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1  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Unknown Martinu on: January 11, 2018, 03:23:11 am
Nice disk. Vanishing Midnight is really a wonderful romantic piece with impressionistic influences, worth hearing. The other two pieces are not on that level, actually redundant and not relevant.  Roll Eyes

I am delighted that you are obviously impressed by "Vanishing Midnight".

You may be less taken by the other pieces on the disc and that is of course a perfectly "proper" response. Once again however you persist in using the phrase "not relevant" (to which you now add the word "redundant").

If you have read the responses from other members to your previous posts you should be aware that the use of the phrase "not relevant" is inappropriate (or, more directly, nonsensical). Relevance by definition requires a relationship, ie relevance to what. In the context of early Martinu-the music he was writing before the influences of Stravinsky and of jazz brought about a change of musical direction-these early orchestral works, influenced by Strauss and Debussy, are exceptionally "relevant" (which is why Toccata decided to record them).

Repeatedly describing particular music as "not relevant" has irked other members, is annoying and-if continued out of some sense of amusement-is decidedly unfunny.
2  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Unknown Martinu on: January 04, 2018, 10:02:35 pm
The new disc is magnificent!

Glorious, rich, dark romantic music in a style which the composer largely abandoned: Straussian with the influence of Debussy. But music well worth revival.

Warmly and enthusiastically recommended Smiley
3  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Martinu's Prelude Symphonique "The Rock" on: December 13, 2017, 09:52:00 pm
No. It is named after Plymouth Rock, Massachusetts where the Pilgrim Fathers landed from the 'Mayflower'.
4  About music in general / The listener / Re: A school story on: December 11, 2017, 04:47:41 pm
I was so fortunate to grow up in a house surrounded by music. My grandfather had been a church organist although he had retired by that time. My father had been the timpanist in an amateur orchestra set up during World War Two. He had been taught by the timpanist of the Reid Orchestra (the University of Edinburgh orchestra). Our house was full of 78s (several of which I broke accidentally) with music by Beethoven. Brahams, Wagner, Gilbert and Sullivan etc etc. My father took me to my first orchestral concert when I was nine. We sat in the organ gallery of the Usher Hall in Edinburgh to see the BBC Symphony Orchestra under Sir Malcolm Sargent play "The Planets". When I got to around 13-14 my father started buying me LPs: Mahler's Symphony No.1, a lot of Sibelius.

....but school? The Head of Music had no interest in anybody who did not have a good enough voice to join the elite school choir- it was invited to sing at the wedding of the Prime Minister's daughter (the PM was Sir Alec Douglas-Home). One of the choir's leading lights was Ian Charleson, who went on to star in "Chariots of Fire" and died tragically of AIDS.  So I spent my time endlessly listening to and discussing music with my great friend Malcolm MacDonald. We took over the school's Music Society and used it as a means of playing our favourite records to ourselves and a very small group of reasonably like-minded friends. So there was a lot of Sibelius, Vaughan Williams, William Walton......

Malcolm of course went on to be the great authority on Havergal Brian but another friend has conducted on cd (the John Blackwood McEwen Solway Symphony and other works by that Scottish composer).

However, continuing the organ theme. One of my friends then (and still today) played the organ in a local church. One day I sat beside him as he played a piece I had never heard but which was so astonishingly virtuosic, exciting, grand.....

Olivier Messiaen's "Dieu parmi nous" from "La Nativite du Seigneur":

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wZnq7S3LPg
5  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Martinu's Prelude Symphonique "The Rock" on: December 11, 2017, 04:25:38 pm
There has been some discussion recently of Toccata's series of Early Orchestral Music by Martinu. Whilst this is certainly important and welcome I do find it quite strange that quite a lot of the later orchestral music, ie the works composed between the end of the Second World War and the composer's death in 1959, is not better known. There are a number of glowing, impressionist scores, many of which can only be found on Supraphon cds. The most famous would be "Les Fresques de Piero della Francesca" which I think is a really magical score. But how often do we hear his last two orchestral works: "The Parables" or "Estampes"?

