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RVW's 9th

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Author Topic: RVW's 9th  (Read 1109 times)
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« on: May 02, 2013, 12:53:21 pm »

Um...believe it or not's 'Sinfonia Antartica', not Antarctica.  Even though 'Antarctica' is actually correct.
As are you,JimL! ;D In all fairness,it was  late at night! But then again,maybe I should have been in bed? ;D Having said that,I do hope we're not going to get into point scoring here,about grammar & human error,or it's going to get like an Amazon review page....."um...folks"! ::) In fact,if I was to pass observation on every single grammatical error,misspelling here,or instance of human error,on the pages of this forum,I would be at it all day! Maybe,I'm just too polite! ::) ;D And,then again,maybe people are too polite about me?! ::)
On the other hand,we don't want the words 'Sinfonia Antartica' spreading through these pages like a hideous contagion,do we? So,thank you JimL,point taken! ;D

Onto more pressing matters!! ;D I have the Ninth symphony on 'cordless headphones',right now. This has to be my favourite VW symphony,after the Eighth. A powerful work,with no 'dead wood'. It has a visionary quality,which was obviously beyond the intellectual grasp of VW's more conventionally minded contemporaries. Unlike Bax's Seventh,for example,which is still quite a powerful work,in it's own way;I don't get the feeling of 'diminishing powers',or a,largely spent force,looking wearily back. Of course,music had changed,and these people were looking at VW's music through 'contemporary' eyes,and let's face it,critics are just naturally bitchy,aren't they?!
From our own perspective,it's hard to see anything wrong with this symphony. As far as I can make out,it is all very tightly constructed. It pulls you in and keeps you listening,from start to finish. I also like the way it welds the astringent visionary qualities of the Sixth,to some of the pictorialism of the earlier symphonies,ie the ghostly drummer. And spooky it is! Just thinking about that episode on a wintry,blowy,night and I'm ducking under the bed sheets. A bit like that night when I heard a 'knocking' noise downstairs,only to discover,to my horror,that the 'ghostly tapping' was coming from the lane outside. Probably,just something flapping in wind,but still......and at 3.30am!! :o :( What an imagination!! And (going back to the symphony) the extraordinarily imaginative instrumentation. Saxophones (and flugelhorns!)! What did that critic say? "Thickening the middle-orchestra texture"?! Well,all I can say is,if it sounds this good,I only wish he'd thickened it more! ;D As to whether it was only 'notable' because it was by Vaughan Williams? Well,maybe that critic had a point,in a way,if you think about all the other fine symphonies around,composed by less prominent composers (and if he wasn't just point scoring).

But then you listen to the symphony,and it's b***** good!!

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