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1  MEMBERS' CORNER / Members' own compositions, performances & productions / My Composition facebook page on: March 24, 2022, 05:25:53 pm
I have been composing for many years & recently in the last 3-4 years have had a sudden creative urge. All of my compositions are now available on my composer Facebook page in MIDI playback format (53 works I believe) which date from 1985-2022. I compose directly into full score & very rarely sketch any work first these days. I would be interested in any feedback from members. The MIDI playbacks with scores aren't ideal, but they hopfu;;y give a reasonable idea of what they sound like.

The page is available to the public & can be found by searching for 'Malcolm D Robertson - composer'.

Thank you.
2  Various types of music / General musical discussion / Re: Top 10 VCs on: October 12, 2013, 11:13:05 am
In no particular order

Piston No 1
Vaughan Williams (Concerto Accademico)
Rodrigo (Concierto de estio)
W Schuman

If pushed the Moeran would be my No 1.

Honorable mentions to Bax, Berg, Britten, Bruch No 2, Martinu (both), Prokofiev (both) Rubbra, Shostakovich (both), Stravinsky, Szymanowski (both), Tchaikovsky, Tubin (both)
3  Various types of music / General musical discussion / Re: "War Symphonies" on: October 12, 2013, 10:49:11 am
Though Vaughan Williams' 6th is mentioned in the list, it was his 5th that was completed during WWII in 1943.
The first 5 Martinu Symphonies are 1942-6
Roy Harris Symphonies 5 & 6, the 5th dedicated to the armed forces of the USSR and the 6th dedicated to the armed forces of the USA. His 4th 'Folksong' though mainly written just before the USA entered WWII was performed a lot during the war years and considered 'Patriotic'.
Also Leonard Bernstein's 1st Symphony 'Jeremiah'.
4  Various types of music / General musical discussion / Re: Composers who died too young on: September 30, 2013, 08:29:35 am
As mentioned in my earlier posting, can you please add Hugo Staehle 1826-1848 to the list of symphonists that died young.
5  Various types of music / General musical discussion / Re: Composers who died too young on: September 26, 2013, 01:58:49 pm
Nobert Burgmuller 1810-1836 and Hugo Staehle were major losses in the 19th century, Burgmuller's talent is evident from his 1st Symphony. Vorisek was another contemporary too who also produced a very fine symphony and of course there is also Pergolesi and Arriaga. The biggest loss to British music from the 1st World War was Cecil Coles, whose music I find superior in quality to Butterworth's and I believe he could have become a major figure in British music.
6  Various types of music / Individual composers / Re: Paul von Klenau(1883-1946): a Danish Romantic on: September 11, 2013, 08:26:54 am
Sadly I have been very unimpressed with what I've heard so far from von Klenau, especially the 7th Symphony. Will listen though with interest to the 9th when it is released to see if I can find something in it.
7  Various types of music / General musical discussion / Re: Five Most Underrated Symphonists on: September 02, 2013, 01:44:13 pm
Vermeulen's first five symphonies are surprisingly ahead of their time and totally fascinating and nos 2-5 could easily have been written in the later 1950s/60s.

The Proms would be the ideal place to programme less familiar symphonies with the familiar, but doesn't, and I can't see it getting any better at least not while the current Director is in place.
8  Various types of music / General musical discussion / Re: Your Dream Concerts on: August 31, 2013, 11:47:48 am
British Night

Too many dream concerts to think of under this heading but here's one:

Bliss: Meditations on a theme of John Blow
Moeran: Violin Concerto
Simpson: Symphony No 9

Scandinavian Night

Holmboe: Symphony No 8
Sinding: Violin Concerto
Aho: Symphonic Dances
Rautavaara: Symphony No 3

American Night
Again so many I can think of but here's an example

Harris:Symphony No 7
Piston: Violin Concerto No 1
Hanson: Elegy for Serge Koussevitsky
Diamond: Symphony No 3

That's three for starters!

