Wednesday, 13 January 2016

The Modernist Legacy

Maybe of interest ..

Some Interesting Links from Google

The following link maybe of interest.

Here, are three selections of links from the above but I have not been through the entire listings by any means!!.

A Brief Reference from Gryphon...

« on: December 24, 2011, 01:02:43 PM »
A brief reference is made to DM...

The clich? goes that in the early seventies a student at the Royal College of Music in London started to grow his hair long, wear flared trousers and go on to become the key creative force behind a classic progressive rock group. Where the story diverges for Richard Harvey and Brian Gulland is that the progressive rock group they formed was originally a folk group who occasionally performed pieces of early music on medi?val instruments.
The debut album for Gryphon sees the group performing a series of folk songs with a couple of early music standards and two original compositions thrown in. Being a fan of both early music and English folk, it was therefore a bit of a surprise to me that I took so long to appreciate this album. The reason is that they don't sit in either world comfortably. Of their contemporaries, Steeleye Span performed popular folk better and David Munrow's contributions to early music were far more impressive. However, Gryphon is not really trying to fit into either category; Gryphon were primarily entertainers.

This is not an album for pleasing purists. "Estampie" is a common piece for most groups who play music of the Middle Ages, but it is not common for the melody to drift into "Somewhere, Over the Rainbow" towards the end. The atmospheric section in the middle of "The Unquiet Grave" would throw folk purists into a whirl because Child certainly doesn't document it.

While these devices work quite well for me, if not the purist, what do not work for me are the silly voices. The West Country accents on "Three Jolly Butchers" are just plain annoying, making it very hard for me to appreciate as a piece of music. This sort of thing probably works very well in concert, however. Indeed, most of the repertoire on this album sounds as if it would play better live than in the studio.

The highlight of this album is "The Unquiet Grave", a truly beautiful traditional tune with a marvelous crumhorn introduction and a guitar backing that is reminiscent of Planxty. The early music pieces, especially Henry VIII's "Pastime With Good Company", are nicely played and arranged. Progressive rock fans will also find joy in the two original compositions, "Touch and Go" with its queer time signatures and "Juniper Suite" which Gryphon called their Magnum Opus at that time.

While not everything on this album hits the mark, it is still a good first up effort. Gryphon are a group of fine musicians who treat their music with a sense of humour. Progressive metal fans should probably avoid this album, but those who don't mind their music accoustic should find a fair bit to like on this album once they get used to Gryphon's approach.

review by Conrad

Christopher Hogwood References to Munrow........

Blogger Ref

« on: February 10, 2009, 11:57:10 AM »
These are some references from the net to certain happenings with Hogwood, and DM. The following seems to do with their experiences in Czechslovakia..

I (Hogwood) used to do some translating for Kricka, the son of the composer, a very elegant man, who ran the Supraphon records. I met Milan Munclinger and his group, Venhoda ... At Christmas. David Munrow came to see me--he was very interested to see what was happening here and they all came to talk to him because he was already quite known for medieval music playing. So we did a little show on radio, It was very mutual exchange.

ref  There are many things to finish: interview with Chistopher Hogwood.

Czech Music,01-JUL-03,Brezina, Ales.

This little show on radio may be the same one which DM mentioned in a letter to someone in authority in the BBC, and which appeared in Humphrey Carpenters book entitled Envy of the World if I recall correctly.

Opernwelt interview (1984)  ...........

Dorottya Fabian?s new book, Bach Performance Practice, 1945?1975 (Ashgate, 2003) contains a quotation from an interview which Christopher gave to Gerhard Persch? in 1984, translated by John Kehoe.

To provide the full context for that quotation, here is the full text of the interview, provided by Dorottya Fabian and reproduced with the permission of Opernwelt:

Authenticity is not academic a conversation from 1984 with Christopher Hogwood, the guiding spirit of The Academy of Ancient Music.

Opernwelt: Mr Hogwood, ?early? music in ?authentic sound? ? is that in fact as Neville Marriner once formulated it, ?very popular with the open-toed-sandals- and-brown-bread-set?, a ?macro-biotic? movement, so to speak, in the music scene?

Hogwood: I know Neville Marriner well enough from our years of working together to take what he says in jest. But there is indeed a kernel of truth in it, or rather, there used to be, when I think of the boom that dominated the mid-sixties in the area of mediaeval music. That was ?in? at the time, from every respectable record came the sound of crumhorns, Rauschpfeifen and all that kind of thing. It was an entirely new ?old? sound, but not a soul knew if it was authentic or not......................................

