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Ruth Gipps symphonies


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Grandenorm
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« Reply #15 on: August 08, 2018, 07:09:07 pm »

I would just add that "boring" is an entirely subjective adjective. What YOU find boring, others may find absorbing. Don't complain and criticise because YOU don't like some of the music discussed on this forum - if you don't like it, don't join on the discussion. Nor are you the only judge of what is good or bad in music.
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Christo
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« Reply #16 on: August 09, 2018, 10:13:14 am »

What about the freedom of speech in this Forum?
Freedom of speech has a well defined function: make meaningful contributions to the public debate. Random prejudices and bad taste do not. Ruth Gipps is a very fine composer and her Fourth Symphony nothing less than a masterpiece. You better first form an opinion before you post one.  Cheesy
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… music is not only an `entertainment’, nor a mere luxury, but a necessity of the spiritual if not of the physical life, an opening of those magic casements through which we can catch a glimpse of that country where ultimate reality will be found.  RVW, 1948
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« Reply #17 on: August 09, 2018, 12:37:19 pm »

I totally agree, Christo. Well said.
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Dundonnell
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« Reply #18 on: August 09, 2018, 02:18:51 pm »

I am grateful to other members for their contributions.

I am well aware that I have not yet worked out in my own mind when I should be posting as an Administrator and when under my usual member name and that I have not got this distinction correct yet.

I am also conscious that in taking a particular "hard line" here as an administrator I may well not please everyone and am-quite properly-open to challenge and dissent. That is inevitable and comes with the role. But someone has to do it........ Smiley
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Dashiell2007
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« Reply #19 on: August 12, 2018, 01:13:15 pm »

Going back to the music. I think it's the most excited a Chandos disc has made me in years. I have loved Gipps 2nd Symphony since it appeared on CD. As a deep lover of RVW I will be happer to hear a composer who is clearly working within the English Pastoral vein. The extracts sound excellent.
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« Reply #20 on: August 13, 2018, 01:04:40 pm »

I consider music to be of personal 'relevance' if it moves me emotionally or if can relate to it is some way - although I wouldn't expect others to share my views. For example I consider the music of Braga-Santos (well, at least the early symphonies), Stanley Bate, Ruth Gipps, Ricard Arnell, Eduard Tubin,  Camargo Guanieri, John Kinsella, Harold Truscott, Godfried Devreese, Klaus Egge etcetc to be relevant to me in a way that the piano concertos of Mozart or most operas are not - whilst recognising the greatness of major composers whose music means little to me.

I'm greatly looking forward to receiving the Gipps CD - one of the most exciting releases on Chandos in recent times.

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« Reply #21 on: August 13, 2018, 04:27:22 pm »

I consider music to be of personal 'relevance' if it moves me emotionally or if can relate to it is some way - although I wouldn't expect others to share my views. For example I consider the music of Braga-Santos (well, at least the early symphonies), Stanley Bate, Ruth Gipps, Ricard Arnell, Eduard Tubin,  Camargo Guanieri, John Kinsella, Harold Truscott, Godfried Devreese, Klaus Egge etcetc to be relevant to me in a way that the piano concertos of Mozart or most operas are not - whilst recognising the greatness of major composers whose music means little to me.

I'm greatly looking forward to receiving the Gipps CD - one of the most exciting releases on Chandos in recent times.



Well said, Jeffrey!

We all have our personal favourites-composers who "speak to us". These are not necessarily to be counted among the most famous or "the greatest" of composers (define that how you will). One of the joys about belonging to a music forum-such as this-is to learn about the composers who mean a lot to others and, if one has the inclination, to sample their music for oneself.

I cannot recall now when I first read about the music of Braga Santos but when I first heard the music for myself it was a revelation. Is it orginal? No, I don't suppose it is. Is it derivative? Yes, I suppose so (although it remains a mystery to me how Braga Santos had acquainted himself with the music of other, similar composers in wartime Portugal).
Has it had an influence on other composers? Extremely doubtful (certainly outside Portugal).

In that sense is his music "relevant" to the future course of musical development? No, it is almost certainly not. Is it therefore, by extrapolation, "redundant", superfluous etc. Of course not. Listening to it enhances my life.....as it does that of others who love the music.

If it means nothing to others then that is the nature of musical experience. I don't "get" the music of Harrison Birtwistle. Doesn't mean he isn't a composer of genuine importance and that I cannot respect those who consider him a musical genius.
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« Reply #22 on: August 13, 2018, 07:02:34 pm »

Well put, Jeffrey and Colin. I completely agree.

