The Art-Music Forum
December 05, 2021, 05:46:27 am
Welcome, Guest. Please login or register.
Did you miss your activation email?

Login with username, password and session length
News: A place to discover and discuss a wide range of composers and music (both familiar and forgotten), recordings, broadcasts, books and art. Register, contribute and explore!
 
  Home Help Search Gallery Staff List Login Register  

Grace Williams on the BBC


Pages: [1]   Go Down
  Print  
Author Topic: Grace Williams on the BBC  (Read 933 times)
djarvie
Level 2
**

Times thanked: 7
Offline Offline

Posts: 64


View Profile
« on: March 22, 2020, 11:37:38 am »

Starting tomorrow, BBC Radio 3 is to broadcast a series of Afternoon Concerts featuring the BBC National Orchestra of Wales, and including works by Grace Williams.  For example, on Tuesday 24 March there is her Symphony no 2 (a different performance from the one available commercially):
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000gm67
and on Friday 27 March we have her Violin Concerto (which as far as I can ascertain hasn't been commercially recorded):
https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/m000gmyz
The concerts start at 14:00 local time.   These aren't live broadcasts so as far as I can see the scheduling shouldn't be affected by coronavirus.
The programmes will be available for catch-up afterwards on BBC Sounds.
Report Spam   Logged

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter

Grandenorm
Level 4
****

Times thanked: 23
Offline Offline

Posts: 295


View Profile
« Reply #1 on: April 05, 2020, 10:48:31 pm »

Well, this is very disappointing. Trying to listen on BBC Sounds and the Symphony No. 2 won't play, though everything else in that concert seems to be available - and I see no sign of the Violin Concerto on Friday 27th - just the Sea Sketches. Another triumph for the BBC.
Report Spam   Logged
djarvie
Level 2
**

Times thanked: 7
Offline Offline

Posts: 64


View Profile
« Reply #2 on: April 06, 2020, 10:38:53 am »

Yes, I particularly wanted to hear the violin concerto as I already have a commercial recording of Sym 2.  I am assuming the concert was changed due to coronavirus, but a few words of explanation from the announcer would have been appreciated.  Also some indication as to when (or whether) we might hear the violin concerto again.

I don't know why we can't play the symphony from the "music played" list on the website - the play button is greyed out.   But you can still hear the whole concert by clicking on "listen now".  The Grace Williams symphony begins at 1h 49m.  Alternatively I think you should be able to get straight to the concert on:

https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000gm67

This may not apply if you are outwith the UK.


Report Spam   Logged
Grandenorm
Level 4
****

Times thanked: 23
Offline Offline

Posts: 295


View Profile
« Reply #3 on: April 06, 2020, 10:45:35 am »

Thanks for the advice. I will try listening to the whole concert in order to hear Symphony No. 2. I do hope the violin concerto will be broadcast eventually.
Report Spam   Logged
paul corfield godfrey
Level 2
**

Times thanked: 7
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


View Profile
« Reply #4 on: April 06, 2020, 12:24:01 pm »

Despite the statement above, the broadcast on 27 March was scheduled to have been from a live concert which - as your previous correspondents have correctly surmised - was cancelled as a result of emergency pandemic measures (I was scheduled to have reviewed the concert).

Oddly enough Radio Times for that week advertised the VAUGHAN Williams Violin Concerto as forming part of the broadcast, which I presume was a simple mistake. The programme for the BBC NOW season clearly showed that the intention had been to perform the GRACE Williams. I would have thought however that a word of explanation from the announcer as to the change of schedule would have been useful.

