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Major new two-volume study of British symphonies


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Author Topic: Major new two-volume study of British symphonies  (Read 1054 times)
Albion
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« on: April 01, 2015, 04:08:37 pm »

Just ordered:

     


http://www.olms.de/search/Detail.aspx?pr=2008683&utm_source=BMS+eNews+Subscribers&utm_campaign=4f9d2169f4-April_20153_30_2015&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_70435c0dfe-4f9d2169f4-99574509

 Shocked Grin
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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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Dundonnell
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« Reply #1 on: April 02, 2015, 01:44:39 am »

89 Euros= 64.

That is rather a lot of money...even for Dr. Schaarwachter's expertise Sad
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Albion
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Henry Hugo Pierson (1815-1873)


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« Reply #2 on: April 02, 2015, 05:19:48 pm »

That is rather a lot of money...even for Dr. Sschaarwachter's expertise Sad


Not really for an academic study with twelve hundred pages of text (including what will probably be invaluable reference appendices), a large number of photographs and music examples, a niche market and (given the paucity of other comparable texts) what must have been a vast amount of original research. Sometimes, it's worth biting the bullet when something special comes along.

A similar purchase a couple of years ago was the outstanding Symphonic Repertoire series from Indiana Press -

         

http://www.iupress.indiana.edu/advanced_search_result.php?keywords=symphonic+repertoire&osCsid=eqp4uh0jcc8b7sfj3u91jo2h27

- a lifetime of reading!

 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)
dhibbard
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« Reply #3 on: April 02, 2015, 11:06:46 pm »

Yes the IU press is wonderful... considering the IU School of Music is one of the best!!  I studied there.
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« Reply #4 on: April 03, 2015, 01:47:40 am »

I am interested in Dr. Schaarwachter's cut-off date of 1945.

There were a number of British Symphonists whose works bridge that divide:

Pre-1945:

Richard Arnell: Symphonies Nos.1-3
Stanley Bate: Symphonies Nos. 1-3  (No.3-1940) (No.4-1954)
Sir Lennox Berkeley: Symphony No.1-1940 Symphony No.2-1958
Havergal Brian Symphonies No.1-5
Alan Bush: Symphony No.1-1939/40 Symphony No.2-1949
George Lloyd: Symphonies Nos. 1-3
Edmund Rubbra: Symphonies Nos. 1-4
Cyril Scott: Symphonies Nos. 1-3  (No.4-1951/52)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Nos. 1-5
Sir William Walton: Symphony No.1-1934/35 Symphony No.2-1960
William Wordsworth: Symphony No.1-1944 Nos. 2-8-1947 onwards


The Gordon Jacobs Symphony No.2 was written in 1945, and the Daniel Jones Symphony No.1 and Sir Michael Tippett Symphony No.1 in 1944/45.

There is, perhaps, no great problem in relation to some of these composers. The five Havergal Brian written prior to the Second World War divide rather neatly from those written after the war beginning with the Sinfonia Tragica.
But with composers like Vaughan Williams or Edmund Rubbra I could see an issue in only discussing the symphonies written prior to 1945.

Any cut-off date will impose such problems of course.....I fully accept that. It will be interesting to hear how the author deals with the issue.   
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« Reply #5 on: April 05, 2015, 09:57:18 am »

Any idea how technical this study is? Is it aimed at a professional readership?
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Albion
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« Reply #6 on: April 10, 2015, 10:46:29 pm »

There is a truck-load of socio-musical and biographical information setting British symphonism in a fascinatingly kalaidoscopic context and fairly brief (not too technical) assessments of many symphonies, with prominence given to major figures such as Wesley, Potter, Macfarren, Bennett, Sullivan, Parry, Stanford, Cowen, Elgar, Bantock, Holbrooke, Scott, Bax, etc., etc., but there is also unprecedented coverage of virtually every British symphonist regardless of whether or not their symphonic works are extant. In the second volume, after a fascinating exploration of the choral symphony there is a valuable catalogue of known symphonic compositions with details of manuscript location, instrumentation, first performances (where known) and full sung texts where applicable: this is generally extremely accurate but I have emailed the author to let him know that despite his assertion that they are lost, two mature symphonies by Henry Robert Gadsby (1842-1907, remember him? Hehe) are in fact in the British Library, having been purchased at auction in 2004. There are innumerable musical examples, well chosen illustrations and a highly comprehensive bibliography. This is worth 64 of anybody's money!

 Smiley
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« Reply #7 on: April 11, 2015, 01:15:48 pm »

I am interested in Dr. Schaarwachter's cut-off date of 1945.

There were a number of British Symphonists whose works bridge that divide:

Pre-1945:

Richard Arnell: Symphonies Nos.1-3
Stanley Bate: Symphonies Nos. 1-3  (No.3-1940) (No.4-1954)
Sir Lennox Berkeley: Symphony No.1-1940 Symphony No.2-1958
Havergal Brian Symphonies No.1-5
Alan Bush: Symphony No.1-1939/40 Symphony No.2-1949
George Lloyd: Symphonies Nos. 1-3
Edmund Rubbra: Symphonies Nos. 1-4
Cyril Scott: Symphonies Nos. 1-3  (No.4-1951/52)
Ralph Vaughan Williams: Nos. 1-5
Sir William Walton: Symphony No.1-1934/35 Symphony No.2-1960
William Wordsworth: Symphony No.1-1944 Nos. 2-8-1947 onwards


The Gordon Jacobs Symphony No.2 was written in 1945, and the Daniel Jones Symphony No.1 and Sir Michael Tippett Symphony No.1 in 1944/45.

