Music critics are World Requiems apart

The London performance of John Fould's World Requiem last November provided some of the more entertaining blogging of 2007. Chandos have rush released their recording of the concert performance and the 2 CD set is in the shops now. It is not on my shopping list, and Andrew Clement's review in today's Guardian confirms what I heard on the BBC broadcast of the November concert - 'Most of the unwieldy and sometimes banal score lacks even the moments of originality that make some of Foulds's orchestral music intriguing ... Altogether, it's a definitive account of a disappointingly ordinary work.'

The opinion of critics will always differ. But Andrew Clements' review is suprisingly at variance with his colleague Tim Ashley's four star review of the concert performance - 'The score is emotive and eclectic ... The burning sincerity of the performance eclipsed any qualms about stylistic disunity.'

What a pity that the media feeding frenzy before the November revival of the World Requiem built up expectations that were never going to be met. It is important that works from the long tail are performed and recorded. Give me the World Requiem, with all its flaws, rather than yet another recording of Mahler 5.

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JMW said…
Botstein? Geez, he's everywhere! I think if I open my wallet Botstein will jump out shouting "Gavril Popov!!"
Henry Holland said…
Gavril Popov, you say? Hmmmm...

American Symphony Orchestra 1/25/08
Mosolov: The Iron Foundry
Lourié: Chant funèbre sur la mort d'un poète
Shcherbachov: Symphony No. 2
Gavriil Popov -- Symphonic Suite No. 1
Shostakovich -- Suite from “The Bedbug”

You're going, right? :-)

Good for Leon Botstein, I say. He's bringing to light rep that deserves to be heard --even if some of it isn't all that great-- and his recordings of Die Agyptische Helena, Le Roi Arthus and Die Liebe der Danae are terrific--I hope Telarc releases a recording of the concert performance of Schreker's incredible Der Ferne Klang that he did last year. This is another concert from his American Symphony Orchestra:

June 1, 2008
Takemitsu -- Cassiopeia
Panufnik -- Symphony No. 5
Langgaard -- Music of the Spheres
Ligeti -- Apparitions
Ligeti -- Atmosphères

Too bad I live 3,000 miles from the concert venue. :-)

I'll wait to buy the Foulds when it shows up in the used bins, as it surely will. Thanks for the update, Pliable.
Chester said…
I agree. I want to hear both new music and music new to me.
JMW said…
I'm half envious; Botstein is doing much of the stuf I've always wanted to! And he's doing it well.
Mell said…
Does anybody know who the soloist will be in the Takemitsu? I had contemplated spending that weekend in NYC already for the Bang on a Can Marathon, and I think I could peel away for a few hours for that.

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