Hopefully the BBC will re-schedule the performance of the Grace Williams concerto for next season.
Report Spam   Logged
djarvie
Level 2
**

Times thanked: 7
Offline Offline

Posts: 64


View Profile
« Reply #5 on: April 06, 2020, 12:42:44 pm »

Many thanks for your explanation, Mr Godfrey.
Report Spam   Logged
Grandenorm
Level 4
****

Times thanked: 23
Offline Offline

Posts: 295


View Profile
« Reply #6 on: April 06, 2020, 05:14:03 pm »

Yes, indeed. Many Thanks - and let us hope the Violin Concerto will be rescheduled for a later concert.
Report Spam   Logged
paul corfield godfrey
Level 2
**

Times thanked: 7
Offline Offline

Posts: 14


View Profile
« Reply #7 on: November 05, 2021, 03:06:54 pm »

I am delighted to be able to report that the postponed performance of the Grace Williams Violin Concerto did finally take place last Wednesday (3 November) in Cardiff and is scheduled for transmission on Radio 3 for 9 November. I was there to review the concert for the Seen and Heard pages of MusicWeb International, and attach herewith the relevant portion of my review:

I am not sure what – if indeed anything – went wrong at the first performance of Grace Williams’s Violin Concerto in 1950, but whatever it was it was sufficient for the notoriously depressive and self-critical composer to consign her score to a bottom drawer from which it never re-emerged until well after her death, when it was revived by the BBC in 2006. It was scheduled to be performed in a concert early last year – and broadcast by Radio 3 as part of a week of programmes devoted to the composer’s output – but that performance fell foul of the pandemic lockdown, and we only now have the opportunity again to encounter the concerto in what appears to have been only its third ever performance.

Depression admits of no reason, and it is probably useless to speculate on the causes for the composer’s suppression of her score, but she may perhaps have been dissatisfied with its overall unity as a concerto. The first movement in particular has a real rhapsodic feel to it, with disparate material combined almost in a wilful manner; at moments the soloist seems to remember that display is expected in a concerto, but then almost immediately lapses into a more ruminative mood which allows much of the musical interest to be focused in the orchestra. Since the instrumental forces required are unusually large for a violin concerto – three trombones bringing the total of brass to more than the sum of the woodwind – this often consigns the soloist to a less than dominant role. The problems of balance were exacerbated by the social distancing imposed on the orchestra, which allowed the wind players and the heavy brass in particular to make their presence very obviously felt throughout the extended movement; it will be interesting to see how the recording engineers manage this for the scheduled broadcast next week.

But while the opening movement of the concerto may raise some doubts, there surely can be none about the gloriously lyrical slow movement. This is based in part on a Welsh hymn tune, with other folkloric elements clearly also present; but they are superbly and imperceptibly integrated into one of the composer’s romantic landscapes (or perhaps seascapes?), with some delightfully ethereal orchestral touches with delicately lapping phrases from the divided violins supporting an ecstatic soaring line from the soloist. If the composer had wished, this movement could surely have been extracted for independent performance (on the lines of Finzi’s Introit from his similarly suppressed violin concerto) and one can only complain of her heartlessness in denying us for so long the pleasure of hearing the music. After this the finale seems positively light-hearted, skipping along rather in the manner of Grace Williams’s well-known Fantasia on Welsh nursery tunes, and with some wry humorous touches to enliven the atmosphere. Madeleine Mitchell, as one might expect, proved to be a superlative soloist throughout, and both Jamie Phillips and the orchestra clearly and thoroughly entered into the spirit of the music.
Report Spam   Logged
Albion
Level 8
********

Times thanked: 81
Offline Offline

Posts: 2094


Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)


View Profile
« Reply #8 on: November 05, 2021, 04:22:03 pm »

I am delighted to be able to report that the postponed performance of the Grace Williams Violin Concerto did finally take place last Wednesday (3 November) in Cardiff and is scheduled for transmission on Radio 3 for 9 November.

Thank you for this, I will try to pop a copy into BIMA. Grace Williams is already quite well represented, but more is always welcome.

 Smiley

Loved your review of the dismal ORF Radio-Symphonieorchester Wien Thais on MusicWeb. Seems like a real klunker! When will they ever learn? Erm, that would probably be never then.

 Tongue
Report Spam   Logged

"A piece is worth your attention, and is itself for you praiseworthy, if it makes you feel you have not wasted your time over it." (Sydney Grew, 1922)

Pages: [1]   Go Up
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Powered by EzPortal
Bookmark this site! | Upgrade This Forum
SMF For Free - Create your own Forum


Powered by SMF | SMF © 2016, Simple Machines
Privacy Policy