H&N Saturday 23 July Kathryn Tickell
A refreshing change to hear the Northumbrian Small Pipes. But some of the pieces still challenging intellectually.
Well I don't really need to say it, but I will anyway - I did have sympathy with her appraisal of RVW's approach to folk music.
Would you like to offer a résumé?
Originally Posted by Oddball
Yes. Good this one. Drank in a diffent town so had to get the train home so actually heard this!
Some of that music reminded me of the Points and Dances of Taverner by Peter Maxwell Davies. Plus stuff I hear in the folk festivals in the pubs.
Might even write some of my own ones. Using my 12 note pop tunes as a basis for the materal.
Well – I will have a go, but as I usually listen to Radio 3 while doing yoga exercises, you may find some of the comments somewhat upside down.
Originally Posted by french frank
Obviously the Northumbrian small pipes gives a very pleasing and plaintive sound – reminded me of an oboe at times. Probably in its traditional context, one might tire of the sound after repeated listening, but with a piano and string quartet, then new vistas are opened.
As regards the new compositions, they were all quite short, just a single short movement:
Howard Skempton - Here's the Tender Coming – the most memorable I felt. I am sure if Mozart had ever heard these pipes, then he might have written something on these lines. The simple rhythmic backing was very powerful, perhaps with a nautical lilt, giving an impression of anxiety, hurrying home to check the man is still there. Sailor’s hornpipe?
Michael Finnissy - A-lang Felton Lonnen -the most difficult piece, but I found if one concentrated on the experience of walking along a country lane then mental pictures fitted in with the music.
Kathryn Tickell – Edge of Light – a very atmospheric piece, reminding one of the cold, as Kathryn said. I could just imagine John Coltrane, Tyner and Jones taking this piece on.
Peter Maxwell Davies - Hadrian's Villa, Hadrian's Wall - the most substantial piece. I don’t know if Max had in mind the archeological site of a Roman Villa along Hadrian’s wall, but having been there, it seemed to fit the music.
The Skempton, Finissy and Maxwell Davies compositions -as rightly mentioned during the programme- show three of the very different ways composers can handle folksy material, in this case: use it as main material (Skempton), use it as one of the melodies in combination with the composer's own material (Finissy), and deconstruct the material for your own aims (Maxwell Davies).
Was an interesting and nicely presented H&N, but it would be nice if the BBC were to announce what exactly is broadcast (neither the Cardew, one of the Skempton or Tickell's own compositions were mentioned either in the RT or at the BBC R3 website).
Muchas gracias, Oddball, for the comments. But. What I really meant was, did you have a résumé of KT's 'appraisal of RVW's approach to folk music'. Since you mentioned them in Msg#1, I assume that the yoga exercises didn't prevent you drinking them in?
Sorry for the misunderstanding. Kathryn was comparing Percy Grainger and RVW's approaches, and finding Grainger much to her preference - making her head bounce with his new ideas, if I may paraphrase. Looking forward to the programme promised of Kathryn Tickell on Percy Grainger.
Originally Posted by french frank
RVW on the other hand Kathryn did not have much time for, describing his approach as taking a pretty folk tune, and prettifying it even further. So while I have some sympathy with her view, in that I instinctively prefer more raw and angular music, I have to bear in mind that RVW wrote in a style prevalent in his period, and furthermore is regarded as one of the greatest UK composers.
In a way I can understand her preferring Grainger, though I find Country Gardens and Shepherd's Hey quite 'prettified', in a jaunty way. But he is more folksy too than RVW.