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1006  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: The Dozen Most Neglected on CD Non-British 20th Century Symphonists on: April 02, 2013, 06:25:18 pm
As I posted in the Requests forum, I have No 4 as well - but no functioning player to play it on *sighs*.
1007  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: The Dozen Most Neglected on CD Non-British 20th Century Symphonists on: April 02, 2013, 07:38:04 am
Sorry, I meant No. 1.
1008  Little-known music of all eras / Wish lists and requests / Tapes - advice needed on: April 01, 2013, 03:50:45 pm
I need the benefit of all your expert opinion.

I have several large boxes of old reel-to-reel tapes. They are 1/4" tape, mostly 7" reels, four-track mono. My old tape recorder died ages ago, and while I tried to restore it, the drive belts have decayed into a black gunge which I can't clean off. The tapes date from the 70s and early 80s, and as they have not been rewound for decades, they may be in bad condition.

Each track has 90 minutes of music, and they are full of obscure repertoire. At least what was obscure in the 1970s ... in some cases, things that have since been commercially recorded, in other cases, things that are still rarities. I picked one out at random (the first one that came to hand) and amongst other things, it has:

Roy Harris: Piano Quintet
Roy Harris: Violin Sonata
Joonas Kokkonen: Interludes from the Last Temptations
Aulis Sallinen: Cello Concerto
Easley Blackwood: Symphony no 4 (Chicago SO + Solti!)
Nikos Skalkottas: Symphony

Plus more familar music by Berg, Hummel, Rossini, Villa-Lobos, Sallinen, Englund, Hartmann, Rimsky-Korsakov, and a harp recital.

Most of these will be radio broadcasts from BBC Radio 3. The original sound quality was good, if not hi-fi. Listenable mono without distortion, and better than many of the recordings in the archive here.

So the question is whether it is worth perservering, or whether they are all now likely to be too decayed to be worth keeping? Also, is anyone interested in lending a hand? If someone is set up for converting reel-to-reel tapes, I could post a sample for evaluation.

1009  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Havergal Brian Symphonies 22-24 on: April 01, 2013, 03:26:36 pm
It already is a HB thread ...

I certainly came to the more compact symphonies first; I think the first one I heard was No 10. The very early LP issues with amateur orchestras. And certainly, it did seem a bit baffling and unexpected, but I was interested enough to persevere. I don't think I heard the Gothic for a long while after.
1010  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Havergal Brian Symphonies 22-24 on: March 31, 2013, 09:25:47 pm
I ordered mine via Amazon UK not very long ago (less than a year), so you will probably be able to track copies down if you hunt around a bit and are prepared to pay a bit, as I was

Last I looked, about 100 per volume.
1011  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: The Dozen Most Neglected on CD Non-British 20th Century Symphonists on: March 31, 2013, 09:22:38 pm
Easley Blackwood is a name to conjure with. I first came across him thanks to a terrible library LP (in a very enlightened - then - public library) with his 2nd symphony. It was completely scratched, but nevertheless, the power of the music caught my imagination. It took me decades to finally catch up with the piece on CD.
1012  Little-known music of all eras / Coming broadcasts and listen-later links / Re: Witold Maliszewski - Symphony No. 3 Swedish radio broadcast on: March 31, 2013, 01:56:06 pm
Closest to Miaskovsky, I would say. This is a dramatic piece with its heart on its sleeve. I found it really quite gripping.
1013  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Havergal Brian Symphonies 22-24 on: March 31, 2013, 12:16:11 pm
Ah yes, I do remember those comments. Still, his writing style is wonderful and he really helped me to appreciate Brian back when I was 16, an appreciation that has continued over a quarter century. Please tell him so, if you have the chance. I had all three volumes and lost them in unfortunate private circumstances a few years ago, but made sure I replaced all three.

Agreed - I wish they could come back into print again - maybe a 2nd edition, newly revised?
1014  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Harris's 13th on: March 31, 2013, 08:49:17 am
It is-of course-grossly unfair to judge Harris by the Symphony No.13 <snip>

The point of this thread is hardly to do that. It's rather to consider how far it is possible for a good composer to decline to writing very poor music. If the 3rd were not such a masterpiece, the 13th would not be worth writing about.

PS I agree about Bernstein.
1015  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: Havergal Brian Symphonies 22-24 on: March 30, 2013, 07:44:09 am
I know, this is marvellous news and sooner than I thought. This means that only 8 symphonies remain without professional recordings: 5, 14, 19, 21 and 26-29, ie 75% of the symphonies are available.

It surprises me that No. 5 is left out, given that this is a relatively modest and accessible piece.
1016  About music in general / Theory and tradition / Re: "The Worst Piece Of Classical Music Ever Written" on: March 29, 2013, 11:20:47 pm
This provokes a question: supposing you tried to compose the worst piece of music ever written? Could it actually be done? If, say, you took some manuscript paper and put down notes at random for 30 pages, can it you arrive at something worse than anything else? I suspect that (a) if you deliberately tried to compose something abysmal you would only succeed in creating a piece of conceptual art which might actually be regarded relatively favourably; and (b) the worst piece of music has to be something that was intended seriously.

George Tolhurst's Oratorio Ruth, anyone?
1017  Little-known music of all eras / Discussion of obscure composers / Re: Harris's 13th on: March 29, 2013, 11:09:37 pm
Are you sure that is the reason for the shift?
1018  Little-known music of all eras / New recordings / Re: The Critics as Idiots(Nielsen's Symphonies Nos. 2 and 3: LSO) on: March 29, 2013, 08:10:25 am
I don't remember who it was wrote that Nielsen's 5th represents the high point of Western civilisation, but I'm inclined to agree with the sentiment.
1019  About music in general / Theory and tradition / Re: "Five Symphonies That Changed Music" on: March 26, 2013, 10:34:51 pm

Weburn may have been influential, but his music bores me to tears!!

At least he won't bore you for very long!

I remember being at what I think was the first Irish performance of Webern's symphony; the reaction at the conclusion was not so much applause as a nervous giggle. This would have been 1970s I think.
1020  Little-known music of all eras / Youtube performances / Re: Channel of Rare Armenian Music on: March 26, 2013, 11:50:40 am
robt007 is also a great channel. I just wish there was a way of browsing channels without constantly being returned to the latest page and having no way of getting directly to the earlier pages.
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