There is, perhaps, no great problem in relation to some of these composers. The five Havergal Brian written prior to the Second World War divide rather neatly from those written after the war beginning with the Sinfonia Tragica.
But with composers like Vaughan Williams or Edmund Rubbra I could see an issue in only discussing the symphonies written prior to 1945.

Any cut-off date will impose such problems of course.....I fully accept that. It will be interesting to hear how the author deals with the issue.
Immensely time-consuming though such a task will be (and, with the symphony far from dead, will also continue to be), one would like to think that he will explore the post-WWII British symphony in a subsequent volume or volumes; I will perhaps write to ask him about that. There would be a vast amount of territory to cover, even in writing about the best known of those composers whose symphonic canon began after 1945, such as Arnold and Simpson (who are no longer with us) and Maxwell Davies, Matthews and the astonishingly prolific Bourgeois (who alone has written 102 of them to date, the most recent two dating from this year) who may yet write more of them (and, of course, there are plenty more post-1945 British symphonists to consider).
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #8 on: April 11, 2015, 03:01:01 pm »

89 Euros= 64.

That is rather a lot of money...even for Dr. Schaarwachter's expertise Sad

Sadly it's probably a reflection of the relatively restricted readership for such material - weighed against the very high production costs of a musicological analysis which includes extensive musical examples. 

I would imagine they are price-pointing these volumes with the institutional, university and library market in mind - rather than the small number of private individuals who would spring for such a purchase.
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ahinton
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« Reply #9 on: April 11, 2015, 04:34:38 pm »

89 Euros= 64.

That is rather a lot of money...even for Dr. Schaarwachter's expertise Sad

Sadly it's probably a reflection of the relatively restricted readership for such material - weighed against the very high production costs of a musicological analysis which includes extensive musical examples. 

I would imagine they are price-pointing these volumes with the institutional, university and library market in mind - rather than the small number of private individuals who would spring for such a purchase.
As these things go, 64 sounds quite reasonable for two volumes containing 1,201 pages; one has only to look, for example, a the prices of books in Ashgate's catalogue to find an average price per page considerably higher than this and it has been so for many some years; yes, the "relatively restrited readership" and "very high production costs of a musicological analysis which includes extensive musical examples" (not to mention photographs) are indeed an issue that tends quite often either to keep prices for such works on the comparatively high side, or, where that's not the case, to mean that income from other more "commercially viable" publications under the same imprimatur tends to help to subsidise them. And just look how long it (of necessity) took its author to put it all together!

I can certainly recommend this work wholeheartedly.
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« Reply #10 on: April 12, 2015, 03:33:28 am »

As usual (I hope Grin) I am more than happy to concede that my point/complaint about the price of these books was wrong-headed. My apologies to the author and publisher Embarrassed

Incidentally, given Alistair's point about the symphony being "far from dead"-which is something about which I have frequently expressed pessimistic views-I was astonished by the list of symphonies given as an appendix to the cd booklet notes for the recent Lyrita release of the three Lipkin symphonies. The list gives those symphonies written in the same year as each of Lipkin's three and includes:

1965

Ian Balfour Symphony No.3
Kenneth V. Jones Sinfonia III
Clive Strutt Symphony No.2
Ernest Tomlinson Symphony '65
Raymond Warren Symphony No.1

1979

Rodney Newton Symphony No.9 'Sinfonia da camera'
Peter Tahourdin Symphony No.3

1986

Adrian Vernon Fish Symphony No.6 'Tavistock'
Clive Strutt Symphony No.4 'Kenosis'


....and I thought that I knew my British Symphonies Shocked
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ahinton
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« Reply #11 on: April 12, 2015, 04:43:03 pm »

As usual (I hope Grin) I am more than happy to concede that my point/complaint about the price of these books was wrong-headed. My apologies to the author and publisher
It's not so much "wrong-headed" per se as one of those unfortunate though broadly understandable facts of life, methinks...
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« Reply #12 on: April 13, 2015, 01:54:32 am »

No new cds for the next few weeks and you should be able to afford it eh,Dundonnell?!! Smiley
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Neil McGowan
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« Reply #13 on: April 13, 2015, 07:07:25 pm »

It's not so much "wrong-headed" per se as one of those unfortunate though broadly understandable facts of life, methinks...

Yes, I'd go along with that. In fact serious academic works have always been pricey. We only notice this because other aspects of access to classical music have become as cheap as chips, or even free. Early collected sets of Beethoven Symphonies or Wagnerian Operas on 78 were so prohibitively expensive that 'record libraries' had to be established - so that private individuals could enjoy them over a few limited days.

The idea of paying top price - or even any money at all - for an opera or symphony recording now strikes as oddly old-fashioned. We expect our pleasures instantly, and gratis Sad
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ahinton
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« Reply #14 on: April 13, 2015, 10:28:08 pm »

It's not so much "wrong-headed" per se as one of those unfortunate though broadly understandable facts of life, methinks...

Yes, I'd go along with that. In fact serious academic works have always been pricey. We only notice this because other aspects of access to classical music have become as cheap as chips, or even free. Early collected sets of Beethoven Symphonies or Wagnerian Operas on 78 were so prohibitively expensive that 'record libraries' had to be established - so that private individuals could enjoy them over a few limited days.

The idea of paying top price - or even any money at all - for an opera or symphony recording now strikes as oddly old-fashioned. We expect our pleasures instantly, and gratis Sad
Indeed - and sometimes at the expense of those producing the goods (not that those who think that everything should be for free would give a monkeys about that, of course!)...
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