Richard Rodney Bennett, 76, dead 12.24.2012 in NYC

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Richard Rodney Bennett, 76, dead 12.24.2012 in NYC

Post by jserraglio » Tue Dec 25, 2012 2:27 pm

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Re: Richard Rodney Bennett, 76, dead 12.24.2012 in NYC

Post by piston » Tue Dec 25, 2012 3:23 pm

Major works include three symphonies and an opera, The Mines of Sulphur.
The premiere recording of his opera was produced for Chandos from a 2004 recording (CHAN 5036 (2)). It's a work dedicated to Benjamin Britten.
Synopsis: The action takes place in a decaying manor house in the West Country of England (...).

Act I
The gypsy Rosalind has tried to escape from the abusive landowner Braxton, but is driven back to the isolated house by the winter weather. Her companions -- Boconnion, an army deserter, and the tramp Tovey-- stealthily enter the house intent on stealing Braxton's jewels and other valuable possessions. Boconnion murders Braxton and while the three try on their newly acquired finery, there is the sound of a distant horn followed by a knock on the door.

Sherrin, the leader of a troupe of travelling actors, enters seeking shelter for the group. Boconnion agrees to this request in exchange for the performance of a play. Sherrin chooses "The Mines of Sulphur," a comedy about a wealthy antiquarian who selects a young wife as 'the loveliest thing in [his] collection.'

Act II
In the play, the young wife, Haidee, and the valet, Hugo, have an illicit affair, and upon discovery are about to kill the older husband. At this point the similarities between the play and reality are too much for Rosalind and Tovey and they stop the performance. One of the actors indicates that he knows Boconnion's real identity and what has happened in the house. Boconnion draws a bayonnet and moves threateningly towards the actors.

Boconnion reveals his plan to imprison the actors in the house which he intends to burn down in order to destroy the evidence of his crimes. A horn call announces that the troupe has inexplicably escaped leaving behind Jenny, one of their number. Boconnion taunts the frightened Rosalind by kissing Jenny, who then at last explains that she has the plague. Rosalind, Tovey and Boconnion are left with the realization that in fact they are the ones for whom there is now no escape. They pray in vain to God for mercy.
c. 2005 Stewart Robertson
In the eyes of those lovers of perfection, a work is never finished—a word that for them has no sense—but abandoned....(Paul Valéry)

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Re: Richard Rodney Bennett, 76, dead 12.24.2012 in NYC

Post by Tarantella » Tue Dec 25, 2012 4:06 pm

Very sorry to learn about the death of RRB. Here is a small sample from one of his most affecting, memorable films scores - "Far From the Madding Crowd".

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Re: Richard Rodney Bennett, 76, dead 12.24.2012 in NYC

Post by Guitarist » Wed Dec 26, 2012 3:45 am

Sad news for sure. I really like his Guitar Sonata (It's extremely difficult to play, by the way.). Here's the first movement.

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