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Broadcast rarities from days gone by


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Author Topic: Broadcast rarities from days gone by  (Read 25210 times)
guest2
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« Reply #15 on: June 13, 2009, 08:16:17 am »


Hans Henze's Fifth Symphony was completed in 1962, and premièred in New York in 1963. It has three movements: Movimentato, Adagio, and Moto perpetuo. Much of it is also quite noisy and dissonant, as are the works of his older countrymen Hartmann and Zimmermann.

Mr. Lebrecht has this to say: "Henze mastered serialism at Darmstadt but abandoned it as insufficiently communicative. Teaching at Darmstadt in 1955 alongside Boulez, he preached the supremacy of melodism and was demonized by the avant-garde as a dangerous heretic." I am not saying that I entirely agree with or approve of that, but "melodism" is a nice word and provides food for thought.
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Roehre
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« Reply #16 on: June 13, 2009, 11:53:28 am »



The second item was Schönberg's Six Pieces for Male Chorus opus 35, composed in 1929 and 1930. Again this was their first British performance. At the time - the mid sixties - the B.B.C. was very assiduously filling all the Schönberg gaps, and I still remember with gratitude my first hearing of his Pelléas and Mélisande. The singers were members of the John Alldis Choir...

this recording found its way into an EMI 4LP-set dedicated to the 2nd Viennese School (Die neue wiener Schule, and in which we find a.o Barbirolli's Pelleas und Melisande, Prausnitz' recorsing with the New Philharmonia of the 2nd Chambersymphony , Berg's violinconcerto (Menuhin/BBC SO/ Boulez) and Webern's opera 7, 11, 3, 10, 4, 12, 20, 25, 29 and 23 (in that order!)

I still think this recording of the 6 Pieces opus 35 is one of, if not the best until this very day.
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Roehre
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« Reply #17 on: June 13, 2009, 12:03:09 pm »


Paul Griffiths in his book Modern Music and After does not mention Haubenstock-Ramati's name; a singular omission I think. Norman Lebrecht mentions him but admires only the second string quartette.


Which shows how non-representative (or better: English-centred) Paul Griffith (unexpectedly I must say Sad ) and Lebrecht (completely conform my expectations  Grin ) partly are.

Haubenstock-Ramati's works of the 1960s did influence the older members of the present generation of German composers. Just have to mention Symphonie K (in which the K stands for Kafka) and Vermutungen über ein dunkles haus (Suspicions re a dark house), influencing early Rihm, and later von Bose an Glanert.
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« Reply #18 on: June 14, 2009, 08:38:01 am »

Thanks to member Roehre for the information about Schönberg's 6 Pieces on EMI - it seems that in this case my resurrection was unnecessary. And I do have Symphonie K on a tape somewhere.


Does any one remember Cornelius Cardew's Buns? The second of them, the Bun for Orchestra No. 2, completed in 1964, was first performed in Belgium.

Cardew sang in Kent during the latter years of the last War - he was a chorister at Canterbury, and indeed he continued there until his voice broke in 1950. Later he studied composition under Howard Ferguson and Goffredo Petrassi, and in 1967, no doubt in part as a result of this Bun, he was awarded the post of Professor of Composition at the Royal Academy of Music.

Christian Wolff of Nice described Cardew as "the most important British composer since Dunstable"; his works are not performed very often these days, but nor are those of Dunstable, regrettably. In 1969 Cardew joined the Revolutionary Communist Party of Britain; and at a 1972 Promenade Concert the B.B.C. banned the banners demanded by the composer as part of his work "The Great Learning."

The announcer when it was broadcast was at pains to point out that the music is "written out fully in the traditional way." It does not however to my ears contain very much "melodism."
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autoharp
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« Reply #19 on: June 14, 2009, 08:53:24 am »

Thanks for reviving Cardew's Bun no.2. Some bloke named Dave Smith made a 2-piano version a few years back.
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Paul
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« Reply #20 on: June 14, 2009, 11:04:53 am »

I wonder whether Mr autoharp by chance has a recording of this Dave Smith arrangement? If so I further wonder whether he might like to share it with us here - on the basis of course that it will a) be in its own way (albeit of 'local' consumption only) a 'broadcast rarity', and b) be made available only for a limited period of time.

I for one would be most interested to hear it!
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Reiner Torheit
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« Reply #21 on: June 14, 2009, 01:24:37 pm »

I for one would be most interested to hear it!

And I for two Wink
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autoharp
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« Reply #22 on: June 14, 2009, 02:39:41 pm »

Indeed, Mr autoharp does possess a recording. It's probably more proper if I PM it.
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Reiner Torheit
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« Reply #23 on: June 14, 2009, 04:43:25 pm »

The magnificently supercilious Reithian announcement to the orchestral version of "Bun No 2" is worth the download on its own.  Cheesy
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« Reply #24 on: June 15, 2009, 08:35:48 am »

. . . Some bloke named Dave Smith made a 2-piano version a few years back.

It is good to discover that the work is better known than I had imagined! How about Bun number 1 - has that survived? And is there a performance history?


Henri Pousseur's Symphonies for 15 Soloists were completed in 1955 when he was twenty-five. I am not sure why, but everything I have heard of his has been a pleasure to listen to.  In 1953 he produced Prospection, for three pianofortes tuned a sixth-tone apart, in an attempt to build upon Boulez's Structure 1a of 1951, but encountered difficulties with the work's instrumental realization. Then in these Symphonies he "achieved richer textures by means of a 'group' technique (not unrelated to that which Stockhausen was exploring at the time) and by integrating statistical considerations, both on the compositional and the interpretative level," writes Pascal Decroupet in the New Grove Dictionary; but it is not clear to me what these "statistical considerations" might have been - perhaps another member knows.

