Arcite (1882) - recorded on Toccata Classics TOCC0372 - predates Wallace's mature works, the latter was very much the British pioneer of the genre and deserves wider appreciation...


12  Various / Miscellany / Useful online mp3 audio tools on: January 12, 2021, 08:37:53 am
Here are two useful and reliable online tools (no downloading of software is required):

1. To quickly convert YouTube videos to mp3 files -

A couple of points: it is worthwhile having an ad-blocker on your browser; sometimes you may be converting a file and you encounter the message "Video not available" - this is only temporary (simply put that conversion aside, process some others and then return to the reluctant file a little later).

2. To increase or decrease the volume level of audio files -

13  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Musical Comedy broadcasts on: January 10, 2021, 03:22:35 pm
A wonderful series of fifty-seven half-hour programmes devoted to musical comedy (both American and British) was broadcast by 2GB Sydney Radio (Australia) during the 1940s. Here are works by composers of the calibre of Lionel Monckton (1861-1924), Sidney Jones (1869-1946), Ivan Caryll (1861-1921), Howard Talbot (1865-1928), Lesley Stuart (1864-1928) and Paul Rubens (1876-1917) - masters of a still sadly-neglected genre.

From the website of the National Film and Sound Archive of Australia:

Series: 143504
Summary: The best of the musical comedies each presented in a self-contained half-hour
episode of narrative and song. Albert Fisher’s Orchestra is supported by Australia’s leading
vocalists in the presentation of selected hits.
Contributors: Albert Fisher’s Orchestra (MSG), Albert Fisher (ARR), E. Mason Wood (PDR),
Redmond Phillips (SCR, EDS), Walter Pym (NRT), Peter Bathurst (NRT).
Label: Artransa
Episode duration: 30 mins
Episodes produced: 57
Broadcast details: 1940s- ; Wednesday on 2GB at 9.00pm., in 1946 moved to Wednesday at
8.00pm, in 1947 moved to Friday at 8.00pm.

Here are eleven of the episodes:

I would be grateful if anyone could supply further information regarding the full extent of the Musical Comedy Theatre broadcasts.

14  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Stanford Songs by Roderick Williams on: January 08, 2021, 11:13:56 pm
An exciting prospect:

15  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Stanford Te Deum, Op.66 and Elegiac Ode, Op.21 on: January 08, 2021, 11:01:48 pm
Good news that the Stanford Society is continuing to promote the composer's larger-scale works following the splendid mass Via Victrix on Lyrita. According to the Chairman of the Society:

Both the BBC and Lyrita were delighted with the concert and recording of the Stanford Mass and asked Adrian Partington if there were any more Stanford choral works of the same quality that had been neglected and never been recorded. Adrian asked the Stanford Society if we had any suggestions? As it happened we did, as we had started to prepare a list of Stanford works to recommend to the Three Choirs Festival for future performance.

The two specific works which we recommended to Adrian are The Elegiac Ode (Op. 21) and the Te Deum (Op. 66). The Elegiac Ode was written by Stanford in 1884 to a commission from the Norwich and Norfolk Festival. It was warmly received at its premier but has had very few performances since. This work was the first time that Stanford set a poem by the American metaphysical poet Walt Whitman (1819-1892)...

The Latin Te Deum of 1898 was written for the Leeds Festival of that year. This is another of Stanford’s large scale choral work which was well received at its premier but has subsequently been neglected.

We have provided the scores of both the Elegiac Ode and Latin Te Deum to Adrian Partington. After review and discussion with the BBC he plans to conduct both works with the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, its Chorus and appropriate soloists early in 2022. We are hopeful that these works will then be released on CD by Lyrita. I am very much looking forward to this concert and the subsequent recording.

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