The one late composition which had eluded me for years was the Prelude Symphonique "The Rock" (1957). It is only 10 minutes long but for a completist like me........ I finally found that it had been recorded by Supraphon and I managed to buy the cd which was intended by the company for the Japanese market. The other pieces on the cd are duplications but so what......... Grin
6  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Feliks Nowowiejsji "Quo Vadis" on: December 05, 2017, 04:57:02 pm
Although I had an off-air recording of this massive work I was encouraged by the very favourable reviews on Musicwb of the recent cd releases from Dux and CPO to invest in one of these (the CPO version).

It is an absolutely fabulous piece! Having been, I must confess, somewhat under-whelmed by the roughly contemporary Choral Symphony by Sir George Dyson (new release from Naxos) I was absolutely gripped by the sheer blazing confidence of the choral and orchestral writing by Nowowiejski. There is nothing "tame" about "Quo Vadis". It positively glows with magnificent conviction and passion.

I add my most enthusiastic endorsement to the commendations of the Musicweb critics. Early 20th century European romantic choral music at its imperious best!!
7  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Unknown Martinu on: December 04, 2017, 02:21:01 am
I am an idiot  I do have Volume 1 in my collection. Another of those cds bought, listened to once and promptly forgotten.

Reading about the works in Volume 3 however suggests that they will be very interesting indeed.
8  Preliminaries / Greetings / Re: Hello! on: December 01, 2017, 10:37:23 pm
Welcome to the forum from the member with the (dubious) record of the most posts

With the greatest respect to my fellow members who contribute so much, we do need new members who feel able to post when they can. A forum is always refreshed by those with their own particular interests and perspectives 
9  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Sir Michael Tippett's Symphony in B flat on: November 28, 2017, 02:08:13 pm
So, 2017 nearly over and this symphony has not yet been broadcast.

 Angry

It is being given its first performance in Glasgow on Thursday 1st February 2018 by the BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra under Martyn Brabbins. I am planning to attend Smiley I presume that the concert will be broadcast. The recording should be made around the same time. When it is issued is of course anyone's guess!
10  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Unknown Martinu on: November 28, 2017, 01:40:21 am
Interesting indeed!

I have not investigated the two previous releases in this series. Has anyone else done so??
11  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Composers under National Socialism on: November 13, 2017, 03:23:20 pm
Given that the Swede Kurt Atterberg's Symphony No.7 was given its premiere in Frankfurt in 1943 I hardly think that the reputation of the Finnish giant of 20th century music is likely to suffer, especially since he had stopped composition by the time the Nazis came to power in Germany. Does any of this really matter now?
12  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dyson Choral Symphony on Naxos - November 2017 on: November 12, 2017, 08:35:58 pm
Yes, I think that I agree with the general thrust of your assessment. The Choral Symphony is certainly attractive but it does not match the composer's later, more mature choral works. To argue, as Paul Spicer does in the cd booklet notes, that it could be an equal and alternative to the Vaughan Williams Sea Symphony is I think a little exaggerated. Worth hearing certainly but Dyson himself clearly had a higher estimate of his later music and was right to do so.
13  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Kalevi Aho Concerto for Soprano Saxophone and chamber orchestra on: November 07, 2017, 12:51:44 pm
Agree, same as with Aho's symphonies. Wiki states there're 17 at the moment, and 3 for chamber orchestra, BIS has to hurry to keep up!

....or of course Aho could always slow done on his production of concertos Grin    But that seems unkilely Grin
14  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Unrecorded British Post-War Concertos on: November 07, 2017, 01:33:24 am
Ruth Gipps's Violin Concertos

The Ruth Gipps Violin Concerto was written in 1943, so it lies outside the post-1945 period I specified. She did write a Concerto for Violin, Viola and small orchestra in 1957 but that is her only post-war unrecorded concerto. My list was of those composers who wrote five or more that have not made it to cd. There are a number of others-Arnold Cooke, Stanley Bate, Graham Whettam, William Mathias, William Wordsworth, Peter Racine Fricker who wrote three or four such unrecorded concertos.
15  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Unrecorded British Post-War Concertos on: November 07, 2017, 01:27:24 am
Yes, I mean not commercially recorded.
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