Wardourcastlesummerschool

A Blog about the Wardour Castle Summer Schools 1964, 1965

Comments by Bayan Northcott on the 1965 WCSS

Speaking with Bayan Northcott uncovered a wealth of information about the WCSSs and the period in which they occurred. This post draws together some clips from the interview. The interview progressed with Northcott going through his diary.

Sunday, 15 August at 8 p.m.

BETHANY BEARDSLEE, soprano

EMMANUEL HURWITZ, violin

STEPHEN PRUSLIN, pianoforte

I. Five Songs . . Schubert

Ganymed (Goethe)

Auflösung (Mayrhofer)

Nachtviolen (Mayrhofer)

Auf dem Wasser zu singen (Stoliberg)

An Sylvia (Shakespeare)

II. Chansons de Bilitis (Pierre Louys) . . Debussy

III. Sonata No. 13 in B-flat major for piano and violin, K. 454 . . Mozart

INTERVAL – 25 MINUTES

IV. Two Songs . . Schoenberg

Ich darf nicht dankend (Stefan George)

In diesen Wintertagen (G. Henckel)

Three Songs, opus 25 (Hildegard Jone) . . Webern

Wie bin ich froh

Des Herzens Purpurvogel

Sterne, Ihr silbernen Bienen

V. Philomel for soprano, recorded soprano, and synthesized sound . . Milton Babbitt

To begin, Northcott made some general remarks about Bethany Beardslee, one of the featured performers of the 1965 WCSS:

(LS100049, 1:14’25”)
He then continued, with recollections of Philomel, the only item in the programme that had clearly remained with him:

(LS100049, 1:14’57”)

Monday, 16 August at 8 p.m.

BETHANY BEARDSLEE, soprano

Melos Ensemble

EMANUEL HURWITZ, violin

CECIL ARONOWITZ, viola

TERENCE WEIL, cello

COLIN CHAMBERS, flute and piccolo

GERVASE DE PEYER, clarinet

ALAN HACKER, bass clarinet

ERIC ROSEBERRY, piano

EDWARD DOWNES, director

I. Trio No. 1 in B-flat major for pianoforte, violin, and violoncello, opus 99 . . Schubert

INTERVAL – 25 MINUTES

II. Pierrot Lunaire, opus 21 . . Schoenberg

This was one of the most significant concerts of the 1965 summer school, and the impact of the Pierrot Lunaire here is deep and long lasting. Northcott suggests that this may well have been the genesis of the Pierrot Players. First, thought, he confirms some of Hugh Wood’s information about the lighting:

(LS100049, 1:16’17”)

Northcott then describes the performance, particularly striking for its information about Maxwell Davies:

(LS100049, 1:17’10”)

Tuesday, 17 August at 5 p.m.

RECITAL

by LEONARD STEIN, piano

Bagatelles . . Beethoven

Three Piano Pieces . . Alexander Goehr

Prelude for Piano and Tape . . Subotnick

(short pause)

Cocktail Music . . Salvatore Martirano

Piano Pieces OP. 23 . . Schoenberg

(LS100049, 1:18’57”)

NB there was no performance of Boulez’s Third Piano Sonata as one of the earlier flyers had indicated. Part of Northcott’s response to my question about Boulez was to mention that Bill Colleran has set up a shop in the hall for the summer school, selling, amongst other things, Boulez’s Third Piano Sonata.

(LS100049, 1:21’40”)

Wednesday, 18 August at 8 p.m.

Melos Ensemble:

EMANUEL HURWITZ, violin

KAY HURWITZ, viola

LEONARD FRIEDMAN, violin

CECIL ARONOWITZ, viola

TERENCE WEIL, cello

WILLIAM BENNETT, flute

ALAN HACKER, bass clarinet

ERIC ROSENBERRY, piano

STEPHEN PRUSLIN, piano

BARBARA ELSY, Soprano

PAULINE STEVENS, contralto

IAN PARTRIDGE, tenor

GEOFFREY SHAW, bass

ALEXANDER GOEHR, director

I. Busoni – Canonic Variations and Fugue for pianoforte on the theme of King Frederick the Great from Bach’s Musical Offering.

followed by

II. Bach – Six Part Ricercar from the Musical Offering.

The six-part ricercar, which follows the Busoni work, will be performed in an instrumental arrangement by Alexander Goehr.

III. Mozart: Quartet for flute, violin, viola, and violoncello in D major, K. 285

IV. Cantata on texts by Edward Benlowes . . Robin Holloway

First performance written for Summer School

V. Cryes of London . . Orlando Gibbons

VI. Fourteen Ways of Describing Rain . . Hanns Eisler

Holloway’s Cantata was performed only in part:


(LS100049, 1:23’41”)

Thursday, 19 August at 5 p.m.

