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Malcolm Williamson (1931-2003)


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Author Topic: Malcolm Williamson (1931-2003)  (Read 1236 times)
jimfin
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« Reply #15 on: March 18, 2014, 01:44:19 am »

I read 'A Mischievous Muse' a few months ago and thoroughly enjoyed it! It led me to rediscover a lot more of Williamson's wonderful music, which I've been listening too ever since. It was also a pretty well-written book, I thought, which one can't always guarantee with some recent musical biographies (and biographies of composers like this tend to be one-offs, so one doesn't get a lot of choice).
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Albion
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2014, 05:59:32 pm »

Yes, Anthony Meredith and Paul Harris produced a page-turner in Mischievous Muse. I'm just getting to grips with the excellent new Hyperion set of all four piano concertos, plus the concerto for two pianos and strings (1971) and the Sinfonietta Concertante (1958-62). A mandatory purchase - the music is by turns brilliant and haunting -

http://www.classicalsource.com/db_control/db_cd_review.php?id=11778

http://www.musicweb-international.com/classrev/2014/Mar14/Williamson_PCs_CDA68011.htm

 Smiley

What we really need are new recordings or good-quality broadcasts of the best of Williamson's stage works, plus (of course) The Mass of Christ the King, in particular the operas

Our Man in Havana (1963), English Eccentrics (1964) and The Violins of Saint-Jacques (1966) - we are very lucky to have the last of these in the archive, but the BBC also broadcast Our Man in Havana live from Sadler's Wells (there is a tape copy at Harvard)

and the ballets

The Display (1963) and Sun into Darkness (1966).

BBC Radio 3 broadcast all six of his ballets in 1988 under the highly imaginative series-title Williamson's Ballets - it would be wonderful to have access to any or all of these, together with the 1995 Proms premiere of the Iris Murdoch song-cycle A Year of Birds. The last of the ballets, Have Steps Will Travel (1988) was based on the third piano concerto.

If any member can help, please get in touch! For anyone interested in Williamson's music, the following is very useful -

http://www.josef-weinberger.com/downloads/Williamson_Catalogue_(Josef_Weinberger)_(reduced).pdf

 Wink
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A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)
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« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2014, 03:53:14 pm »

Thank you for your "welcoming" comments earlier in this thread. It is inevitable and encouraging that contributors become familiar with each other which makes for an easy atmosphere.

Sticking to the thread., there is an interesting thesis available on Malcolm Williamson here: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/10819/, and a discussion of his cassations including examples here: http://www.composerhome.com/resources/more/analysis.html. I have found similar articles on Cowen and Mackenzie.

Reading back my first post, I see I must brush up on my typing skills!

I first became interested in lesser known composers, when back in the 70's I discovered a shop off Charing Cross Road, selling Melodyia imports including Kalinnikov, Medtner, Glazunov, Myaskovsky, Krein and so on. Little did I know that last year I would stumble across a forum like this. For those of long standing, and I have no idea how long this forum has existed, it is probably difficult to recall the excitement of such a treasure trove, on a subject that so much engages me.
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2014, 04:34:43 pm »

Many thanks for supplying the links to the thesis and article. I'm hoping that we will at some point be able to expand Williamson's representation in the broadcasts archive with those I mentioned in the earlier post - these things have a habit of turning up eventually ...

 Smiley
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A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it. (SG, 1922)
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #19 on: March 22, 2014, 12:47:30 pm »

Finally getting round to listening to the 1974 half-hour ballet Perisynthion - what a wonderfully vivid and 'alive' score, challenging but highly accessible. Let's hope that those other ballet broadcasts from 1988 will be forthcoming ...

 Cheesy
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #20 on: March 23, 2014, 11:49:05 am »

I have just uploaded five mp3 excerpts from Malcolm Williamson's 1963 ballet The Display. These are taken from Youtube flash videos of a vintage televised performance by the Australian ballet. In lieu of the 1988 BBC radio broadcast of the complete work, this is at least a chance to hear some of the score.

