Re: George Lloyd and Benjamin Frankel
Posted by Colin Mackie on November 30, 2017, 1:23 am, in reply to "Re: George Lloyd and Benjamin Frankel"
I must confess that my first reaction on reading the title of this thread was to think that George Lloyd and Benjamin Frankel make up rather an odd coupling. On reflection however I can actually recognise that both, in their rather different ways, were essentially composers wedded to the concept of melody. |
Lloyd is a more obviously lyrical composer. His music is conventionally romantic and, of course, tonal. It enjoyed (what may now seem a fleeting) popularity in the 1980s and 1990s as a reaction to the rebarbative modernism so prevalant. He enjoyed the passionate advocacy of the late Sir Edward Downes and had the fortunate ability to be able, not only to conduct his own music, but to have it recorded by, first Lyrita, and then Albany.
The Symphony No.11 is not necessarily Lloyd at his best. It is arguably over-extended. The "lighter" Lloyd symphonies are, to my mind, extremely pleasant but ultimately unmemorable. At his best however-as in the Symphonies Nos. 4 and 5 for example-Lloyd can produce music of considerable depth and power. And few surely can question his precious ability to write music of quite exquisite beauty. The slow movement of the Seventh Symphony is heart-rendingly gorgeous. To produce such a wonderful tune is a gift given to few.
(The Symphonic Mass is a work I have not listened to for many years but I shall certainly now dust it off my shelves!)
Benjamin Frankel is a composer I very much admire, not least because of his ability to produce melody within a serial framework. We owe a huge debt to CPO for recording all Frankel's orchestral music. It will never be popular sadly because such music simply does not get heard these days in the concert hall. But it is music of power, purpose and distinction. My favourite Frankel symphony is No.2-written soon after the death of the composer's first wife. The Symphony No.2 is-again in my opinion obviously-one of the very finest postwar British symphonies. Its tragic and dramatic power never fails to impress me. It is in every sense- exactly "my" kind of music. Others may not respond but that is the very nature of musical taste!