Personally, I'm sick to death of "the best" categorizations. Whenever someone starts a discussion with "Who do you think is the best composer/pianist/etc." or "What do you think is the best symphony/concerto/etc." I cringe inwardly. As if there's a universal set of objective criteria by which all can be judged. We all have our biases, preferences, range of experience, etc., that influence our conclusions. Also, our tastes change over time, based on experience, exposure, point in life, etc. For instance, when I was younger I had little use for Robert Schumann apart from a very few of his works. Now, I've come to adore his music. I've always felt his stature as a "great" composer was deserved, but his music just didn't speak to me. Likewise, Franz Liszt.

However, I'm happy to enter into a discussion that begins "Who are your favorite composers/pianists/etc." or "what are your favorite symphonies/concerti/etc." when that discussion is civil and respectful of the participants' tastes.

Vague, undefined generalities such as "relevant" or "best" are annoying at best, infuriating when used repeatedly without explanation. One of the great features of this forum has been the respect we accord one another's opinions. I left another forum a number of years ago when I had the audacity to express my deep respect for a certain composer's music and another member publicly took me to task for my obvious lack of taste and erudition in taking such a "stupid" position, since in their mind this composer's music was utterly useless, worthless, derivative, and poorly written. The administrator saw nothing wrong with this (no, it wasn't UC). So, I hope we are able to maintain this prized civility here. We don't need anyone here who can only bolster their own fragile self-esteem by denigrating and demeaning others and their opinions.

And, for the record, I very much like Ruth Gipps' music.
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« Reply #23 on: August 13, 2018, 10:25:12 pm »

I consider music to be of personal 'relevance' if it moves me emotionally or if can relate to it is some way - although I wouldn't expect others to share my views. For example I consider the music of Braga-Santos (well, at least the early symphonies), Stanley Bate, Ruth Gipps, Ricard Arnell, Eduard Tubin,  Camargo Guanieri, John Kinsella, Harold Truscott, Godfried Devreese, Klaus Egge etcetc to be relevant to me in a way that the piano concertos of Mozart or most operas are not - whilst recognising the greatness of major composers whose music means little to me.

I'm greatly looking forward to receiving the Gipps CD - one of the most exciting releases on Chandos in recent times.



Well said, Jeffrey!

We all have our personal favourites-composers who "speak to us". These are not necessarily to be counted among the most famous or "the greatest" of composers (define that how you will). One of the joys about belonging to a music forum-such as this-is to learn about the composers who mean a lot to others and, if one has the inclination, to sample their music for oneself.

I cannot recall now when I first read about the music of Braga Santos but when I first heard the music for myself it was a revelation. Is it orginal? No, I don't suppose it is. Is it derivative? Yes, I suppose so (although it remains a mystery to me how Braga Santos had acquainted himself with the music of other, similar composers in wartime Portugal).
Has it had an influence on other composers? Extremely doubtful (certainly outside Portugal).

In that sense is his music "relevant" to the future course of musical development? No, it is almost certainly not. Is it therefore, by extrapolation, "redundant", superfluous etc. Of course not. Listening to it enhances my life.....as it does that of others who love the music.

If it means nothing to others then that is the nature of musical experience. I don't "get" the music of Harrison Birtwistle. Doesn't mean he isn't a composer of genuine importance and that I cannot respect those who consider him a musical genius.

I wonder, Colin, if Vaughan Williams was an influence on Braga Santos. I suspect that BS would have come across the music of VW either on the Portuguese radio or in concert. After all, isn't Portugal the oldest ally of Britain's? Only semi-serious about this but who knows? Sibelius also I think who would have been at the height of his reputation in Braga Santos's formative years I think.
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Vandermolen
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« Reply #24 on: August 13, 2018, 10:36:18 pm »

Well put, Jeffrey and Colin. I completely agree.

Personally, I'm sick to death of "the best" categorizations. Whenever someone starts a discussion with "Who do you think is the best composer/pianist/etc." or "What do you think is the best symphony/concerto/etc." I cringe inwardly. As if there's a universal set of objective criteria by which all can be judged. We all have our biases, preferences, range of experience, etc., that influence our conclusions. Also, our tastes change over time, based on experience, exposure, point in life, etc. For instance, when I was younger I had little use for Robert Schumann apart from a very few of his works. Now, I've come to adore his music. I've always felt his stature as a "great" composer was deserved, but his music just didn't speak to me. Likewise, Franz Liszt.