.............. suddenly I became in any case enormously interested in the harpsichord, if only still as a hobby. At Cambridge I studied Latin and Greek at first, and philosophy, I wanted to go in for an archaeological career.

At all events, I met musicians like David Munrow, David Atherton and so on, and the meeting with Raymond Leppard was one of the deciding factors in switching to a music course. At first I specialised very much in baroque music, together with David Munrow, but on modern instruments. Then I went for a year to Prague, to rummage through the archives, and when I came back from there my interest in baroque music had lessened, I had somehow come up against a barrier, the barrier of what one can do in this area on modern instruments. At the same time, David Munrow had gone the same way, and so we plunged into what was then for us the so exotic, if still hypothetical, sound world of mediaeval music. I played with the Early Music Consort for ten years. Alongside that I also began playing with Neville Marriner and his Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, giving solo harpsichord recitals and writing a lot about music.

For the reasons I have already given, my interest in mediaeval music became exhausted; the repertoire that I played with ?St Martins? aroused my attention more and more, together with the desire for an ?authentic sound?, which I had preserved from my involvement with mediaeval music. I tried increasingly to give my solo recitals on historical instruments, too, because the harpsichords built in modern times had a sound that one could only place in the realm of the imagination or, better, of toys.

Opernwelt: How did ?The Academy of Ancient Music? come into being?

Hogwood: I looked about me in England. There were many small groups who played, for example, chamber music of the renaissance, and so on.........

Interviewer: Gerhard Persch
English Translation: John Kehoe

 ? 2007 Christopher Hogwood | website by MJB Data

Also, the following comes from Music in Schools Today. It is an interview with Nicholas McGegan who was into early music making, and references are made to Hogwood, and Munrow.......

Nicholas McGegan:

...... I went to Cambridge University in England to do modern music and to compose. One of the things you have to study there, which is a course that essentially hasn't changed since the 16th century, is acoustics: how instruments work and how concert halls are built. The person who taught that course was actually a climatologist, but he privately collected 18th century wind instruments. I was a flute player in those days, so he lent me an 18th-century flute, which I still have. And he had a tenant named Christopher Hogwood, who lived in the attic and who played the harpsichord. Chris was not there very much, because he was playing with David Munrow and on tour with the Early Music Consort. When I got to play the one keyed flute well enough and Chris was in town, we gave some concerts together, and I joined his Academy of Ancient Music. So I started to do early music probably around 1970-71.

There was a certain amount happening in early music in England at the time -- most obviously old keyboards and viol consorts, which has always been an English gentleman's pursuit. So I just played a bit, went to Oxford to prolong the lack of reality for a few more years, played in Christopher's orchestra, met Trevor Pinnock, and worked for John Eliot Gardiner and Roger Norrington. In those days, I managed to write a lot of music history essays on composers like Alessandro Scarlatti without ever hearing a note of their music. Nobody performed it, and certainly nobody recorded it, except those rather dismal old Archiv records that were rather like bran muffins that were too good for you. The idea that you could actually play the stuff and enjoy it, or that you could sort of have a career of it, certainly in the late sixties was more or less unthinkable...

August 2008.

« Last Edit: February 10, 2009, 11:59:15 AM by piedpiper »

Kelvin Hall, Glasgow- 1974

« on: September 07, 2007, 09:11:23 PM »/Beechcomber
I started off listening to David Munrow and The Early Music Consort of London in the very early 70’s.  The first recording I heard was his Two Renaissance Dance Bands.  From then on I bought whatever became available.

In 1974 I went to see the full consort in action in the Kelvin Hall in Glasgow and the atmosphere was absolutely electric.  The concert started off with Munrow looking out of a side curtain at the side of the stage (presumably to see if any technician etc was fiddling about with the mics) and, when he found that the coast was clear, he raced up the few stairs onto the stage and started to play a Danse Royale with his bagpipes.  One by one he was joined by other members of the small consort who all played individual pieces on Crwth (Oliver Brookes), Citole (James Tyler) Harpsichord (Christopher Hogwood) and finished off with James Bowman singing to their accompaniment.  Just before the interval Bowman was accompanied by Robert Spencer in a variety of lute songs.  The second half of the concert the big-band played a selection from Praetorius’s Terpsichore.  If anyone is interested in what pieces they played that evening then let me know and I’ll post it on this forum, once I find out where I’ve “archived” the programme.

