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Your favourite composers

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Author Topic: Your favourite composers  (Read 324 times)
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Frederic Cowen (1852-1935)

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« on: October 12, 2021, 09:32:15 am »

I notice of course that the title of this thread is in the plural, but if it were in the singular, and seeing whose birthday it is today, my candidate would certainly be Vaughan Williams. I find his music has a range and depth that outshine that of many more famous names, and it puzzles me that it doesn't seem to be recognized properly outside Britain. Plus VW is able to be so characteristically himself, even in very different works. I remember once buying two VW cds at the same time, the Cotwold Romance and the music for Scott of the Antarctic, and wondering that even though the works were very dissimilar, both could be by no one but VW. Of course there is an element of personal taste included in my assessment, but I think his symphonies should be recognized as one of the great 20th century cycles, alongside Shostakovich etc.

Bax is also hign on my list, and "The Immortal Hour" is among my top ten ever favourite operas. The only composer on Albion's list whose music doesn't really "click" with me - for various reasons - is Britten.

RVW - a true giant. I agree about Britten, some works such as Peter Grimes, Billy Budd and the War Requiem strike me as outstanding but there is quite a lot that I would not rank so highly. It's odd that Britten has "travelled" but Vaughan Williams hasn't (although several non-British conductors have recorded the symphonies)...

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"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)

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