However, I'm happy to enter into a discussion that begins "Who are your favorite composers/pianists/etc." or "what are your favorite symphonies/concerti/etc." when that discussion is civil and respectful of the participants' tastes.

Vague, undefined generalities such as "relevant" or "best" are annoying at best, infuriating when used repeatedly without explanation. One of the great features of this forum has been the respect we accord one another's opinions. I left another forum a number of years ago when I had the audacity to express my deep respect for a certain composer's music and another member publicly took me to task for my obvious lack of taste and erudition in taking such a "stupid" position, since in their mind this composer's music was utterly useless, worthless, derivative, and poorly written. The administrator saw nothing wrong with this (no, it wasn't UC). So, I hope we are able to maintain this prized civility here. We don't need anyone here who can only bolster their own fragile self-esteem by denigrating and demeaning others and their opinions.

And, for the record, I very much like Ruth Gipps' music.

Well, I agree with you as well Latvian (sorry, I don't know your name). I've never really understood the intolerance which too often exists on online sites. I also think that written messages (as in texts and emails as well) can often seem opinionated without the more subtle nuances of actual face to face conversation. These music websites have cost me a small fortune but, through them, I have discovered so many wonderful composers whose existence I would otherwise be unaware of and made some genuine friendships as well.

As you expressed your admiration for the music of Ruth Gipps let me also do so for your (I assume) compatriot Janis Ivanovs whose terrific 11th Symphony is one of the major gaps (in my opinion) in the CD catalogue, along with Tjeknavorian's LSO recording of Khachaturian's 1st Symphony (RCA, not the far inferior ASV recording), the Gruner-Hegge recording of Klaus Egge's magnificent 1st Symphony (Norwegian HMV LP), Gordon Jabob's Concerto for Two Pianos (EMI LP) and Bax's 3rd Symphony (LSO, Downes RCA LP).
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« Reply #25 on: August 13, 2018, 11:05:50 pm »

I understand the point about the influences on Braga Santos of RVW and Sibelius, Jeffrey. But the music is not simply reheated VW or Sibelius. There is clearly the influence of Portugese folk music as well but in addition there is an almost American romantic swaggering self-confidence about BS's music. Yet he surely could not have been familiar with Roy Harris or Aaron Copland?

Indeed, who was he familiar with?? After all the Symphony No.1 was written in 1946. Braga Santos was 22 years old in 1946. When World War Two broke out in 1939 the composer was 15. What was the situation in Portugal during the war? The country was officially neutral but retained its long-standing friendship with Great Britain. What music was broadcast on Portugese radio during the war? The young composer clearly did not travel outside his country during the war. Did he study scores? If so, by which composers? These questions have intrigued me ever since I first heard the music. (No doubt Alvaro Cassuto could provide answers and I am tempted to try to contact him!)

It is almost as though somehow the young Portugese composer had absorbed every sort of romantic influence from around the world-from the USA, from Respighi, Bloch, Sibelius, RVW etc etc mixed those with Portugese folk influences and came up with an amalgam free from any inhibitions, free from any preconceived ideas of where contemporary music should be going and simply threw himself into symphonic music with youthful abandon. Because ultimately what shines through is his sheer unbridled self-confident enthusiasm.
If it is inspired-and I think that the early music IS inspired-then is that "inspiration" wholly derivative? I wonder!

(and btw I know that this thread is supposed to be about the symphonies of Ruth Gipps but she too-at the time of the Symphony No.2-was a young, romantic composer.....so the connection is not entirely off piste Grin)
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Latvian
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« Reply #26 on: August 13, 2018, 11:34:47 pm »

Quote
As you expressed your admiration for the music of Ruth Gipps let me also do so for your (I assume) compatriot Janis Ivanovs whose terrific 11th Symphony is one of the major gaps (in my opinion) in the CD catalogue, along with Tjeknavorian's LSO recording of Khachaturian's 1st Symphony (RCA, not the far inferior ASV recording), the Gruner-Hegge recording of Klaus Egge's magnificent 1st Symphony (Norwegian HMV LP), Gordon Jabob's Concerto for Two Pianos (EMI LP) and Bax's 3rd Symphony (LSO, Downes RCA LP).

