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1  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 17, 2018, 03:18:28 pm
Very briefly and with my moderator's hat on, and in the spirit of the "light touch", can I respectfully point out to members that further extended discussion of the interpretation of passages from the Bible and modern economic/financial parallels could lead us into stormy waters Grin

In direct response however....the Ina Boyle cd without the bonus track contains 75 minutes of music. The bonus track is timed at 8.50 minutes.
2  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 16, 2018, 11:56:10 pm
I have emailed Lewis Foreman as promised.
3  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 16, 2018, 08:20:47 pm
I know and have corresponded with Lewis Foreman. Lewis is involved with Dutton as an A. and R. Consultant.

If I can have a copy of the response from Dutton I shall send it to him.

We have discussed frequently the failure of record companies to respond. To respond in a manner which has offended loyal customers is commercial madness
4  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 16, 2018, 11:00:34 am
It is clear that Dutton have made a major blunder. It is not good practice for a small company to upset its loyal customers!

And that is a real pity because the issue of the bonus track which so far remains unheard is, quite understandably, detracting from the welcome the music certainly deserves. Ina Boyle was not a major composer but she writes beautifully in the rich vein of pastoralism which so vividly evokes the countryside she knew and loved. The influence of her teacher, RVW, is very considerable but none the worse for that

As for the Stanford concertos....? Well they certainly will not scare the horses They are works of Stanford's youth, very much in the Mendelssohn and Schumann tradition. Evidently the composer had no great interest in attempting to dust them off during his lifetime. He went on to write far better and more interesting music. Do they deserve a cd recording? Well obviously some people think so.....but I can think of more deserving causes! Not a cd I am likely to play often but my sense of "duty" to the cause of British music etc etc.
5  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 14, 2018, 03:44:07 pm
I took absolutely no offence, I assure you I would have begun my post in exactly the same way- "Back to Dutton"
6  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 14, 2018, 03:32:13 pm
Indeed It is absolutely inevitable that discussion of a particular topic on a forum such as this will go off on at least one and often several different tangents.I am as "guilty" of tangential discussion as anyone. There is a fine balance between "going with the flow" of such discussion and attempting to curtail it.I should have responded to Latvian's question by locating my "essay" on Wilfred Josephs in a separate thread.

What I don't want to start doing is chiding members for "irrelevance"

My own copies of the Ina Boyle and the Stanford concertos arrived today and I shall report back once I have listened to them.
7  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 11, 2018, 01:20:34 am
Since Latvian has asked me about the neglect of the music of Wilfred Josephs:

There are I suppose around 30 British symphonists of the mid to late 20th century who might very broadly be placed in a sort of second division of composers. (Behind that is composers like Britten, Walton, Tippett and a few others.)

Whatever the intrinsic "merits" of their music-which of course could be endlessly debated, with vigorous disagreements-the "popularity" or indeed survival of the work of these composers is often dependent on a range of diverse factors. Some might characterise these as "luck".

There are a few who enjoyed the passionate support of people with some influence in the British musical scene. An obvious example would be Havergal Brian. Brian's music was championed by the composer Robert Simpson. As a music producer at the BBC Simpson drove forward the project to have as many as possible of Brian's symphonies broadcast. Brian's music (and to an extent his life story) began to attract a cult following. Malcolm MacDonald wrote his acclaimed three volume study. From various and different sources money was made available to launch cd recordings. The rest is history.
Others enjoyed the support of particular conductors who, usually from a regional "power-base", could persuade the BBC to broacast the music. Sir Edward Downes tirelessly promoted the music of George Lloyd and shortly afterwards Albany began its series of recordings. Bryden Thomson, in Manchester with the BBC Northern Symphony Orchestra and in Wales with the BBC Welsh Symphony Orchestra, championed composers like Daniel Jones.

If a composer was outside the London musical scene or the academic world of the music academies but had a regional presence and if that region had a BBC orchestra and an interested conductor then the composer's music could be performed and broadcast. This certainly helped composers like Daniel Jones, Alun Hoddinott and William Mathias in Wales or composers like Iain Hamilton (although he lived in London and, for a substantial time, in the USA), Robin Orr, Thomas Wilson and (the adoped Scot) William Wordsworth in Scotland. Arthur Butterworth was well-known in Manchester and with the local orchestras in Yorkshire.

The "popularity" of these composers faded quickly after their deaths or the deaths of those conductors who had performed their music. A new generation of younger conductors and BBC music producers had much less interest in keeping the music "alive".

For a fortunate few the British record companies like Chandos, Hyperion and, particularly, Lyrita and Dutton made their music accessible through cds. Thus the music of Richard Arnell and Stanley Bate was brought back from oblivion.Hyperion recorded all the Robert Simpson symphonies. A German record label-CPO- remarkably recorded the symphonies of Benjamin Frankel and Humphrey Searle. Toccata appears to be doing the same for William Wordsworth.

Why these composers? Some of it is down to the particular musical tastes of the owners of the record companies. Much is down to whether or not there are people with enough money or access to it to subsidise recordings.

