Elgar Sesquewhatever Celebrations

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Elgar Sesquewhatever Celebrations

Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:13 am

Looks like their putting on quite a bash for the old boy.


http://malvern.whub.org.uk/home/wccinde ... -elgar.htm

If anyone goes, please tell us about it.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jun 02, 2007 5:25 am

XM saw fit to start the celebration yesterday, which meant I listened to a long succession of his compositions in the desperate hope of finding something there that I did not find before. Someone who is capable of a masterpiece like the violin concerto but whose run of the mill is slightly below the level of lesser Sousa....

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Post by John F » Sat Jun 02, 2007 6:07 am

Elgar will be featured at this summer's Bard College Festival:

http://www.fishercenter.bard.edu/bmf/2007/

Under the rubric "Elgar and His World," Leon Botstein and others will perform lots of Elgar and also music by his contemporaries, notably Parry and Stanford.

Not part of the festival but relevant to it, Botstein will conduct the American Symphony Orchestra at Lincoln Center in a concert performance of Dame Ethel Smyth's opera, "The Wreckers."
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Post by Gregg » Sat Jun 02, 2007 3:37 pm

John F wrote:Elgar will be featured at this summer's Bard College Festival
I wish there was more Elgar in New York. In January I had some one who was willing to write about Elgar, if there was a performance that I could tie it to - but there was nothing to be found. Maybe when the LSO comes in September?

I think this afternoon would be a perfect time to hear the opening of Sym #2, followed by the rest, thanks for reminding me.


Also I think the BBC is doing some Elgar stuff, and BBC's CD review has a comparison of Elgar's Introduction and Allegro, my first exposure to Elgar, thank you Marriner and Argo. I have not listened to the program yet, so I don't know how my old favorite fairs.



Gregg


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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jun 02, 2007 4:30 pm

Gregg wrote:I wish there was more Elgar in New York.
I wish there were more Elgar liberally interspersed in XM's regular schedule. In fact, many of his smaller works fit well with a whole slew of light music composers like Malcolm Arnold, Eric Coates (of which there are many volumes in Naxos' series of British Light Music), William Alwyn, Bax, Bliss, Tomlinson, Finzi, Bennett, etc. I'd gladly trade the umpteenth playing of the Brahms 3rd Symphony or Academic Festival Overture or the Beethoven 4th Symphony, which turn up with depressing regularity, for some pleasant if not necessarily profound diversion such as the aforementioned.
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Post by jserraglio » Sat Jun 02, 2007 7:51 pm

Elgar's Serenade for Strings played by the Boyd Neel String Orchestra, Decca AK 1196/7, recorded 25th June 1945.

I listened to this work yesterday, a beautiful transfer by one of the magicians over at RMCR who take old records and make them sound new.

http://www.yousendit.com/download/UVJoT ... WGMwTVE9PQ

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Post by John F » Sat Jun 02, 2007 8:49 pm

Gregg wrote:Maybe when the LSO comes in September?
No, for some reason the LSO seems almost to be avoiding Elgar next season, and their big project will be all the Mahler symphonies but #8 under their incoming music director Valery Gergiev. When they come to New York, conducted by Colin Davis, their programs will be:

October 17
Mozart: Piano Concerto No.27 in B-flat major, K.595 (Mitsuko Uchida)
Mozart: Requiem in D minor, K.626

October 19
Beethoven: Piano Concerto No.4 in G major (Paul Lewis)
Beethoven: Symphony No.3 in E-flat major ("Eroica")

October 21
Haydn: Die Schöpfung
Sally Matthews soprano; Ian Bostridge tenor; Dietrich Henschel baritone; London Symphony Chorus

(Lincoln Center's "Great Performers" concerts in 2007-8 are online at http://www.lincolncenter.org/load_scree ... Performers.)
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Post by Gregg » Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:16 pm

John F wrote: Lincoln Center's "Great Performers" concerts in 2007-8 are online at
I thought I could find them on line, but I just finished my summer listings but I did not want to be disappointed....

Elgar in the wilderness again!