BARBARA ELSY, Soprano

PAULINE STEVENS, contralto

IAN PARTRIDGE, tenor

GEOFFREY SHAW, bass

TRISTRAM FRY, percussion

Aquil Altera . . Jacapo da Bologna

In tua memoria . . Arnold de Lantins

Westron Wynde . . Anon

Western Wind Mass . . John Taverner

Pause

Veni sancte spiritus . . Robert Sherlaw Johnson

(First performance written for Summer School)

Little Cantata of Proverbs (Blake) . . Alexander Goehr

_________

Sibylla Delphica

La nuit Froide et Sombre

Fuyone Tous

Bonjour mon coer

Ich weiss ich ein madlein . . Orlando di Lasso

Northcott’s comments here are more valuable for their suggestions of the flavour of the time than there are to the concert at hand. He begins with Alexander Goehr:

(LS100049, 1:26’08”)

And continues with Bill Hopkins:

(LS100049, 1:27’30”)

The earlier concert flyer had given Birtwistle’s Ring a Dumb Carillon as having it’s first performance at this concert. The published programme booklet (submitted to the Arts Council) didn’t list it as one of the pieces performed, but Northcott seemed to think that it was performed:


(LS100049, 1:28’46”)

Friday, 20 August at 8 p.m.

EMANUEL HURWITZ, violin

LEONARD FRIEDMAN, violin

CECIL ARONOWITZ, viola

TERENCE WEIL, cello

WILLIAM BENNETT, flute

PETER GRAEME, oboe

WILLIAM WATERHOUSE, bassoon

NEIL SANDERS, horn

HILLARY WILSON, harp

BARBARA ELSY, soprano

PAULINE STEVENS, contralto

IAN PARTRIDGE, tenor

GEOFFREY SHAW, bass

MEMBERS OF THE SUMMER SCHOOL

LAWRENCE FOSTER, director

PETER MAXWELL DAVIES, director

I. Canon for Syntagma Musicum (1619) . . Michael Praetorius

_________

II. Dunstable:

voices and instruments: Sanctus and Agnus Dei

organ: Sub tuam protectionem

voices and instruments: Motet, “Veni Sancte Spiritus – Veni Creator”

III. (a) Plainsong, Gloria Tibi Trinitas

(b) Benedictus, from “Gloria Tibit Trinitas” Mass . . John Taverner

(c) In Nomine . . John Taverner

(d) In Nomine . . Thomas Tallis

(e) Gloria Tibi Trinitas . . John Blitheman

(f) Two “In Nomines” . . Peter Maxwell Davies

(g) Fantasia (In Nomine) . . Henry Purcell

The two new “In Nomines” use the plainsong, and the instrumental versions of the Tallis and Blitheman are by Maxwell Davies.

Tragoedia . . Harrison Birtwistle

First performance, commissioned by the Melos Ensemble for the Summer School

INTERVAL – 25 MINUTES

V. Motet – Ecce Manus Tradentis . . Peter Maxwell Davies

Again, this is one of the most significant concerts of the summer school. Northcott began his comments with the Maxwell Davies arrangement of Taverner, Tallis, Blitheman and Purcell. The programme here is slightly misleading, and the music performed is now entitled Seven In Nomine. Maxwell Davies’s website gives a programme note in which he writes that the first five were premiered at the Wardour Castle Summer School in ‘September [sic] 1965’ with the complete work performed for the first time in December 1965.

Then came Tragoedia. Northcott here is fascinating:

(LS100049, 1:32’45”)

[Edit, 8 January 2010, Birtwistle indicated to me that the changes to Tragoedia were minor:

(LS100060, 22’14”)]

Northcott’s comments about the Times review (here) are here noteworthy and it seems likely that Northcott is right and that the entire work was performed in this concert. Northcott then moves on to Ecce Manus:

(LS100049, 1:40’05”)

Saturday, 21 August at 5 p.m.

RECITAL

ROGER SMALLEY, piano

BRIAN DENNIS, baritone

WILLIAM YORK, clarinet

JOHN WHITE, tenor horn

Two Pieces from Amores for prepared piano . . John Cage

Last Pieces . . Morton Feldman

February Pieces I, II, III . . Cornelius Cardew

Neumes Rhythmiques

Ile de Feu I . . Messiaen

_________

Pause

_________

Piano Pieces . . Karlheinz Stockhausen

Two Poems of D. H. Lawrence

for baritone, clarinet, tenor horn, piano (1st performance) . . Roger Smalley

(LS100049, 1:43’21”)

Participants’ Concert:

Bach: Double Concerto for 2 vioins in D minor. Leonard Freeman and Emanuel Hurwitz.

Bach: Cantata conducted by John Aldis and sung by participants. Solo parts by Barbara Elsy, Pauline Stevens, Geffrey Shaw and Ian Partridge.

March ‘Verdi’ from Macbeth played by Participants and conducted by Alan Hacker.

David Bedford: Dream of the Seven Lost Stars written for the Summer School and conducted by John Aldis.

I showed Northcott the above programme, and then some of the other information from different sources. He seemed vague about the other works, recalling clearly only the Bedford:


(LS100049, 1:44’05”)

Filed under: General details of the Summer Schools, Interviews, What music was performed?, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

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