 Smiley
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #21 on: March 23, 2014, 01:22:12 pm »

I wonder - does any member have the EMI Australia double-LP set SLS 5085? This contains the Violin Concerto (Menuhin/ LPO/ Boult) and the Concert Suite from The Display (Sydney SO/ Hopkins) ...

 Cool

... oh dear, the concerto is in fact available on CD but only as part of the massive 50-disc EMI Artists Menuhin box!

 Shocked Roll Eyes
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« Reply #22 on: March 23, 2014, 05:40:56 pm »

I do have the CD of the Berkeley; Williamson; Panufnik: Violin Concertos, but I am not sure of copyright issues?
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2014, 08:50:46 pm »

As it is currently commercially available (albeit in this unwieldy Menuhin collection) from EMI, a copy can't be provided on this site. However, if anyone has the orchestral suite from The Display on LP and could transfer it to mp3, I will put that in the archive for private study purposes as it has never had a CD release.

 Smiley
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #24 on: March 28, 2014, 04:44:28 pm »

A very welcome forthcoming release from Toccata, including the mighty Symphony for Organ -



http://www.toccataclassics.com/cddetail.php?CN=TOCC0246

 Smiley
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« Reply #25 on: March 28, 2014, 07:48:42 pm »

For those of long standing, and I have no idea how long this forum has existed, it is probably difficult to recall the excitement of such a treasure trove, on a subject that so much engages me.

I remember very well the moment I entered a forum like this: So many unbelievable works I found, and so many "freaks" (positivley meant), like me existed!. Many of us here "know" eachother from another forum. When that forum closed I felt lost. When it re-opened a few days later a second disappointment emerged: the music that has my masin interest was no longer allowed there.
Then we found a place in this forum. We, meaning many members from the old forum.

Have a good time here with us!

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jimfin
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« Reply #26 on: March 29, 2014, 01:36:00 am »

Oh, the Organ Music release is most welcome. I wish they'd titled it differently, though: a record saying "Organ Music" suggests a few minor fugues and stuff, the sort of thing I'd only order when I had little else left on the shopping list. If they had titled it "Symphony for Organ and other works", it would have immediately have told me that this was something I needed as soon as possible.
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« Reply #27 on: March 31, 2014, 06:57:11 pm »

Nice to see a Williamson thread. My favourite is definitely the Symphony No. 1 'Elevamini' which I have greatly admired since finding it on a double EMI LP set in my youth. This fine recording under Charles Groves has reappeared on a Lyrita CD. It is a shame that Menuhin's recording of the Violin Concerto has disappeared - the last movement is intensely moving as is the fine Lento for Strings on Chandos. The Sinfonia Concertante, originally planned as the second symphony has a beautiful central movement. Also, memorable is the 'Watership Down' Prologue and main titles, although this was another unfinished project as the main score was composed (very effectively) by Angela Morley at short notice (reminiscent of the Walton/Goodwin 'Battle of Britain' fiasco - although for different reasons.
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Vandermolen
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« Reply #28 on: March 31, 2014, 07:07:08 pm »

Thank you for your "welcoming" comments earlier in this thread. It is inevitable and encouraging that contributors become familiar with each other which makes for an easy atmosphere.

Sticking to the thread., there is an interesting thesis available on Malcolm Williamson here: http://eprints.utas.edu.au/10819/, and a discussion of his cassations including examples here: http://www.composerhome.com/resources/more/analysis.html. I have found similar articles on Cowen and Mackenzie.

Reading back my first post, I see I must brush up on my typing skills!

I first became interested in lesser known composers, when back in the 70's I discovered a shop off Charing Cross Road, selling Melodyia imports including Kalinnikov, Medtner, Glazunov, Myaskovsky, Krein and so on. Little did I know that last year I would stumble across a forum like this. For those of long standing, and I have no idea how long this forum has existed, it is probably difficult to recall the excitement of such a treasure trove, on a subject that so much engages me.

I knew that shop very well! It was near to Foyles. I also discovered much Miaskovsky in that shop and books on Soviet Art etc. Happy memories!
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jimfin
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« Reply #29 on: April 01, 2014, 01:04:59 am »

I've been listening to the new CD set of the complete piano concerti. Absolutely wonderful, so many of these!
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