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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jun 02, 2007 9:43 pm

jserraglio wrote:Boyd Neel String Orchestra
Geez Luigi! I haven't heard of them in donkey's years. These transfers, do you know off hand if they are doing the Argo recordings or just random really neat stuff?
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Post by jserraglio » Sun Jun 03, 2007 6:53 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jserraglio wrote:Boyd Neel String Orchestra
Geez Luigi! I haven't heard of them in donkey's years. These transfers, do you know off hand if they are doing the Argo recordings or just random really neat stuff?
Random really neat stuff that's never been on CD nor is likely to be. An altruistic attempt to preserve the recorded legacy of the past. Most of these guys at RMCR transfer direct from 78 RPM shellacs, but you'd never know it from the quality of the end product, as good as or better than lots of commercial transfers I've heard.

Names to look for are Bill Anderson, Paul, Damian, and Rolf who often posts here. They tend to specialise in the recordings of famous and obscure UK figures like Landon Ronald, Percy Pitt, Leo Blech, Eugene Goossens, Alexander Mackenzie, and George Henschel, even Sir John Gielgud (his '30s recs of speeches from Shakespeare). There is a also a guy (Paul Goldstein) that does some sweet transfers from out-of-copyright LP vinyl, mostly of chamber music. His astonishing transfer of the Budapest SQ's Dvorak album made me want to throw away my LP.

Henry Wood gets a lot of their attention. His recordings of Bach's Brandenburgs 3 & 6, Toccata and Fugue in D, Air on a G-String, Gavotte in E (for strings), Beethoven's Eroica, Mendelssohn's MND, Tchaikovsky's Pathétique, Elgar's P and C Marches 1 & 4, etc. have all been expertly transferred.

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Post by lennygoran » Sun Jun 03, 2007 7:48 am

>Under the rubric "Elgar and His World," Leon Botstein and others will perform lots of Elgar <

John, talk about Elgar an opportunity to download Elgar's Falstaff [symphonic study] presented itself--I was completely unaware such a work had been done and I see it has gotten some mixed reviews over the years:

"By 1955 the authoritative publication The Record Guide could describe Elgar's Falstaff as 'the only tone poem of its day that suffers nothing by comparison with the best of Richard Strauss's works in the genre', but there were many who disagreed with that and with Sir Donald Francis Tovey’s view that Falstaff was ‘one of the immeasurably great things in music’ with power ‘identical with Shakespeare’s.’ After a performance by the New York Philharmonic Orchestra in 1983 the critic of the local paper, The New York Times, opined that the conductor ‘could not do much, in fact, to rescue the character’s spirited braggadocio from the programmatic detail that smothered the music.’ The well-known Elgarian writer Michael Kennedy criticised the work for 'too frequent reliance on sequences' and an over-idealised depiction of the female characters.[1] Even Elgar's great friend and champion, W H Reed, thought that the principal themes show less distinction than some of Elgar's earlier works. Reed acknowledged, nevertheless, that Elgar himself thought Falstaff the highest point of his purely orchestral work." Regards, len

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Post by karlhenning » Mon Jun 04, 2007 7:43 am

Nice to see Elgar Varèse getting his due at last!

I'll listen to Offrandes now, in his honor!

Cheers,
~Karl
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Jun 06, 2007 2:42 am

Unfortunately, Elgar's music is not terribly popular here in Germany, although the "Enigma Variations", the Cello Concerto and the "Serenade in e minor", op. 20 are frequently played.

G.B. Shaw felt that Elgar was the "only composer since Beethoven" who truly knew how to compose a great symphony. Although no one believes this silly notion anymore, Elgar's two symphonies are very subtle, grandly conceived, melodically rich, rhythmically powerful, noble and technically superb masterworks.

It is impossible to overrate Elgar as an orchestrator. Here he ranks with Rimsky-Korsakoff, R. Strauss and Ravel.

Now I'm curious if anyone else is not getting his or her reply notifications. I haven't gotten one since mid-April---and my profile is properly set....

Tschüß,
Jack
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Post by Corlyss_D » Wed Jun 06, 2007 7:08 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:Now I'm curious if anyone else is not getting his or her reply notifications. I haven't gotten one since mid-April---and my profile is properly set....
Let ask. I don't have my switch set to receive notices, so I wouldn't know.
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Post by Jack Kelso » Wed Jun 06, 2007 11:59 pm

Hurray!! I got my reply notification! Thanks, Corlyss! I don't know what you did, but whatever it was worked.

