NWR The "What are we listening to?" Thread

By total accident I discovered something the Gang of Four fans here will be interested in. There's an Andy Gill tribute album due out on 4 June (double LP, artwork by Damien Hurst but I won't let that put me off). It's called "The Problem of Leisure". 20 tracks from the whole span of GoF's career performed by 20 bands who claim GoF were a big influence.

I found out because Idles did "Damaged Goods" (I think the opening track). I downloaded it for 99p from gangoffourofficialdotcom. The album can be pre-ordered there but I plan to check whether my local indie will get it first. Guessing with a strong line-up of contributors it may be popular. Also available on CD and download as well as double vinyl. FYI
 
Still listening to plenty of 20th century British composers. In the last few days, Vaughan Williams symphonies 6 and 9, Malcolm Arnold symphony no. 5; Robert Simpson symphony no. 9; and the cello concerto by Walton. All good stuff. The Walton concerto is being played at the Proms this year.

Robert Simpson's work is not well known but there is a 22 page thread about it on the Good Music Guide Classical forum!
 
Woodwind in two guises here. Nicola LeFanu was a distinguished figure at York where I did my postgrad studies. She and Elizabeth Maconchy are two of my favourite 20th century/contemporary British composers. When the Lord's test is on, I always like to watch Bryan Ferry emoting into an MCC microphone.


 
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Still listening to plenty of 20th century British composers. In the last few days, Vaughan Williams symphonies 6 and 9, Malcolm Arnold symphony no. 5; Robert Simpson symphony no. 9; and the cello concerto by Walton. All good stuff. The Walton concerto is being played at the Proms this year.

Robert Simpson's work is not well known but there is a 22 page thread about it on the Good Music Guide Classical forum!
I listened to Thursday's episode of CotW on Simpson. Can't say I was won over. I found myself wishing he'd demonstrate as much inventiveness in his music as he did in his imaginary punishments for critics... Then again Nielsen was one of his favourite composers so we were always unlikely to see eye to eye...
 
Enescu's Octet op. 7, in a simply jaw-dropping recording with an ensemble featuring Lawrence Power and Nicholas Altstaedt on principal viola and cello and led by Vilde Frang. That woman is one of the greatest musicians on the planet. I never saw Martha Argerich live, but I'd put Ms Frang on the same level. The way she tears into the 19-year-old Enescu's masterpiece reminds me also of the late Sabine Schmidt lapping the Nürburgring. Buy it and get her playing Bartók's 1st concerto thrown in for free.
 
In my distant past I once conducted the Enescu Chamber Symphony very badly indeed.... An incredibly complex piece of music. My conducting has improved greatly since, but partly through realising that that kind of music is way beyond me!

I don't know Vilde Frang's playing, I will investigate.
 
I don't know that work by Enescu but having read what you all think of it, I feel obliged to buy that recording! Regarding Simpson, I think he is a bit of an acquired taste. His works tend to be about structure rather than lyricism and melodic inspiration. I'm not keen on Nielsen either!
Isn't Mozart the prodigy to end all?
 
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