Pousseur also wrote a good deal of electronic music, beginning in 1954 in Cologne - some of the best electronic music I have heard; and he wrote a good deal about music as well, especially about the music of his hero Anton Webern. And he was very keen on the French writer Michel Butor, who was notorious at one time for his . . . well, for his meaninglessness I suppose. Here is more from M. Decroupet: "Very soon he was pondering the problem of how to write aleatory music for an ensemble of several players. Répons (1960) posed such drastic problems of co-ordination that it required a group able to devote some 100 rehearsals to it to make it feasible: the audience's difficulty in following the ensemble's interactions led Pousseur to add to the piece a strange parable by the French writer Michel Butor which makes explicit the musical choices and their consequences (1965)."

And here is something that may interest member Don: Pousseur's "kaleidoscopic principle." "At the height of his interest in the collation of pre-existing materials, Pousseur revisited such musical monuments as the Goldberg Variations in Nuitss des nuits (1985) and Dichterliebe in Dichterliebesreigentraum (1992–3); the source materials are arranged in such a way as to reveal motivic or structural links hidden or disregarded in the original work."

There is a lot more in the Grove article which relates to musical activity even in the present day.

And as a final point, according to Mark Morris, "Pousseur, throughout his career, has seen a correspondence between complex musical structures and complex social structures, and believes that solutions to the latter may be mirrored in solutions to the former."

It is sad to note that all except one of those involved in this concert - Cardew, Pousseur, Feldman, Donatoni, and Kagel - have now expired, with the exception of Dieter Schnebel. Henri Pousseur's demise was the most recent, just three months ago.
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Roehre
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« Reply #25 on: June 15, 2009, 03:31:13 pm »

<quote>I am not sure why, but everything I have heard of his has been a pleasure to listen to. </quote>

That's an experience which I shere with you, ever from the first time I heard Pousseur's Votre Faust
thanks for the symphonies, great stuff, haven't heard them for a very long time
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« Reply #26 on: June 16, 2009, 08:45:36 am »


Luigi Nono's music seems to be quite popular these days - did not the B.B.C. recently put on a "Nono week-end"? Perhaps then these do not really count as rarities; nevertheless offering them to-day will do no harm. I have never been attracted by his work: an aversion to the soprano voice is probably one reason.

His "Le terre e la campagna" (the lands - plural - and the countryside) of 1957 (as the announcer said), or, "La terra e la compagna" (the land - singular - and the female companion) of 1958 (as all the reference books claim) was broadcast in 1964.

It calls for a soprano, a tenor, a chorus and orchestra, and "sets a poem" (as the announcer puts it) by Pavese.

And secondly there was Canciones para Silvia for soprano soloist with a chorus of six other sopranos.
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Roehre
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« Reply #27 on: June 16, 2009, 11:32:58 am »

"I have never been attracted by his work: an aversion to the soprano voice is probably one reason".

Perhaps that's why I prefer his instrumental works too, Stille. An Diotima (string quartet) an example
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« Reply #28 on: June 17, 2009, 08:48:32 am »

Here are two men from Northern America; they need not detain us long. Firstly M. Feldman (1926 - 1987);


his De Kooning was first broadcast in 1963.

Feldman was famous principally for writing longer and quieter pieces of music than any one else, although this one at twelve minutes is not long!

-oOo-


After that came the 1926 Sonata da Chiesa of Virgil Thomson (1896-1989).

The term originally meant a church sonata written for strings with a keyboard background, and consisting of a string of movements with an abstract and serious character. The instrumentation of this one is however quite different, and I shall leave it to other members to say whether his central "Tango" is sufficiently serious. The most interesting movement seems to be the third, a fugue. It certainly offers some curious contrapuntal combinations, and there are from time to time odd but interesting skips in the rhythm. Perhaps another member can tell us about its construction!

Thomson lived in Paris continuously betwen 1925 and 1940, and this Sonata da Chiesa, influenced by the contemporary works of Stravinsky, was the first fruit of his time there. It is of course in the "wrong note" style, and he called it "deliberately outrageous."
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« Reply #29 on: June 17, 2009, 09:38:28 am »

Many thanks for these, Gerard!

Here are a few notes about the Thomson:-

The sonata da Chiesa (1926), scored for the unusual combination of viola, E-flat clarinet, D trumpet, horn and trombone, was the last piece Thomson finished under the tutelage of Nadia Boulanger. It was first performed in Paris (along with works by Copland, Piston and several other members of the “Boulangerie”) before an audience that included James Joyce, Albert Roussel, Ludwig Lewisohn, Walter Damrosch and Roger Sessions.

Thomson himself reviewed this Sonata in a letter home to his Harvard friend Briggs Buchanan. The first movement, he wrote, “sounds like nothing else on earth”; the second movement “is the popular success.” “The fugue,” he concluded, “though most admired by the general listener, is in the author's opinion, the least satisfactory. A more melodic and less symmetrical development of the first subject would have made a more living organization. Also the clarification of the harmony at more frequent intervals would give it a repose which it lacks.”

Overall, though, critic Thomson was well-satisfied with composer Thomson: “Leaving aside two ill-advised experiments, the instrumentation is unquestionably a knockout. The choral is a genuine new idea, the other movements decently satisfactory...The public awaits (or ought to) with eagerness Mr. Thomson's next work.”

And there's more to be found here

http://209.85.229.132/search?q=cache:_VcJhxicPosJ:renewablemusic.blogspot.com/2008/10/landmarks-36.html+virgil+thomson+sonata+da+chiesa&cd=4&hl=en&ct=clnk&client=safari
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