Tschüß!
Jack
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Post by Corlyss_D » Thu Jun 07, 2007 1:02 am

Jack Kelso wrote:Hurray!! I got my reply notification! Thanks, Corlyss! I don't know what you did, but whatever it was worked.
I'd like to take credit for this technological miracle, but I didn't do anything. Maybe it's related to the notices of new members that I'm getting tons of daily now after months of not getting any of them.
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Post by pizza » Thu Jun 07, 2007 12:00 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:G.B. Shaw felt that Elgar was the "only composer since Beethoven" who truly knew how to compose a great symphony. Although no one believes this silly notion anymore, Elgar's two symphonies are very subtle, grandly conceived, melodically rich, rhythmically powerful, noble and technically superb masterworks.
How about the Payne reconstruction of the 3rd Symphony. Has anyone here heard the Naxos recording with Paul Daniel conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra?

It's included in the 6 CD Naxos 20th Anniversary Box Set but I haven't got around to hearing it yet.

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Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:25 am

pizza wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:G.B. Shaw felt that Elgar was the "only composer since Beethoven" who truly knew how to compose a great symphony. Although no one believes this silly notion anymore, Elgar's two symphonies are very subtle, grandly conceived, melodically rich, rhythmically powerful, noble and technically superb masterworks.
How about the Payne reconstruction of the 3rd Symphony. Has anyone here heard the Naxos recording with Paul Daniel conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra?

It's included in the 6 CD Naxos 20th Anniversary Box Set but I haven't got around to hearing it yet.
I haven't heard it either---but I'd pick it up in a second. How much of the 3rd Symphony did Elgar actually complete?

Jack
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Post by pizza » Fri Jun 08, 2007 12:50 am

Jack Kelso wrote:
pizza wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:G.B. Shaw felt that Elgar was the "only composer since Beethoven" who truly knew how to compose a great symphony. Although no one believes this silly notion anymore, Elgar's two symphonies are very subtle, grandly conceived, melodically rich, rhythmically powerful, noble and technically superb masterworks.
How about the Payne reconstruction of the 3rd Symphony. Has anyone here heard the Naxos recording with Paul Daniel conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra?

It's included in the 6 CD Naxos 20th Anniversary Box Set but I haven't got around to hearing it yet.
I haven't heard it either---but I'd pick it up in a second. How much of the 3rd Symphony did Elgar actually complete?

Jack
This interesting link doesn't answer your question, but it contains much practical information about recording and performance history, and refers to a book that Payne wrote about the reconstruction of the symphony, published by Faber and Faber titled 'ELGAR'S THIRD SYMPHONY: THE STORY OF THE RECONSTRUCTION'.

http://www.classical-artists.com/janema ... -payne.htm

And another link from the Elgar Society website:

http://www.elgar.org/3symph3.htm

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Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Jun 08, 2007 1:35 am

Thanks very much, pizza----that's a great link!

Jack
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Post by John F » Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:09 am

It just occurred to me that the government of the United Kingdom has made its contribution to the Elgar anniversary year by taking his portrait off the £20 note two weeks from today, replacing him with the economist Adam Smith. Is it that Tony Blair & Co. don't know about their country's music, or that they just don't care?
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:19 am

John F wrote:It just occurred to me that the government of the United Kingdom has made its contribution to the Elgar anniversary year by taking his portrait off the £20 note two weeks from today, replacing him with the economist Adam Smith. Is it that Tony Blair & Co. don't know about their country's music, or that they just don't care?
No offense to our Elgarites, but between the two, Smith is far and away the more important figure and money is integral to economics. I think it was a sound move. Elgar can get his props someplace else.
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Post by Jack Kelso » Fri Jun 08, 2007 3:49 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
John F wrote:It just occurred to me that the government of the United Kingdom has made its contribution to the Elgar anniversary year by taking his portrait off the £20 note two weeks from today, replacing him with the economist Adam Smith. Is it that Tony Blair & Co. don't know about their country's music, or that they just don't care?
No offense to our Elgarites, but between the two, Smith is far and away the more important figure and money is integral to economics. I think it was a sound move. Elgar can get his props someplace else.
Adam Smith is dead, but his theories do live. Elgar is alive and well every time his works are performed.

Until the advent of the Euro (€), France had Berlioz, Germany had Clara Schumann (DM100 bill) and other nations proudly showed off their scientific, musical, artistic and literary figures on paper money. And sure, there should be room for economists as well----beats having only politicians and presidents, doesn't it...?!? :?

