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1  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Miklós Rózsa - King of Kings re-recording Kickstarter on: December 05, 2017, 04:48:19 pm

Anyone who loves (or admires) the music of Miklós Rózsa should take note of the possibility of contributing to a Kickstarter project to re-record his score for King of Kings.


Whilst I am contended to have the Rhino release of the original motion picture soundtrack and a Rózsa re-recording of extracts, I have committed to fund the project to the tune of £200 and will go to £250 if the target looks like it is going to be reached.  In the absence of supporting labels who are willing to fund recordings unlikely to recoup outlays, such recordings are less likely to be made.

I recall the Stanley Bate Cello Concerto recording sought £2000 by way of Kickstarter to make it possible and reached the target.

The Rózsa project is over 60% funded with the Tadlow label's owner willing to fund the remaining 50 plus per cent of the recording costs. 

This Kickstarter project was started at the request and promtings of various Rózsa fans badgering James Fitzpatrick of Tadlow for a King of Kings recording - something he said he was not prepared to do without financial support, having funded lots of loss making recordings.  Perhaps classical music enthusiasts could badger a record label for a recording of a much desired work and contribute to a crowfudning forum to help make it possible.
2  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Captains Courageous - The Franz Waxman Collection (4CD) - Intrada on: December 05, 2017, 04:48:10 pm

I am not a great fan of Franz Waxman.  However, along with Rózsa, Herrmann, Steiner and Korngold he is considered one of the greats of Hollywood's Golden Age.

I do enjoy his scores for Rebecca, Sunset Boulevard, Peyton Place, My Cousin Rachel and The Spirit of St. Louis .

I have limited my CD purchases this year to 23.  The year began with my purchasing Intrada's CD of Copland's The Red Pony and The Heiress.  It ends with my purchasing Intrada's The Franz Waxman Collection.  I have seen at least 5 of the films on the Collection and none of the scores made a lasting, or particularly favourable, impression.  Nonetheless, this is a CD release that is far too tempting for me to ignore and I look forward to it dropping through my letter box, hopefully without the intervention of HMRC requiring me to pay tax to get it released from the Post Office.



3  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Vaughan Williams' Incidental Music for 3 Greek Plays (1911) Albion Records on: November 23, 2017, 06:56:18 am

A well packaged CD with informative notes and texts.  The music is attractive with hints of the Vaughan Williams to be.  A good purchase.
4  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Vaughan Williams' Incidental Music for 3 Greek Plays (1911) Albion Records on: November 16, 2017, 10:46:07 pm

Now available to purchase from the RVW Society (there are also excerpts from the CD that can be listened to via a YouTube video).

5  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dyson Choral Symphony on Naxos - November 2017 on: November 16, 2017, 12:21:03 am
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.

I thought Spicer's comparison to the Sea Symphony very exaggerated.  I don't view the Choral Symphony as comparable in its melodic or dramatic quality. 

6  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dyson Choral Symphony on Naxos - November 2017i on: November 12, 2017, 04:30:50 pm

My copy of the CD arrived on Friday and I have listened to it several times.  Cheesy Grin Smiley

I find the Choral Symphony an attracive piece, effectively constructed and orchestrated, bearing several hallmarks of later Dyson with some lovely lyrical and dramatic moments.  A worthwhile addition to the Dyson discography.  It does, in my opinion, disclose how much Dyson in his later choral works progressed to a more sophisticated style and a higher level of lyrical inventiveness and dramatic impact. 

Much as I am pleased to have the Choral Symphony, what I am likely to return to more often is St Paul's Voyage to Melita in a fine recording which, for me, accentuates its merits to a greater degree than the two previous performances I have.  I would struggle to name my three favourite Dyson works.  However, in addition to The Canterbury Pilgrims, St Paul's Voyage to Melita would be guaranteed a place.

7  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Ongoing CPO projects. on: November 04, 2017, 01:01:29 am

I haven't purchased many CPO CDs in recent years.  The last was the first CD in the intended Larsson series.  I did contemplate purchasing the Holbrooke Violin Concerto but decided I was contented with the German radio broadcast download.

However, since acquiring in the 1970s an LP of the Heifetz Walton Concerto coupled with Castelnuovo-Tedesco second Violin Concerto, I have always been fond of the latter - although none of his other works have matched its appeal.

Accordingly, I decided to buy the disc of the Castelnuovo-Tedesco and Gal Cello Concertos.  I wasn't over impressed on a first listen albeit there were several attractive moments in both Concertos.  A few other listens have warmed me to both works.  I was particularly struck by the Gal having been disappointed with his Violin Concerto.  Not, in my opinion, the masterpieces the cellist claims they are but attractive pieces nonetheless and, in my view, worth having.

I will probably buy the Weigl Cello Concerto when it is released.
8  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Coke Piano Concertos (Hyperion RPC Vol. 73) - November 2017 on: November 04, 2017, 12:34:41 am

I agree with Colin's views expressed above.

