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Thread: SS 03.11.18 - Rubbra #4

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    Default SS 03.11.18 - Rubbra #4

    A continuation of the Saturday Symphonies Tradition:

    Welcome to another weekend of symphonic listening!

    For your listening pleasure this weekend:

    Edmund Rubbra (1901 – 1996)

    Symphony No. 4, Op. 53

    1. Con Moto
    2. Intermezzo Allegretto grazioso (sempre delicato)
    3. Introduzione (Grave e molto calmo) -- Allegro maestoso

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    Continuing with British symphonies that Real Deal Blues has picked the last few weeks. I'm going a bit later with Edmund Rubbra's 4th Symphony from 1942. A lot has been written on this symphony including "it has one of the most beautiful openings in all of English music." Described as serene, free from artifice, calm deliberation, and a motet for orchestra. I'm curious to listen to it again after several years. There seems to be several recordings on You Tube and only a couple of CDs. I'll go with the Del Mar and Philharmonia


    Last edited by cougarjuno; Nov-03-2018 at 00:56.

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    Senior Member Merl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cougarjuno View Post
    Continuing with British symphonies that Real Deal Blues has picked the last few weeks. I'm going a bit later with Edmund Rubbra's 4th Symphony from 1942. A lot has been written on this symphony including "it has one of the most beautiful openings in all of English music." Described as serene, free from artifice, calm deliberation, and a motet for orchestra. I'm curious to listen to it again after several years. There seems to be several recordings on You Tube and only a couple of CDs. I'll go with the Del Mar and Philharmonia


    That's the one I'm gonna play too. Don't mind this symphony. Not played it for years!

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    Senior Member jim prideaux's Avatar
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    timely reminder that I have not listened to this wonderful symphony for a while.....now to find the recording I own !!!!

    I think it is either Handley or Hickox conducting.....
    'so where are the strong, who are the trusted and where is the harmony, sweet harmony?'
    (Nick Lowe)

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    Another on of those fine, later British symphonists that I like, but, as with Bax, Alwyn, Arnold, and their ilk, I sense I really ought to enjoy more than I actually do. There's a world of difference between liking and merely respecting. Rubbra clearly means business as a compose, there's nothing empty or trite about his music.

    I have a couple of Lyrita releases, plus the Chandos set Mika has, under Hickox. I'll listen to the latter.
    Last edited by Robert Pickett; Nov-03-2018 at 13:16.

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    Senior Member Malx's Avatar
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    The only recording I have and indeed have heard:
    Rubbra, Symphony No 4 BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Richard Hickox.


    rubbra Symphonies.jpg

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I also have the Hickox and have never heard it. But today I will!

    Lot of British symphonies lately...


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    Senior Member Haydn man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Malx View Post
    The only recording I have and indeed have heard:
    Rubbra, Symphony No 4 BBC National Orchestra of Wales, Richard Hickox.


    rubbra Symphonies.jpg
    Yes, this one for me also
    Listen to me when I'm talking to you boy!

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    Senior Member KenOC's Avatar
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    I listened to the Rubbra #4, Hickox, just once.

    It is obviously a well-crafted work that owes little to the classical forms. Each movement does seem to have an effective structure, though. The first and longest movement is in a moderate tempo, deeply serious, and with a fine open sound. The second is a gently flowing intermezzo. The last movement is really two movements, the first slow and grave, the second more lively and agitated and leading up to an optimistic major-key ending (my recording has the movement on two separate tracks).

    Rubbra moves the music ahead primarily through persistent but varying rhythms and changes in dynamics. There’s little movement from the melodic line because, to my ear, there’s little melody. It’s obvious that he knows exactly what effects he wants and how to achieve them. But…

    The music manages to hold the interest without ever being truly interesting. There are no moments when you say, “What a great idea!” In fact, the symphony struck me as a bit on the dull side. I wasn’t tempted to a second listen.

    Compared with the recent Parry and Stanford SS works, I suspect that the Rubbra may be more technically accomplished. But the others, to me, bring more pleasure.
    Last edited by KenOC; Nov-04-2018 at 02:31.


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