Re: Constantin Silvestri Bournemouth Symphony Broadcasts
Posted by Stephen Lloyd on July 12, 2019, 2:12 pm, in reply to "Constantin Silvestri Bournemouth Symphony Broadcasts"
I was most interested to discover the Silvestri recordings that have been put on YouTube, and I was particularly pleased to find the ‘documentary’ on Silvestri made by Ray Carpenter who was a good friend of mine. Ray, and another former member of the Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra, David Johnson, had been especially helpful when I was commissioned to write a history of the BSO that, for various reasons, became a history of Sir Dan Godfrey, the orchestra’s founder (Thames Publishing, 1995). (Ray wrote a brief history of the BSO with Sean Street that was published in 1993.) Nevertheless I had done a considerable amount of research into the orchestra’s later conductors, including Silvestri, with taped interviews (together with Ray) of Ken Matchett, David Richardson and David Blenkinsop that I hope to make use of in a series of articles on BSO conductors. I also taped interviews with Richard Austin, Rudolf Schwarz and Charles Groves and I have extensive details of these conductors’ concerts and repertoire. Not only, as the BSO historian, did Ray help me to collect copies of all Dan Godfrey’s recordings but he also gave me cassette copies of a good number of Silvestri’s recordings that he has since performed an invaluable service in getting many of them issued commercially.
My main reason for writing is that, after looking through the Silvestri recordings that are listed on YouTube, there are a number of gaps of performances that have not been issued commercially but of which Ray gave me copies. These include the Hindemith and Bartok Violin Concertos, Rawsthorne’s Second Symphony (as well as the Third), Britten The Building of the House, Weber Abu Hassan overture, Prokofiev Love for Three Oranges, Kabalevsky Overture Colas Breugnon, Elgar Introduction and Allegro for Strings and In the South (not the commercial recording), Mozart overture The Seraglio, Liszt Piano Concerto No 1 (a recording I am trying to locate among my collection), Malcolm Williamson Sinfonietta, Fauré Pelléas and Mélisande, all with the BSO, and Enescu Symphony Concertante for cello and orchestra Op 8 with the Romanian National Orchestra. There may be one or two others.
Ray did not date all the recordings he gave me and I assume that others that I have that are on YouTube are of the same performance. He did give me a Tchaikovsky Manfred Symphony which he added in pencil as being (undated) from the Edinburgh Festival, but it seems identical to the performance issued on BBC Legends, what I think is quite the most exciting of all Silvestri’s performances that I know. I should add that the recordings I have listed are all second generation tapes, with no announcements (except the Kabalevsky), and no applause.
Ray was a good friend and I saw him too infrequently in later years on my visits to Bournemouth, but memorably at some events commemorating Dan Godfrey with members of the Godfrey family. I remember well many years ago when he took me round the Guildhall in Poole to see the exhibition relating to the BMO/BSO that he had been responsilble for, and when he took me to the Winter Gardens when there was a new portait of Godfrey in the foyer. I had not heard of his death but with no reply to correspondence in recent years I had assumed he had died, so it was especially moving to watch his documentary on YouTube.
If any of the above recordings would add to your collection I can transfer them to CD. Some if not most of them must surely be in the Wessex Film and Sound Archives.