My purchase of the CD was largely out of curiosity.   My expectations were not great and the BBC broadcast of the fourth concerto did nothing to raise them.  I much prefer Rachmaninov and Scriabin to derivatives of them.

However, the purchase of the CD was worth it to hear the works of an almost completely unknown composer who wrote pianistically effective and competently orchestrated concertos.  I congratulate Simon Callaghan for his work in preparing the orchestral parts etc and Hyperion for releasing the concertos.  Lovers of romantic piano concertos may warm to the music.
9  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Sir John Blackwood McEwen, Symphony No. 2, movement II on: October 24, 2017, 11:44:41 pm

This is the second movement Andante quasi adagio of McEwen's Symphony in A minor composed between 1895 and 1899 and published in 1903 in a String Quartet adaptation due to it not being performed in its orchestral version. The chief subject of the movement is a traditional fiddle tune The Arran Boat Song [information derived from Alasdair Mitchell's 2002 PhD thesis].

Publicity about the performance states "the concert promises to be particularly notable for its rendition of John Blackwood McEwan's Symphony in A Minor, of which this performance is the English Premiere!" (see:

The String Quartet adaptation String Quartet No.2 in A minor is available on the Chandos CD of Volume 3 of McEwen's String Quartets with the Chilingirian Quartet.
10  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / English works for flute and piano including Stanley Bate and Cyril Rootham on: October 23, 2017, 11:49:30 pm

James Dutton and Oliver Davies give a recital of works for flute and piano by English composers including Stanley Bate, Cyril Rootham and George Henschel. This is the first chance to hear in public some of the works they have recently recorded on a CD for Mike Purton Chamber Classics, to be released Spring 2018. Free entry with a retiring collection.

11  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Dyson Choral Symphony on Naxos - November 2017 on: October 22, 2017, 02:35:00 pm

Excerpts from the Choral Symphony and St Paul's Voyage to Melita can be heard at:
12  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Learmont Drysdale: Prelude 'Thomas the Rhymer' on: October 19, 2017, 08:22:55 pm

A rather effective electronic/computer generated (?) performance of Learmont Drysdale's orchestral prelude Thomas the Rhymer, op.2 of 1890 is available on YouTube:

A google translation of the Russian reads as follows:

In 2007, Eduard Artemiev interpreted the prelude "Thomas Rymer", dedicated to the Scottish composer George Lermont Dreisdale (1866-1909), the great Scottish bard-prophet Thomas Stermaer Lermont. Lermont Dreisdale, like the great Russian poet Mikhail Yurievich Lermontov (1814-1841), believed that his lineage comes from the genus Thomas the Poet (1220-1297) from Earlston. I invite you to listen to this romantic work, in which the connection of times and talented names: Thomas Stikhotvorets, composer J. Lermont Dryzdale, poet MJ Lermontov and composer Eduard Artemyev.

It received its premiere on 25th July 1890 at the Royal Academy of Music from which, notwithstanding his distinguishing himself, Drysdale was dismissed due to an altercation with, fellow Edinburgh born composer, Alexander Mackenzie who was principal at the time.

Sadly Drysdale did not feature in Hyperion's Scottish Romantics series of the 1990s though he was comparable to and a contemporary of MacCunn and Wallace.

Drysdale was descended from Scottish laird, poet and reputed prophet Thomas Learmont (Thomas the Rhymer) through his mother (Vaughan Williams left an unfinished opera Thomas the Rhymer).

An extract from Drysdale's overture Tam O'Shanter, op.3 (1891) and the love duet from his cantata The Kelpie, op.4 (1894) should be available to download from the British and Irish Music archive on this forum.

For more information on Drysdale see:



13  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Bax Viola Phantasy and Vaughan Williams Viola Suite: Fourth recordings! on: October 19, 2017, 07:10:29 pm

For years the only CD recording of the Bax Phantasy for Viola and Orchestra (originally Viola Concerto) was the Conifer Label version with Rivka Golani (viola) and The Royal Philharmonic Orchestra conducted by Vernon Handley coupled with the Tertis viola version of Elgar's Cello Concerto.

Then Dutton and Chandos gave us alternative versions.  I own all three.

There is now a fourth version due to be released including, what I think is, the fourth CD version of Vaughan Williams' Suite for Viola and Orchestra (Chandos, Dutton and Hyperion).  I also own all three.


Much as I enjoy the Bax, unless I am persuaded the new version is exceptional, I will not be tempted.  Nonetheless, in my opinion, it is good to see such an attractive work being given wider currency together with, what I assume is, largely unknown Vaughan Williams.
14  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Vaughan Williams' Incidental Music for 3 Greek Plays (1911) Albion Records on: October 12, 2017, 09:13:22 pm

Scheduled for release in January 2018.


15  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Gian Carlo Menotti - Doublebass Concerto on: October 02, 2017, 04:07:22 pm

Two recordings of Menotti's 1983 Concerto for Double Bass and Orchestra are available on YouTube.

A recent upload of the premiere with James VanDemark, soloist with Zubin Mehta conducting the New York Philharmonic:

What appears to be a more recent performance without details of performers:
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