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Benjamin Frankel (1906-1973)


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Author Topic: Benjamin Frankel (1906-1973)  (Read 330 times)
cilgwyn
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« on: July 06, 2022, 07:38:12 pm »

A very interesting and worthwhile composer who,I'll admit,is new to me! Although,I was aware of him (see below).

Benjamin Frankel: Symphonies 2 & 3  Queensland Symphony Orchestra / Werner Andreas Albert Cpo



After a few listens I I'm beginning to like this music now! I remember,when I was a member of the British Music Society back in the eighties,some chap sent me a cassette of off-air recordings of Frankel symphonies. He did say that the sound quality of the recordings was not good and I don't think it helped. Whatever the reason,I wasn't too excited by what I heard! So,whoever he was,he must have been thrilled when a couple of years later,Cpo recorded the whole lot! Perhaps he should have told me that Frankel wrote the score for Curse of the Werewolf!! The BBC used to havbe a double bill of horror films on Saturday nights & I used to watch them in bed! With the exception of the occult thriller Nigh of the Demon,Lon Chaney Jr's acting was about as scary as it got!! Listening to these symphonies in what sound like good performances in excellent sound I'm beginning to like what I'm hearing. The music has an austere,serious demeanour leavened by colourful orchestration,including (for example) the evocative use of bells. The music on this cd has spoken introduction's by the composer. The introduction to Symphony no 2 last's just over four minutes and makes an interesting listen. I would describe these symphonies as having an austere demeanour,leavened by colourful orchestration. They are less severe than,say,those of Robert Simpson and Fricker and less angry in demeanour than the latter and there is none of that tortuousness you get in Tippett's orchestration! (His string writing has a lovely romantic sheen to it!) Indeed,there is a sort of late twentieth century romanticism here beneath the initially stern demeanour which is probably one of the reasons he was in such demand as a film composer. I'm looking forward to hearing 4,5,7 & 8 now! I think this cd would probably make a good introduction to this composer. I received it today along with symphonies 4 & 6. Symphonies 7 & 8 are in the post! (I bought symphonies 1 & 5 a couple of weeks ago).
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greek
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« Reply #1 on: July 06, 2022, 10:33:19 pm »

I could never approve of commerce, but I do like Frankel's music. Last year I collected performances of all eight of his grand symphonies from YouTube and posted them at the Radio 3 Forum:

http://www.for3.org/forums/showthread.php?23287-Frankel-Benjamin

By the way there we see another good example of how to run a forum in a dignified way.

Frankel also gave us five fine string quartets, most of which are still available there.

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Vandermolen
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« Reply #2 on: July 08, 2022, 10:09:42 am »

I do have some of his symphonies but my favourite by far is 'The Curse of the Werewolf' film score. I wish that Frankel had written in a more tonal idiom - but that is my stuff. My older brother was a friend of Frankel's step-son at St Paul's School in London. One day my brother was invited back to the family home and a rather withdrawn man in the corner was introduced to him as 'Ben'.

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Edimitri
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« Reply #3 on: August 08, 2022, 05:13:00 pm »

Greetings Vandermolen, your comment intrigues me. My older brother, Igor, was your brother's friend at St Paul's! Ben became our stepfather in 1972, just a year before his death. I'm visiting my brother at this moment and would love to be able to tell him more so that he can identify your brother (if you agree. I could post my email address if you prefer). Interesting that you like Curse of the Werewolf so much as it was his only 12-note serial score (admittedly, like all his serial music, largely tonal in effect and there are certain cues that are non-serial and late-romantic in character).
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« Reply #4 on: August 09, 2022, 10:22:20 am »

I could never approve of commerce....


Whyever not? How on earth do you think music labels can function?
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Vandermolen
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« Reply #5 on: August 20, 2022, 09:28:33 am »

Greetings Vandermolen, your comment intrigues me. My older brother, Igor, was your brother's friend at St Paul's! Ben became our stepfather in 1972, just a year before his death. I'm visiting my brother at this moment and would love to be able to tell him more so that he can identify your brother (if you agree. I could post my email address if you prefer). Interesting that you like Curse of the Werewolf so much as it was his only 12-note serial score (admittedly, like all his serial music, largely tonal in effect and there are certain cues that are non-serial and late-romantic in character).
Greetings Edimitri,
I've just seen this post and have sent you a PM from my brother with contact details etc.
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