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1  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Joseph Holbrooke from CPO on: June 12, 2019, 04:59:33 pm
I'm afraid I'm somewhat underwhelmed by the new CPO disc, but I have to say I think that's more than a little down to the performances, which strike me as not much more than rather tepid runs-through;  for example, listen to how much more carefully Vernon Handley shaped and phrased The Birds of Rhiannon, whereas in this reading it rather just meanders along...Music with such a tendency to prolixity such as Holbrookes - the first movement of Ships being a case in point - really needs the acute ear and sensitivity of a Beecham: what a shame he never recorded any. (I once saw Howard Griffiths described by a famously dyspeptic US reviewer as a "routinier", and took great objection to the term, but I now wonder; this is music that needs much more than simply beating time....)

Having said which, I do hope someone (else) finally records The Bells one day - a splendid piece right up with the best of his work, but which definitely needs a razor-sharp performance from all involved...
2  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Unfamiliar Lyrita on: February 15, 2019, 12:51:14 pm
Well here's a completely unfamiliar name to me...and 5 cds worth at that!
3  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Thomas Wilson Symphonies from Linn on: February 02, 2018, 04:25:02 pm
Excellent news! I wonder who's paying for them?
Now, if we could get the remainder of Arthur Butterworths paid some attention, that would a be job well done...
4  Little-known music of all eras / Downloads discussion / Early Tippett on: February 02, 2018, 11:28:03 am
Well, the first broadcast of Tippett's discarded first-First symphony was a surprise! I'd assumed it would at least have some faint pre-echoes of the Tippet we know - sprung rhythms, a hint of Tudor music, Beethovenian notes mixed in with a sprinkling of Stravinsky, probably even some VW -  but in the event...when he described it as being excessively influenced by Sibelius he sure wasn't wrong! I hadn't appreciated how much impact Sibelius 1st must have had on British composers of the time - especially the opening woodwind solo (a feature also of Gardner's 2nd.) And indeed the woodwind writing throughout was deeply in thrall to the Sibelian sound. Listening blind (?) I can't think I'd ever have identified the composer.  A distinct oddity - it'll need greater familiarity to assess its worth as a symphony per se, though it's clear already that the "official" 1st is far more accomplished. An interesting thought though that in some ways Tippets fourth and final symphony also references Sibelius, albeit in much more fundamental and structural ways - this time expressed entirely in Tippett's own voice...
5  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Re: Babcock,,David - Symphony No. 5 Op. 58 (2001) on: September 29, 2017, 10:22:54 am
Agreed - a very interesting piece, and the echoes of Arthur Butterworth (surely unintentional) are rather striking...Will definitely investigate the rest of these.
6  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Lyrita futures on: September 15, 2017, 02:36:52 pm
Having just listened to the brief clips of the Lloyd 6&7 on Lyrita, I have to say that, for all some rough edges, they do sound a lot more vehement and energized than the composers own slightly comfortable recordings - and thus justifying their reissue after all. I'm going to revise my wary initial welcome and order this one! Hopefully the reissue of Bax 2nd/Goosens will be equally revelatory - given that the Dutton issue was taken from very worn discs, whereas Richard Itters own was (presumably?) unplayed and unused?
7  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Lyrita Bax on: August 30, 2017, 10:30:03 pm

I remember hearing Winter Legends at the time - may even still have an ancient tape of it: not sure if the Goosens has already been issued elsewhere?
8  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Lyrita futures on: July 14, 2017, 02:52:29 pm
Agreed - that's much more like it!
9  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Lyrita futures on: July 05, 2017, 01:17:26 pm
BTW, speaking of Lloyd 7, I seem to recall there was a broadcast performance conducted by Rumon Gamba...I do wonder if anyone on this board made a recording of it???

(And I believe Neeme Jarvi also performed it, presumably in about 25 minutes?)
10  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Lyrita futures on: July 01, 2017, 08:34:01 am
Agree, it seems another odd choice given the wealth of otherwise unavailable music that presumably lies waiting? (I'll probably still buy it, though, out of sheer brand loyalty!)
11  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Lyrita futures on: June 30, 2017, 09:24:36 am
And I see the early broadcasts of George Lloyd 6 & 7 are scheduled for the autumn...
12  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Lyrita futures on: May 30, 2017, 10:57:48 am
Reluctantly agree: hate to sound ungrateful - as far as I'm concerned ANY Lyrita release is welcome - but this seems an odd selection, and a pretty low priority given there must be rarer repertoire waiting to be released, although it will be interesting to hear Rubbra perform. Still, I too will be very happy to be proved wrong...
13  About music in general / The listener / Re: What are you listening to today? on: December 07, 2016, 05:25:55 pm
(I'm starting a programme of listening to all the Rubbra symphonies in sequence. )

Funnily enough I've just done exactly the same thing, after listening to them piecemeal for years. One result, which I hadn't at all anticipated, was that I was left feeling that quite a few of them are too short (!) - in the sense that in the middle symphonies in particular I don't feel Rubbra always allows himself time to develop individual movements as fully as they deserve, which is not something that had struck me before? (Mind, the same can't be said of No 9, which I continue to find impenetrable, but then I am almost allergic to religious music!) And the final symphony - though I've played it half a dozen times - also eludes me, as though it's just too cryptic to decode. But what a superb body of work, and how criminal that it's so neglected. Unfortunately there doesn't seem to be anyone on the horizon who shows any sign of taking up Rubbra's cause...

Inspired by this marathon, I then did the same with the Malcolm Arnold nine - that's a VERY different emotional journey, and ends in a very different place...
14  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / On the autumnal horizon (from Lyrita) on: July 17, 2016, 09:42:20 pm
Humphrey Searle: Symphonies Nos. 3 'Venetian' & No.5, Zodiac Variations for Small Orchestra Op.53 & Labyrinth for Orchestra Op.56


Francis Shaw: Piano Concertos Nos. 1 & 2 (new recording?)
15  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Sullivan and Brian on Dutton on: July 05, 2016, 10:15:21 pm
I am told by an unimpeachable source that the Moeran 2nd Symphony is 7/8 Moeran.  After many listenings the work has finally clicked for me and I find it an absolutely gorgeous work that was well worth saving.  I wrote the conductor and thanked him profusely.

Well that's not been the story that's been told so far? I'd love to know more:  I'm afraid I'm still at the stage of waiting for it to "click" - but if it really IS 7/8 Moeran maybe I need to keep trying? For me it currently sounds like pastiche, with none of the psychological depth of the 1st. (Though maybe if one thinks of it as being nearer to the Sinfonietta...?)

But I agree about this trend towards "completions", when there are so many fine completed works still waiting to be explored? (Bantock/Boughton/Butterworth(A)/Baines/Bates etc etc, and that's just the B's from from the UK...) I'm particularly baffled by the trend to orchestrate John Ireland - a composer who very largely depends on being heard (like Mompou) as a solitary voice...
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