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Thread: Ralph Vaughan-Williams

  1. #106
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    So what are your favourite RVW pieces then?

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    I got a recording of some RVW music for chorus and orchestra. So far, I've only listened to 'Toward the Unknown Region', which is absolutely fantastic! It sounds like it could be a companion piece to 'A Sea Symphony'.

    As for my favourite RVW piece, it would probably have to be 'A Sea Symphony'. Just so many unforgettable passages, such as the point in the fourth movement where the women sing, unaccompanied, 'Wherefore, unsatisfied soul...'. Incredible moment!

  3. #108
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    Just bought the complete RVW with Andre Previn and the LSO - best recordings of his symphonies I've ever heard.
    Si vos agnosco is tunc vos es quoque erudio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bach View Post
    Just bought the complete RVW with Andre Previn and the LSO - best recordings of his symphonies I've ever heard.
    That's a very good set, but I think I enjoy Thomson's and Handley's readings better. Handley is wildly emotional while Thomson gives an emotional performance as well, but with much more introspection.

    Let me add that I own all the RVW symphony cycles with the exception of Boult on Decca, which many of the recordings are in mono, which I'm not a big fan of.

    I'm curious, which other RVW cycles have you heard, Bach?
    Last edited by Mirror Image; Aug-22-2009 at 06:12.

  5. #110
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    The only other one I own is the Boult - i'm not overkeen on the sound quality. Doesn't do RVW's orchestration any favours..
    Si vos agnosco is tunc vos es quoque erudio

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    Quote Originally Posted by Bach View Post
    The only other one I own is the Boult - i'm not overkeen on the sound quality. Doesn't do RVW's orchestration any favours..
    I think the Boult on EMI sounds great. It's so much better than the set on Decca.

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    A question for the thread. I hope it wasn't answered already, but it's a long thread to wade through. I just listened to a 1969 recording of Wasps conducted by Constantin Silvestri / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and it's a great rendition, but I see its complete name is The Wasps - Aristophanic Suite: Overture. Does this mean there's a complete Aristophanic Suite somewhere I can look for?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Weston View Post
    A question for the thread. I hope it wasn't answered already, but it's a long thread to wade through. I just listened to a 1969 recording of Wasps conducted by Constantin Silvestri / Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra and it's a great rendition, but I see its complete name is The Wasps - Aristophanic Suite: Overture. Does this mean there's a complete Aristophanic Suite somewhere I can look for?
    To my knowledge the full score of "The Wasps" hasn't been recorded. The only form I've seen it is the suite. Check this out:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/The_Was...ughan_Williams)

  9. #114
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    I was watching the DVD documentary of RVW the other day and this was one of the most pathetic excuses for a documentary I've ever seen. Has anyone seen "O Thou Transcendent"? The problem I have with this film is 1) the incompetence of the director, 2) the incompetence of the editor and producer, 3) absolutely no substance, 4) the lack of any kind of real timeline that starts with RVW's birth all the way up to his death, and 5) the people who were interviewed throughout made absolutely no sense. I speak English and I need an English translator to even understand what the hell these people were saying.

    Bottomline: STAY AWAY FROM THIS FILM!!!!

  10. #115
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    If you want to watch a good documentary about RVW, or about any number of famous composers, I'd recommend Classical Destinations, hosted by Simon Callow. Parts 1 & 2 of the television series are now on DVD. They were actually produced by an Australian company, SBS, & include members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra playing the composer's works. Across the two series, there are episodes which feature one or two composers each. There's a very good episode in series 2 about RVW & Holst. I'll probably post a separate thread about this to inform people. It's an excellent series, the cinematography of where the composers lived & worked is stunning, and they are very informative. It's worth buying these on DVD, as you're sure to enjoy them for years to come...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    If you want to watch a good documentary about RVW, or about any number of famous composers, I'd recommend Classical Destinations, hosted by Simon Callow. Parts 1 & 2 of the television series are now on DVD. They were actually produced by an Australian company, SBS, & include members of the Australian Chamber Orchestra playing the composer's works. Across the two series, there are episodes which feature one or two composers each. There's a very good episode in series 2 about RVW & Holst. I'll probably post a separate thread about this to inform people. It's an excellent series, the cinematography of where the composers lived & worked is stunning, and they are very informative. It's worth buying these on DVD, as you're sure to enjoy them for years to come...
    I don't know about this series Andre. How much depth are there to the histories of the composers who are featured? In the the episode that features RVW and Holst, how much history is actually revealed, how much depth is there to their respective history, and does it follow a logical order or sequence of events?