9  Various types of music / General musical discussion / Re: Bax Symphonic Cycles on: August 31, 2013, 11:14:12 am
They are generally all very good from what I've heard, but I have to firmly disagree about Handley as I feel his performances show how good a symphonist Bax really was. The structures are clear and sharp and prove that Bax wasn't just a romantic dreamer, but a symphonist of great originality with a real command of form. Yes perhaps he doesn't always allow the music to linger and wallow in Bax's lush textures, but keeps the music going forward and shows the inevitability of Bax's writing. Fredman does this too in his recordings of Nos 1 & 2 which are superb, such a pity he didn't record a whole cycle.
10  Various types of music / Individual composers / Re: Robert Simpson? on: August 31, 2013, 11:02:21 am
Totally agree about the 9th one of the greatest of all 20th century symphonies IMO. The 3rd comes pretty close to that and is fairly straightforward to follow, after that the Beethovenian 4th. The 6th & 7th are perhaps on a slightly lower voltage than the rest but they all excellent works. I've managed to borrow scores of some of these works and Handley is pretty faithful to the composer's intentions as far as I can observe.
11  Various types of music / General musical discussion / Re: Five Most Underrated Symphonists on: August 27, 2013, 11:03:11 am
We don't hear enough of the Roussel symphones that is true, and Honegger's symphonies are also rarities these days, again there relative neglect is puzzling especially as nos 2 & 3 are masterpieces. I find myself preferring Lees's concertos to his symphonies, I'm very fond of the 2nd and 5th but struggle with the 3rd and 4th. Louis Glass I personally find rather dull, however the Draeseke symphonies are fine works and what about Franz Schmidt's 4 symphonies? Again all four have their merits and the 3rd & 4th should be repertoire pieces IMO.
12  Various types of music / Individual composers / Re: Sir Arthur Bliss(1891-1975) on: August 26, 2013, 05:31:36 pm
Actually Walton is broadcast on R3 a little more often than you'd think, with the exception of the Delius anniversary last year he is consistently the 6th more broadcast British composer behind Britten, Elgar, Purcell, Vaughan Williams and Byrd. Although the range of works broadcast bu him could be wider. In comparison Bliss really struggles, perhaps having been Master of Queens Music for 22 years may have slightly influenced the perception of him being a rather stuffy 'Royal Composer' which is of course completely unjustified and he was also half American. Perhaps future Proms series may feature him more often and thereby raise his profile.
13  Various types of music / Individual composers / Re: The music of Eduard Tubin on: August 26, 2013, 11:10:22 am
Yes I totally agree, one of the most stylistically individual symphonists of the 20th century. He only completed 10 Symphonies, the 11th was left unfinished at his death, one movement survives and has been recorded. His 4th has long been in my top 10 symphonies of all time, but all of the others are excellent too. Both of his Violin Concertos are also very fine and he wrote IMO the best Double Bass Concerto of the 20th century.
14  Various types of music / Individual composers / Re: Sir Arthur Bliss(1891-1975) on: August 26, 2013, 11:03:50 am
Bliss is IMO among this country's finest composers. His music is always inventive and imaginative and yes what a superb orchestrator. His chamber music is especially fine and always a very rewarding experience, in the Clarinet and Oboe Quintets are IMO amongst the very finest chamber works written by British composers. He maintained a high standard throughout his composing career, one just has to listen to the Cello Concerto composed in his late 70's. His neglect in the concert hall and on radio is puzzling.
15  Various types of music / Commercial recordings (vintage, new and forthcoming) / Re: Bliss "The Beatitudes" on: August 26, 2013, 10:49:39 am
Thanks for this, I will certainly investigate this realease. As for American composer conductors, I have recordings of Virgil Thomson, Harris and Piston conducting their own works, but they are I feel rather reluctant conductors. American composers seem to have preferred to either teach or be administrators rather than conduct.
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