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Malcolm Williamson (1931-2003)


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Author Topic: Malcolm Williamson (1931-2003)  (Read 1482 times)
Albion
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #30 on: April 01, 2014, 06:32:57 pm »

I quite agree with you, Jamie. This is a stunning and most welcome release - the third concerto is possibly the finest of the lot, but all works on these two discs are enormously attractive and thought-provoking attention-grabbers.

Chandos really should pick up their Williamson series again and look at some of the ballets and the remaining symphonies. In response to my post on the Chandos (classicalshop) forum Ralph Couzens replied that

Sales figures were not that great which made the Iceland Symphony Orchestra nervous.
The more recent series of Vincent D'Indy from that source has been more successful.
However, as you have pointed out there is much more Malcolm Williamson that needs our attention and I am certain Rumon Gamba will be eager to continue the series, but perhaps not in Iceland.


So there may be a glimmer of hope there.

 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)
jimfin
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« Reply #31 on: April 02, 2014, 07:27:08 am »

Yes, possible good news! Come on, Chandos, remember your roots!
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« Reply #32 on: April 02, 2014, 12:06:06 pm »

"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!"

Yes happy memories indeed. I am pretty sure it was in Manette Street, and was a veritable treasure trove.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #33 on: April 02, 2014, 06:27:34 pm »

Yo,Chandos!! Grin
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #34 on: April 02, 2014, 09:36:37 pm »

Hmmmm!

I wouldn't get your hopes up too much.

Sorry if my pessimism demonstrates my general cynicism Sad
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Albion
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« Reply #35 on: April 08, 2014, 04:38:56 pm »

A serious omission from our archive is the large-scale Mass of Christ the King, which Williamson infamously failed to complete in time for the 1977 Silver Jubilee celebrations. There were two [sic] broadcasts - I wonder if any member has either or both:

the incomplete version, broadcast from the 1977 Gloucester Three Choirs Festival, conducted by John Sanders (25/8/1977);

the completed version, conducted by Charles Groves (broadcast 3/11/1978)

Cross-post to alert members:

After some remedial work, I have at last been able to add not one, but two broadcasts of Malcolm Williamson's monumental Mass of Christ the King (1970-78) to the archive - the premiere of the complete score under Charles Groves (1978) and the splendid performance at the Perth (Scotland) Festival (1981) under John Currie. Full performance details are in the catalogue.

Here is the structure of the score:

PART ONE:

Introductory Rite

1. Hymnus Primus [Hymn I] - Andante
2. Introitus [Introit] - Andante moderato
3. Kyrie - Andante largo
4. Gloria - Allegro giocoso

Liturgy of the Word

5. Psalmus Responsorius [Responsorial Psalm] - Moderato
6. Alleluia - Allegro vivo
7. Credo - Allegro con moto

PART TWO:

Liturgy of the Eucharist

8. Hymnus Secundus [Hymn II] - Andante allegretto
9. Offertorium - Poco adagio
10. Sanctus - Andante lento
11. Benedictus - Andante lento

Rite of Communion

12. Pater Noster [The Lord's Prayer] - Largo ma non troppo
13. Agnus Dei - Andantino
14. Psalmus Communionis [Communion Psalm] - Maestoso

Concluding Rite

15. lte Missa Est [The Dismissal] - Allegro
16. Hymnus Tertius [Hymn III] - Adagio molto


I have organised the files into the two main subdivisions of the work.

 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)
cilgwyn
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« Reply #36 on: July 31, 2017, 04:31:05 pm »

After enjoying Malcolm Williamson's opera,Our Man in Havana (well,the first part of it. I only finished editing my recording of the remainder onto a cd-r,yesterday!) I was wondering if anyone has an opinion on his Symphony No 6,which is available as an upload here? Billed (I believe?) as,"the world’s first ‘transcontinental’ symphony".
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Jolly Roger
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« Reply #37 on: August 25, 2017, 05:26:40 pm »

Daniel Jones would certainly have refused the post. He loathed the whole London "music scene" and was perfectly happy to live and work in South Wales (Swansea).

Now, you might say, Maxwell Davies has somewhat renounced the metropolitan south to live and work in Orkney...but that sort of "eccentricity" (as it might be perceived) or individuality is more acceptable today.