There’s no doubt about it, Munrow took early music by the scruff of its neck and popularised it.  Looking back I don’t think any individual since Munrow’s death has achieved what he has done since, and I can sadly see a kind of demise to what we were once used to.  True, there are countless very good professional early music groups about that took on specialised areas of early music but none has successfully taken on the big band theme and not one individual has popularised early music to the same extent. 

I miss the great man badly.  They say great things come in small packages – Munrow wasn’t great, he was phenomenal.  What he achieved in a ten year lifetime was nothing short of genius.  He was always in a hurry to do things and he certainly hurried to cram everything he could manage to do in an astonishing ten years.   Those ten years was a whirlwind.  We all miss you David but we all thank you for giving us an immense amount of pleasure.

Tuesday, 12 January 2016

Memory of David as a Teenager

« on: June 16, 2014, 01:29:07 PM »
My memory of the exact years I knew David is not good.  It was certainly between 1955 and 1959. I first met him at one of the monthly meetings of the Birmingham branch of the Society of Recorder Players, at the Martineau Teachers Centre on Bristol Road, Birmingham.  We both lived in Moseley and four or five of us teenagers, including David, met to play at my flat in School Road. Our repertoire was limited to a few Schott publications. I remember an SRP members' concert at Birmingham with Dr Walter Bergmann in the audience, at which three us of played, with David on the bassoon. I lost all contact with David when I went away in 1959 to do my National Service, as a gunner.  I wish I could remember more!
Barry Cooper/ David Munrow Forum

The Art of Re-Enchantment

The following reference may be of interest.

Monday, 11 January 2016

The "Old" Hobbit Music for a BBC Radio Series

Blogger Ref

The following is some details from the radio series of the Hobbit. David Cain wrote the music, and Munrow and his consort performed it.

I had contact with Cain a long time ago. He claimed that David Munrow nearly killed himself on a dish of curry!   RS

Music by David Cain/Ref source Discogs
David Munrow and the Early Music Consort of London play music by David Cain
The Hobbit - Hajji Baba - The Jew of Malta - Much ado about nothing
The Early Music Consort of London - David Munrow, dir.
BBC records REC 91S [LP]


    David Cain: The Hobbit
  1. Opening And Bilbo's Theme
  2. Elves' Dances
  3. Bilbo's Lullaby
  4. Fanfare And Dance In Esgaroth

  5. James Morier (t) / David Cain (m): Hajji Baba
  6. Zeenab And Hajji
  7. Brigands' Song
  8. In Teheran
  9. Hajji's Dance
  10. Love Is No Rare Commodity
  11. I Weighed Thy Beauty
  12. King Hajji

  13. ----
    Christopher Marlowe (t) / David Cain (m): The Jew of Malta
  14. Opening
  15. Night On The Canal
  16. The Market
  17. Come Live With Me
  18. Bellimira's Revels
  19. The Monastery

  20. William Shakespeare (t) / David Cain (m): Much ado about nothing
  21. The Wars
  22. Beatrices' Theme
  23. The Woman Who Embraces
  24. Gigue
  25. Tafel-Musik
  26. Sigh No More Ladies
  27. Cinquepace
  28. Requiem For Hero
  29. Strike Up, Pipers

Playing time: ??' ??"
The Early Music Consort of London:
David Munrow (recorders, crumhorns, alto shawm, tenor shawm, chinese shawms, soprano gemshorn, bass racket, bass sordun, tenor dulcian, transverse flute, notch flute, rauschpfeiffe), Christopher Hogwood (harpsichord, harp, organ), Oliver Brookes (bass viol, violone, bass crumhorn), James Tyler (lute, cittern, treble viol, tenor viols), Michael Laird (cornetto, piccolo trumpet, D trumpet), Roger Brenner (alto sackbut, tenor sackbut), Barry Quinn (percussion), Eric Allen (percussion), Dennis Clift (trumpet), Dennis Nisbett (teble vol), James Bowman (counter-tenor), Martyn Hill (tenor)
David Munrow, dir.
Recording site and date:
BBC Radiophonic Studio, London, England [1971 or prior];
Rel.: 1971
This LP has been re-edited with other works by David Cain in a 5 CD set or cassettes box, see: BBC records ZBBC 1925
[1]-[4] BBC records ISBN 0-563-38999-0 [CDx5] J.R.R. Tolkien: The Hobbit - Music by David Cain.
Reviewed in:
Diapason (#-p.):
Gramophone (Vol./#-p.):
Fanfare (Vol./#-p.):
From owned LP; originally identified by Jane Pattle, then content later kindly provided by Steven McCann. Information about the compilation from David Cain.
To FAQ references to this recording.
To FAQ CD index page.