    I saw a trailer for the series. I wasn't too impressed.

  12. #117
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    Well, it's as much depth as you'd get from a 40 minute or so episode, which was originally shown on television. Of course, this is not at the level of an academic dissertation, it's far more general than that. But basically, it tells of the area where each composer grew up, their main activities as composers (eg. in the case of RVW, collecting British folk music), and some of the times they lived through (like the two world wars for RVW). I actually think it's not only good on an information level, but also as entertainment. & at the end of each episode, you get a performance of one of the composer's pieces, in the case of the RVW/Holst episode, it's an excerpt from the latter's St. Paul's Suite. I personally like this series, as I said, the scenes are amazing (you can probably tell I'm an armchair traveller), and Simon Callow does a good job at narrating. I hope that (partially at least) answers your question...

  13. #118
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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    Well, it's as much depth as you'd get from a 40 minute or so episode, which was originally shown on television. Of course, this is not at the level of an academic dissertation, it's far more general than that. But basically, it tells of the area where each composer grew up, their main activities as composers (eg. in the case of RVW, collecting British folk music), and some of the times they lived through (like the two world wars for RVW). I actually think it's not only good on an information level, but also as entertainment. & at the end of each episode, you get a performance of one of the composer's pieces, in the case of the RVW/Holst episode, it's an excerpt from the latter's St. Paul's Suite. I personally like this series, as I said, the scenes are amazing (you can probably tell I'm an armchair traveller), and Simon Callow does a good job at narrating. I hope that (partially at least) answers your question...
    I'm looking more for depth or things that go beyond books or websites. I mean anybody can look at Wikipedia or get out an Oxford book of classical and read about all the composer's histories.

    I enjoy traveling and things about traveling, but I take music quite seriously and I'm just not sure how much value I would get from the series. That's really my biggest concern more than anything. Will I walk away from this series with more knowledge? That's the question.

    Thanks for mentioning the series, but I'll probably just rent it instead of buying it.

  14. #119
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    I just again watched the Holst/RVW episode of Classical Destinations on the weekend & I think it's a good general introduction to these guy's music. Some interesting facts I learnt was that Holst was just about to give up music completely before he composed The Planets, and that his friend RVW actually recommended him to the teaching post at St Paul's school. Actually, I didn't even know that the two were friends, and went on the folk collecting journeys across the UK together (& they both came from the Cotswolds area). They also both took (some) part in WW1. Holst also established a choral festival in an English town whose name I can't remember, which is still held annually today.

    As for RVW, it mentioned that he edited an edition of the English Hymn book, which included music by many composers who would inspire him (eg. Tallis). He was also a committed Socialist who didn't accept a knighthood but did compose music for two royal coronations ('The Old 100th' for Queen Elizabeth II).

    I really prefer the music of Holst to RVW, but it was interesting to watch this documentary, see the places were they grew up, and some of the landscapes which they journeyed across, towns they visited, churches, etc.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Andre View Post
    I just again watched the Holst/RVW episode of Classical Destinations on the weekend & I think it's a good general introduction to these guy's music. Some interesting facts I learnt was that Holst was just about to give up music completely before he composed The Planets, and that his friend RVW actually recommended him to the teaching post at St Paul's school. Actually, I didn't even know that the two were friends, and went on the folk collecting journeys across the UK together (& they both came from the Cotswolds area). They also both took (some) part in WW1. Holst also established a choral festival in an English town whose name I can't remember, which is still held annually today.

    As for RVW, it mentioned that he edited an edition of the English Hymn book, which included music by many composers who would inspire him (eg. Tallis). He was also a committed Socialist who didn't accept a knighthood but did compose music for two royal coronations ('The Old 100th' for Queen Elizabeth II).

    I really prefer the music of Holst to RVW, but it was interesting to watch this documentary, see the places were they grew up, and some of the landscapes which they journeyed across, towns they visited, churches, etc.
    I knew all of this.

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