Tschüß!
Jack
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Post by John F » Fri Jun 08, 2007 8:25 am

Corlyss_D wrote:I think it was a sound move. Elgar can get his props someplace else.
The £50 note depicts Sir John Houblon, the Bank of England's first governor, so this will make two Bank of England notes celebrating British economists.

But the portraits on the pound, which began to appear in 1970 with William Shakespeare, are not about money. They're about great men and women in all fields, and until now have always included at least one celebrated figure from Great Britain's artistic and cultural heritage; Shakespeare was followed by Christopher Wren, Charles Dickens, and Elgar. Now for the first time there will be none.

If we're going to talk about money, art and culture are a major magnet for tourism to the British Isles. For the British government to put on a conspicuously philistine face on the actual banknotes the tourists spend is just dumb. And to make the change during the Elgar 150th anniversary year is worse than dumb.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Fri Jun 08, 2007 2:32 pm

We will have to agree to disagree, John F.
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Post by Bösendorfer » Sat Jun 09, 2007 6:08 pm

Jack Kelso wrote: Until the advent of the Euro (€), France had Berlioz, Germany had Clara Schumann (DM100 bill) and other nations proudly showed off their scientific, musical, artistic and literary figures on paper money. And sure, there should be room for economists as well----beats having only politicians and presidents, doesn't it...?!? :?
Well at least the back side of Austria's 1 Euro coin shows Mozart. I think he previously featured
on their 5000 ATS bank note, worth about 360 euros, so he was quite devalued! :D

Florian

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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jun 09, 2007 7:31 pm

Jack Kelso wrote:beats having only politicians and presidents, doesn't it...?!? :?
I have to confess I always thought having those artsy-fartsy types on money demonstrated a degree of vagary and frivolity that I thought unsuitable for a government or for money. It's precious and arch in the extreme.
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Post by jbuck919 » Sat Jun 09, 2007 9:15 pm

Corlyss_D wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote:beats having only politicians and presidents, doesn't it...?!? :?
I have to confess I always thought having those artsy-fartsy types on money demonstrated a degree of vagary and frivolity that I thought unsuitable for a government or for money. It's precious and arch in the extreme.
Perhaps on money. Look who the US has honored on stamps.

(Aside: I collected stamps as a boy. The United States used to have the most distinguished issue of engraved stamps in the world--- the commemorative was invented here, specifically for the Columbian Exposition. Among the most remarkable series were the National Park Series and the still stunning Captive Nations Series. They were extraordinary examples of the art of miniature engraving and printing. When photolithography (i.e., color xeroxing) took over, actually before that but I won't go into the details, it lost all interest for me. I suppose some 9-year-old kids are still being bamboozled into collecting stamps featuring Elvis, and he is not the worst of the lot.)

There's nothing remarkable about it. All one has to do is hit the right keys at the right time and the instrument plays itself.
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Post by Corlyss_D » Sat Jun 09, 2007 10:25 pm

jbuck919 wrote: Aside: I collected stamps as a boy. The United States used to have the most distinguished issue of engraved stamps in the world
I collected US stamps, but I was more interested in Belgian and German stamps. Loved the embossed ones.
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Post by Jack Kelso » Tue Jun 12, 2007 1:15 am

Corlyss_D wrote:
jbuck919 wrote: Aside: I collected stamps as a boy. The United States used to have the most distinguished issue of engraved stamps in the world
I collected US stamps, but I was more interested in Belgian and German stamps. Loved the embossed ones.
I too was a stamp collector---and remember a U.S. commemorative series of composers including Nevin and Foster (1940's I think). Since living persons were not allowed to be on stamps, Ives, Piston, Sessions and Copland were out of luck---but I think Gershwin made it....

There was also a 1956 DDR 2-stamp issue commemorating Schumann's death, but accidentally had a score of Schubert in the background. They re-issued the set that same year with Schumann's "Lotusblume" but they released too many of the ones with the error for them to become a rare collector's item! I guess the DDR "postmaster-general" didn't realize a good thing when he had it!

Jack
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Post by absinthe » Thu Jun 28, 2007 8:44 am

pizza wrote:
Jack Kelso wrote: How about the Payne reconstruction of the 3rd Symphony. Has anyone here heard the Naxos recording with Paul Daniel conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra?

It's included in the 6 CD Naxos 20th Anniversary Box Set but I haven't got around to hearing it yet.
Unfortunately this is a payne and I won't listen to it on principle !!! Somewhere I heard that Elgar had given specific instructions that the sketches of his 3rd Symphony weren't to be touched so in a sort of way, it's sacriledge. Hoping this doesn't offend anyone.