And where does this leave Wilfred Josephs? He wrote twelve symphonies. There is one on cd (No.5). Two have never been performed (Nos. 6 and 12). Of the seven which were composed after 1971 (when the composer was still only 44), ie after No.5, only No.10 was performed by a full, professional orchestra (No.10 by the London Philharmonic Orchestra under Vernon Handley in Norwich in 1985 but not broadcast). Josephs hailed from Newcastle in the north-east of England. He wrote a great deal of music to accompany TV series.  His reputation suffered from a lack of exposure and from a wide consensus based on preconceptions. Even before his death in 1997 Josephs could not get his new large-scale orchestral compositions performed at all, let alone broadcast. After his death he was well-nigh forgotten.

Does his music deserve this fate? That remains a matter of opinion based on listening to the music we can hear in off-air recordings. Will it re-emerge? I doubt it. The music is not the sort of "warmly romantic" (Bate or Arnell or Arthur Butterworth) which would interest (or should one say did interest) Dutton. There are off-air recordings of Symphonies Nos. 1, 3, 4 and 7. Will Lyrita re-master these for cd? Who knows.....but I have my doubts.

I hope this goes some way to address your question, Maris Grin
8  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: David Diamond Symphony No.6 from Naxos on: April 10, 2018, 11:21:36 pm
You are of course quite right to point this out I look forward to the cd's release
9  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 07, 2018, 01:10:22 pm
I do so agree about Ruth Gipps Smiley  Unforgiveably I have often omitted her from lists of British symphonists. There are broadcast recordings of the Symphonies Nos. 3 and 4 in our British Music Archive. These date from 1969 and 1983 respectively-No.3 conducted by the composer and No.4 by Sir John Pritchard. IF Richard Itter made off-air recordings then they would make an ideal coupling for Lyrita (73 minutes in total).But, since we don't know what Itter recorded and what he did not or whether his tapes are salvageable and since we are certainly NOT going to be told we could speculate until hell freezes over

There is a performance of Symphony No. 5 in the Archive but it is basically a run-through with the London Repertoire orchestra. I am lucky enough to have the Classico cd of No.2.

Since Gipps was a composer in the broadly RVW tradition one would say that her music should suit Dutton but I can well imagine that Dutton would need a very generous donation to finance new recordings.

Btw: what news of the Holbrooke disc from CPO?? Surely Howard Griffiths himself would rather that his efforts were on our shelves rather than in the CPO vaults? These vaults must now contain as much treasure as do ours here
10  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dutton? on: April 06, 2018, 02:46:19 pm
Have you listened to the John Veale/John Gardner cd again, Jeffrey? I was bowled over by the Veale-as was Christo
11  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 06, 2018, 02:44:22 pm
All this should be joy for Neil who regrets that there is not more discussion of opera on this forum
12  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 05, 2018, 08:08:09 pm
I agree about ASV. They recorded a number of obscure British concertos currently unavailable
13  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 05, 2018, 04:41:44 pm
I'm listening to the Fourth,now! I'm rather enjoying it,actually. I think I may have been wrong,or even a bit of a cissy ! Grin) to have given up on them,so quickly,last time around?! This music has an elemental power. It sounds very angry when it's loud;and I can certainly see what calyptorhyncus means about his use of brass! Wow! I remember being very much taken by his Ninth symphony,when I first heard it;I remember being so enthusiastic about it,I made my late mother sit all the way through it!! Roll Eyes Grin

I've got to say;I love the way he builds his his music up. There's a feeling of orchestral power,there. Big blocks of sound,with the brass,literally,blazing.The photo's on the front do seem apt. Cosmic!! I think I've got to side with the Simpson admirers,here. I think I'm really feeling excited about what I'm hearing!!

The only problem with the Fourth-as I have said repeatedly-is that the slow movement is not slow enough!! Simpson revised his original conception to avoid the movement being "too emotional" and subsequently regretted that decision. Someone should return to the original score and re-record it. One of my biggest regrets is deleting my recording of the premiere Cry
14  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 05, 2018, 04:03:49 pm
Cilgwyn, you refer to an extended debate about Robert Simpson on GMG. This is one of the reasons I don't bother returning there. We could debate the music of a particular composer until the cows came home. Sometimes that debate is worth having and worth extending. Discussion is to be encouraged after all

However it can get to the point (and if I recall correctly through the mists of time it did with Simpson) that I certainly can say no more on the subject. Simpson's "sound world"- which is ultimately what appeals to me-may not attract or impress others. I happen to think that his Symphonies Nos. 2, 4 and 9 are masterpieces. I happen to think that No.9 is one of the greatest 20th century symphonies but I find most Delius tedious, most Rachmaninov nauseating, most Mozart boring.......so, what do I know
15  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: April 05, 2018, 03:52:38 pm
Today, took a slightly different tack (well, did listen to another set of Debussy Preludes Bk 1, Monique Haas, a worthy performance). But decided to listen to some orchestral music and settled on Vaughan Williams Symphony No 3 (the pastorale). I listened to a recording I have not head before, Andre Previn conducting the London Symphony Orchestra (the newly remastered set from RCA). Really a splendid performance, especially some thrilling work by the horns in the third movement, and a very impressive catharsis in the finale. Overall, a very satisfying experience.


At his best- in the late 1960s and 1970s, at the helm of the London Symphony Orchestra, Previn was a truly magnificent conductor. His mastery of the idiom of RVW (and, eg, Walton) was absolutely brilliant and I agree totally about the Pastoral.

It is such a pity that, unlike most conductors, he seems to have "peaked" too young.
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