Yes, Ivanovs' 11th Symphony is indeed a fine work. It's a shame that neither Cameo Classics nor Marco Polo / Naxos ever completed their Ivanovs cycles. Personally, my favorite Ivanovs symphonies are #s 4, 6, 10 and 17, but I love many of the others as well.

I don't think I've ever heard either of the Tjeknavorian recordings of Khachaturian's 1st. I have Gauk's and the composer's versions. A fine work, in any event.

Yes, I love Bax 3 with Downes (and the LP filler, The Happy Forest).

My real name is Maris and I am indeed Latvian.
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Vandermolen
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« Reply #27 on: Today at 12:16:39 pm »

I understand the point about the influences on Braga Santos of RVW and Sibelius, Jeffrey. But the music is not simply reheated VW or Sibelius. There is clearly the influence of Portugese folk music as well but in addition there is an almost American romantic swaggering self-confidence about BS's music. Yet he surely could not have been familiar with Roy Harris or Aaron Copland?

Indeed, who was he familiar with?? After all the Symphony No.1 was written in 1946. Braga Santos was 22 years old in 1946. When World War Two broke out in 1939 the composer was 15. What was the situation in Portugal during the war? The country was officially neutral but retained its long-standing friendship with Great Britain. What music was broadcast on Portugese radio during the war? The young composer clearly did not travel outside his country during the war. Did he study scores? If so, by which composers? These questions have intrigued me ever since I first heard the music. (No doubt Alvaro Cassuto could provide answers and I am tempted to try to contact him!)

It is almost as though somehow the young Portugese composer had absorbed every sort of romantic influence from around the world-from the USA, from Respighi, Bloch, Sibelius, RVW etc etc mixed those with Portugese folk influences and come up with an amalgam free from any inhibitions, free from any preconceived ideas of where contemporary music should be going and simply threw himself into symphonic music with youthful abandon. Because ultimately what shines through is his sheer unbridled self-confident enthusiasm.
If it is inspired-and I think that the early music IS inspired-then is that "inspiration" wholly derivative? I wonder!

(and btw I know that this thread is supposed to be about the symphonies of Ruth Gipps but she too-at the time of the Symphony No.2-was a young, romantic composer.....so the connection is not entirely off piste Grin)
OT
A very thoughtful consideration Colin which I read with much interest. I may have told you that I taught a Portuguese girl whose family knew Braga Santos. Apparently her grandmother threw Braga-Santos and his friends out of the house for 'making too much noise'. Isn't there a quote about prophets being unappreciated in their home country? The girl kindly presented me with a boxed set of Braga Santos orchestral music. I think that her family were amazed that her teacher had heard of him and appreciated his music. Yes, I'm sure that Portuguese folk music was a huge influence.
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Vandermolen
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« Reply #28 on: Today at 12:24:41 pm »

Quote
As you expressed your admiration for the music of Ruth Gipps let me also do so for your (I assume) compatriot Janis Ivanovs whose terrific 11th Symphony is one of the major gaps (in my opinion) in the CD catalogue, along with Tjeknavorian's LSO recording of Khachaturian's 1st Symphony (RCA, not the far inferior ASV recording), the Gruner-Hegge recording of Klaus Egge's magnificent 1st Symphony (Norwegian HMV LP), Gordon Jabob's Concerto for Two Pianos (EMI LP) and Bax's 3rd Symphony (LSO, Downes RCA LP).

Yes, Ivanovs' 11th Symphony is indeed a fine work. It's a shame that neither Cameo Classics nor Marco Polo / Naxos ever completed their Ivanovs cycles. Personally, my favorite Ivanovs symphonies are #s 4, 6, 10 and 17, but I love many of the others as well.

I don't think I've ever heard either of the Tjeknavorian recordings of Khachaturian's 1st. I have Gauk's and the composer's versions. A fine work, in any event.

Yes, I love Bax 3 with Downes (and the LP filler, The Happy Forest).

My real name is Maris and I am indeed Latvian.
OT
Just to say Maris that, of the ones I know, my favourite Ivanovs's scores are symphonies 2,3,4,5,8,11 and especially the movingly valedictory (in my opinion) Symphony 20 which exists not only on Naxos but in an impressively packaged release from the Latvian Musical Information Centre. I also like the film score for 'Late Frost in Spring'. As soon as the Gipps release shows up I will be back 'on piste'.
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