Do these latest recordings add anything to Boult's various recordings? I'm fond of the 2nd in particular but the 1st never really engaged me. I'm ready to give it another try...

cheers,
absinthe

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Post by pizza » Thu Jun 28, 2007 9:42 am

absinthe wrote:
pizza wrote: How about the Payne reconstruction of the 3rd Symphony. Has anyone here heard the Naxos recording with Paul Daniel conducting the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra?

It's included in the 6 CD Naxos 20th Anniversary Box Set but I haven't got around to hearing it yet.
Unfortunately this is a payne and I won't listen to it on principle !!! Somewhere I heard that Elgar had given specific instructions that the sketches of his 3rd Symphony weren't to be touched so in a sort of way, it's sacriledge. Hoping this doesn't offend anyone.


I finally did hear it and found it quite engaging and unmistakably Elgarian in its feeling. It's an exciting performance of a truly remarkable elaboration on Elgar's sketches, and from what I've read, certainly the equal, from a musicological perspective of Deryck Cooke's performing version of Mahler 10. The Bournemouth players rise to the occasion and play beautifully. The recorded sound is first class. I highly recommend it.

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Post by diegobueno » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:22 am

pizza wrote: I finally did hear it and found it quite engaging and unmistakably Elgarian in its feeling. It's an exciting performance of a truly remarkable elaboration on Elgar's sketches, and from what I've read, certainly the equal, from a musicological perspective of Deryck Cooke's performing version of Mahler 10. The Bournemouth players rise to the occasion and play beautifully. The recorded sound is first class. I highly recommend it.
There's a significant difference between Mahler 10 and Elgar 3. With Mahler 10, there was a full score for the first movement and a short score for the rest of the symphony from beginning to end. Mahler had composed the entire sequence of events for the symphphony, leaving for Cooke the task of filling in the texture when Mahler's sketches were too skeletal (mainly in the 4th and 5th movements) and orchestrating the 2nd-5th movements, and even here Mahler left some indications regarding instrumentation (for instance, the percussion at the end of the 4th movement).

With Elgar 3, Payne had to stitch together fragments that Elgar left and compose a lot of music from scratch, then orchestrate it. There is a vastly greater amount of Payne in the Elgar 3 than there is Cooke in Mahler 10. Payne really requires co-composer status for Elgar 3.

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Post by karlhenning » Thu Jun 28, 2007 10:32 am

Jack Kelso wrote:There was also a 1956 DDR 2-stamp issue commemorating Schumann's death, but accidentally had a score of Schubert in the background.
Perfect.

Simply perfect.

Cheers,
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Post by pizza » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:00 pm

diegobueno wrote:
pizza wrote: I finally did hear it and found it quite engaging and unmistakably Elgarian in its feeling. It's an exciting performance of a truly remarkable elaboration on Elgar's sketches, and from what I've read, certainly the equal, from a musicological perspective of Deryck Cooke's performing version of Mahler 10. The Bournemouth players rise to the occasion and play beautifully. The recorded sound is first class. I highly recommend it.
There's a significant difference between Mahler 10 and Elgar 3. With Mahler 10, there was a full score for the first movement and a short score for the rest of the symphony from beginning to end. Mahler had composed the entire sequence of events for the symphphony, leaving for Cooke the task of filling in the texture when Mahler's sketches were too skeletal (mainly in the 4th and 5th movements) and orchestrating the 2nd-5th movements, and even here Mahler left some indications regarding instrumentation (for instance, the percussion at the end of the 4th movement).

With Elgar 3, Payne had to stitch together fragments that Elgar left and compose a lot of music from scratch, then orchestrate it. There is a vastly greater amount of Payne in the Elgar 3 than there is Cooke in Mahler 10. Payne really requires co-composer status for Elgar 3.
The following links provide a brief sketch of Payne's work.

In one of them, the following statement appears:

"Payne claims that, by careful scrutiny of the sketches and interpretation of [Billy] Reed's remarks, he has managed to complete the symphony with the structure Elgar had intended and with a minimum of invention."

Maybe Payne was being too modest.

