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Grace Williams - Missa Cambrensis


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Author Topic: Grace Williams - Missa Cambrensis  (Read 1344 times)
cilgwyn
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« Reply #30 on: February 02, 2019, 05:27:34 pm »

I enquired last night of someone in a position to know about these things.
The legal position is that the BBC cannot release the performance for commercial sale without the consent of the performers. If one soloist has refused his agreement because of dissatisfaction with his performance then that is it....full stop!
Even if,every one else,involved in the performance,is happy with it?!! If they were?!! As they say,in Wales! Duw,Duw!! Huh Sad
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #31 on: February 02, 2019, 06:36:24 pm »

I enquired last night of someone in a position to know about these things.
The legal position is that the BBC cannot release the performance for commercial sale without the consent of the performers. If one soloist has refused his agreement because of dissatisfaction with his performance then that is it....full stop!
Even if,every one else,involved in the performance,is happy with it?!! If they were?!! As they say,in Wales! Duw,Duw!! Huh Sad
Oh,well! I've got the download,now! Musn't gwumble!! Roll Eyes Grin Incidentally,I enjoyed the Lyrita cd,of Mathias' This Worlde's Joie,so much;I bought a secondhand cd,of the old Chandos cd,of his Lux Aeterna,on ebay,this afternoon! Maybe,Daniel Jones,St Peter (which we,also,have here) could be another contendor,for a future Lyrita issue?! And then,of course,there are some choral works by Morfydd Owen,who is currently (deservedly,imo) receiving some,renewed,interest. It would make a change from Karl Jenkins,anyway!! Roll Eyes Grin But I musn't jump the gun!! Grin
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Albion
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« Reply #32 on: February 08, 2019, 09:09:20 pm »

I can't help but return to the non-release of this significant work on the Lyrita (or any other) label. The performance is strong and the vanity of a soloist should not deny all the other performers a chance to showcase their great ability. There is nothing in the broadcast that comes across as anything other than a great tribute to Grace Williams...

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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 #33 on: February 09, 2019, 10:14:24 am »

Can we be quite clear about this please! What Anthony Smith of Lyrita said in his lengthy reply to my post on the Musicweb message board and copied in full in our Lyrita thread here is that the company and the BBC decided that the Grace Williams was "unreleasable". He gave no reasons for that decision.
It was MY speculation that the difficulties the particular soloist in question experienced during the live performance which had led to the decision and that he MAY have refused permission for the release. I DO NOT know that for a fact! The difficulties that night were commented on by some and were obviously real. Whether they are the reason for non-release I do not know.
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« Reply #34 on: February 09, 2019, 01:13:44 pm »

Point taken, and I apologise for my assumption regarding the reason why a commercial release has been kyboshed: unfortunately, the wider listening public and the artists involved in the rendition will thereby probably never have access to what may well be the only modern large-scale professional performance of the work to come our way. Personally, I think that any shortcomings manifest in the broadcast should not override the significance of this fact. Is something better than nothing...?

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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 #35 on: February 09, 2019, 03:14:50 pm »

Oh I totally agree with you there! Anyone can write to Lyrita to ask for a change of heart but since it appears to have been a decision taken in agreement with the BBC it is exceedingly unlikely to be reversed.
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #36 on: May 11, 2019, 01:44:31 pm »

I was going to make a cd-r from the file here,this week;then discovered,I'd already made one!! Shocked Grin  I was just reading (albeit,belatedly! Roll Eyes Grin)  Tecwyn Evans' reply,on Youtube,to the posts,bemoaning the lack of performances and recordings,of this work! Tecwyn Evans stating,"One day,I hope!" This seems one of those works that just,are,bedevilled by bad luck! Sad

Third time lucky,as they say?!! One can only hope?!!
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cilgwyn
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« Reply #37 on: May 11, 2019, 02:08:28 pm »

I am generally opposed to narration in music as being distracting and a bad idea, but here it is not too bad. I did listen to the broadcast, but with distractions. What helps here is that the narration is in Welsh, so for a non-Welsh speaker like me (and I suspect most of us) the effect is one of a quiet, not unmusical burbling of sounds from Rowan Williams with the strings beneath.

It is a great shame that this was only the second public performance of such a major work in 45 years - partly due to the difficulty of the choral writing. I have to say, though, that making allowances for the fact that I was not giving the work my full attention, there are other pieces by Williams I would look forward to re-hearing first.
I was thinking,Martinu's,Epic of Gilgamesh,is another choral work with narration. I usually like Martinu;but every time I put it on,it ends up getting switched off!! My loss,I know!! Roll Eyes Sad
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« Reply #38 on: May 11, 2019, 11:07:34 pm »

Tecwyn Evans was the conductor of the performance broadcast in March 2016.

This is his full response to those questioning the decision not to release the performance commercially:

"It would be wonderful to have a recording. Knowing people who knew Grace and were there at the premiere, I think if it had not been the disaster it was, she would have revisited the piece and made some revisions. She was extremely critical of herself and her work so the problems from the premiere probably made this an impossible task for her to consider. But still a proper record of the piece should be done. We tried but illness with some of singers on the night of this performance made it not an option to release. One day I hope!"

So, according to the conductor, the premiere in 1971 was a disaster-which it may well have been.

I find Mr. Evans's comments puzzling. He seems in the same breath to be attributing the 2016 "debacle" to both the composer-who might have revised the piece in the light of the "disaster" of the premiere performance back in 1971 but did not/could not-and to the "illness with some of the singers" in 2016.

So....are we to conclude from this BOTH that the work itself is seriously flawed and requires revision (but by whom one wonders) AND that the recent performance was inadequate? And if the former reason applies surely this would have been obvious to those studying the score or listening to the recording of the premiere; in which case, why try to revive a seriously flawed composition?

Well...we had better "enjoy" what we have because it is extremely unlikely that anyone will ever try again Sad
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