Jones was also almost completely unknown to the general musical public; a couple of Lyrita cds only Huh

Hoddinott Huh Well, despite his image as the composer of dark, nocturnal, a trifle complex music, Hoddinott could compose in a lighter vein (the Welsh Dances, for example) and might have made a decent fist of it. But, again, he was Welsh and was not based in London-which Williamson was.

Anyway....the powers that be did not consult those of us who were around at the time and opted for Williamson-who, at the time, had a growing reputation and was "in favour" with the establishment and the critics............from which he, very rapidly, fell out of favour again Sad
Jones is a gifted prolific composer..
BTW..does anyone have Daniel Jones 6th symphony, it is the only missing tooth in my set of 13!!
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #38 on: March 26, 2018, 03:56:31 pm »

On the way through town today,listening to my Tecsun PL- 310ET pocket radio ;which uses a very advanced chip,by the way (meaning it locks onto weak FM,even when reception is patchy!) I tuned into Radio 4. "Oh no,not another boring Drama!",I thought. Suddenly,one of the characters revealed (to another) that his name was Malcolm Williamson. "That Malcolm Williamson?",I thought. Then,the character mentioned,wearily, that 1977 was a very bad year,and "it had been in all the papers". Of course,he was referring to his failiure to complete the Jubilee Symphony.The play (or Drama!) is called "1977",and,actually,concerns his failure to complete a score for the film,Watership Down (I remember every kid in the school seemed to be jabbering on about the book,at the time!) I didn't know he'd composed any music for that! I was quite relieved to find that he didn't compose,it's hit (No 1,for six weeks) song,Bright eyes (Burning like fire.....etc,etc!! Grin) I did actually watch the cartoon about a year,or two back,while at a loose end. I remember being amused when it emerged that there had been complaints,from some viewers, about the level of graphic violence in the film,after it was shown! Bunnies beating each other up! Whatever next?!! Disgusting!! Angry Grin

http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b06r8gms

https://www.theguardian.com/film/filmblog/2016/mar/31/watership-down-bbfc-ratings-easter-sunday-comment
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« Reply #39 on: March 26, 2018, 05:49:36 pm »

Sadly Williamson had a serious drinking problem

He was, of course, not the only composer of whom that could be said. Malcolm Arnold's problems are well-documented but there were a number of others whose lives were shortened by drink (although Sibelius was not one it appears!)
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #40 on: March 26, 2018, 09:15:04 pm »

yes,sad! I might have a listen to that Drama,while it's still on the 'Listen again',on the Radio 4 website. Bad luck on Williamson,too,for being less than perfect!! Roll Eyes Sad
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« Reply #41 on: March 27, 2018, 09:34:49 am »

Re Sibelius and the bottle, in the 1950s Robert Simpson eagerly asked some of Nielsen's family members and friends whether they could remember any of Nielsen and Sibelius's conversations about music when Sibelius used to stay with the Nielsens in Copenhagen. 'No', they replied, 'Sibelius was always drunk!'
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« Reply #42 on: April 04, 2018, 07:41:27 am »

Greetings all!
I haven't posted here for a while but am also a refugee from GMG Forum. Good to see old friends Dundonnell (whose posts I miss at GMG Forum) and cilgwyn here.
Back to Williamson. I was very,pleased to catch the drama '1977' on the radio the other day. The saga of the Watership Down soundtrack is quite a story in itself, featuring the work of three composers. All credit to Angela Morley for stepping in at the last moment to complete the score after MW bottled out (no pun intended). I was interested to discover that Angela Morley was once 'Wally Stott' the composer of the famous tuba theme music for 'Hancock's Half-Hour'. I love the Watership Down score which has recently been remastered by Dutton. Williamson's opening title and prologue are very atmospheric and Morley's pastoral score is memorable. I have no objection to 'Bright Eyes' which I associate with a brief and disastrous romance!
Williamson is an underrated composer - there is an excellent biography 'The Mischievous Muse'. He had a rather trouble life. I especially like his 'Elevamini' (Symphony 1) and have both the recordings by Groves and Gamba, which are both excellent. A pity that Chandos only recorded two CDs of his music.
Anyway, nice to be back in circulation here.  Smiley
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