See:

http://www.elgar.org/3symph3.htm

http://www.elgar.org/3symph3e.htm

http://www.elgar.org/3symph3m.htm


I didn't mean to imply that there aren't major differences in the work that Cooke and Payne each undertook in their respective tasks. From Cooke's explanation of his work on Mahler 10, appearing in Chord & Discord, Vol. 2, No. 10, 1963, it appears that even though he had more to work with than did Payne, that in itself presented unique problems that Payne wasn't required to contend with. In short, Cooke's explanation didn't make his work look very easy.

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Post by diegobueno » Thu Jun 28, 2007 12:25 pm

I think this quote from Payne demonstrates how much more was required in the way of creative decision making in the Elgar symphony (Cooke didn't have to compose any development sections or recaps from scratch, he didn't have to guess at the composer's final goal, and he didn't have to fill in with any material taken from earlier Mahler compositions)


All this was at the back of my mind as I faced the last and greatest obstacle: nowhere did Elgar leave a hint as to how his Symphony was going to end. I had to compose the whole of the development section and the coda, much as in the first movement, but without the helpful pointers, and I had to envisage the work's ultimate goal - the toughest assignment of all, involving visionary concepts if I was to be true to Elgar's creative bravery. It was not even certain what basic structure Elgar had in mind for his Finale, although I felt that the breadth of the expository material in the sketches pointed towards a sonata form. This is enriched by incorporating into the development a ravishing G minor interlude whose placing in the movement is not precisely indicated by the sketches. As it now stands, the passage seems to have strayed from some rondo sub-stratum and yields a structural ambivalence which I hope is worthy of Elgar's symphonic thought.

As for the Symphony's closing pages, I decided to dare all in honour of Elgar's unpredictability. What if he had thought to place the haunting repetitions of The Wagon Passes from his recently completed Nursery Suite into a broader symphonic context? The Finale's main subject actually suggests this kind of treatment, and it would lead the music away into some new visionary world, spanning the years between the composer's death and my attempted realisation of his sketches. I trusted my intuition and went ahead and wrote.

absinthe
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Post by absinthe » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:20 pm

John F wrote:
Corlyss_D wrote:I think it was a sound move. Elgar can get his props someplace else.
The £50 note depicts Sir John Houblon, the Bank of England's first governor, so this will make two Bank of England notes celebrating British economists....

....If we're going to talk about money, art and culture are a major magnet for tourism to the British Isles. For the British government to put on a conspicuously philistine face on the actual banknotes the tourists spend is just dumb. And to make the change during the Elgar 150th anniversary year is worse than dumb.
I sincerely don't wish to distract this thread but there is a very good reason why the British government puts on a philistine face.....

:roll:

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Post by pizza » Thu Jun 28, 2007 1:33 pm

In the article previously referred to, Cooke sums up 16 pages of detailed explanation justifying his effort, as follows:

"1. Here and there, owing to Mahler's hasty calligraphy, it is difficult if not impossible to establish exactly what Mahler wrote, or intended to write;

2. Even allowing that these dubious features represent only a small proportion of the whole, a conjectural reading of which cannot affect the general purpose of the work, the manuscript is still only a comprehensive sketch, the bar-to-bar layout of which still awaited final revision.

3. Even allowing that this revision of detail would not have changed the overall form of the work in any crucial way, there are sections in the second, fourth, and fifth movements where continuity is preserved by only a single thematic line, without accompanying texture.

4. Even allowing that most of these sections represent either exact or almost exact recapitulations of material exposed earlier, and can therefore be filled out with material already provided by Mahler himself, there are still a few short passages in the second movement where the texture has to be completed conjecturally, if the music is to make any genuine impact.

5. Even allowing that these short passages again represent only a short proportion of the whole, a conjectural filling-out of which cannot affect the general purport of the work, the texture of the second, fourth and fifth movements lacks in many places the wealth and perfection of detail characteristic of Mahler's completed scores.

6. Even allowing that this is still, after all, a matter of detail rather than of essence, it is still necessary to complete the orchestration of the second movement, and to provide the whole orchestration of the last two, from the few significant hints scattered here and there by Mahler."

Apparently Cooke provided the whole orchestration of movements 4 and 5 from scratch, and did fill out some passages with material already provided by Mahler himself; he seems to imply that doing it that way was easier than doing it with material provided purely from conjecture.

I got the distinct impression from reading the article that Cooke felt he was significantly challenged by the project.

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Post by diegobueno » Thu Jun 28, 2007 3:17 pm

I don't doubt that he was.

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