Robert Simpson (1921 - 1997)

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0120050725

One of the most charismatic British composers of recent years was Robert Simpson, a man of staunch principles, both musical and personal, whose work flew in the face of contemporary trends.

In conversation with the writer and broadcaster (and close personal friend of Simpson) Stephen Johnson, Donald Macleod discusses Simpson's character, and the rich body of work he bequeathed us.

String Trio (Prelude: Presto)

Delmé String Quartet

Symphony No 2

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Vernon Handley (conductor)

String Quartet No 7

Galina Solodchin and Jeremy Williams (violin)

John Underwood (viola)

Stephen Orton (cello).

0220050726

Robert Simpson was in many ways a maverick figure, and yet also a man of great humility who spoke very freely of his debt to other composers.

Donald Macleod discusses these aspects of Simpson's character and work with writer and broadcaster Stephen Johnson.

Symphony no 3

2nd movement: Adagio

Royal Philharmonic Orchestra

Vernon Handley (conductor)

String Quartet No 6

Delmé String Quartet

Galina Solodchin and John Trusler (violin)

John Underwood (viola)

Jonathan Williams (cello).

0320050727

Two musical forms dominate Simpson's oeuvre: the Symphony and the String Quartet.

But the composer grew up playing in Salvation Army bands alongside his parents, and the result was a deep-rooted love of brass bands and their repertoire.

In conversation with Simpson's friend Stephen Johnson, Donald Macleod explores some of the music Simpson composed for brass.

Volcano: Symphonic Study for Brass Band (Calmissimo)

The Desford Colliery Caterpillar Band

James Watson (conductor)

The Four Temperaments

Variations on a Theme by Nielsen

City of London Sinfonia

Matthew Taylor (conductor)

Robert Simpson (1921 - 1997)

3/5.

Today, in conversation with Simpson's friend Stephen Johnson, Donald Macleod explores some of the music Simpson composed for brass.

0420050728

The great musicologist Hans Keller once remarked of Robert Simpson that the fearless, artless integrity of the man becomes a matter of course, hardly worth mentioning: there is no more substantial compliment in art or life.

Donald Macleod and Stephen Johnson discuss, and listen to, just one piece: Simpson's epic 9th Symphony, one of the truly great works of recent years.

Symphony No 9

Bournemouth Symphony Orchestra

Vernon Handley (conductor).

05 LAST20050729

Donald Macleod concludes his week of conversations with Stephen Johnson, about the life and work of Robert Simpson, with a look at two of Simpson's late works and a discussion of the sense of trajectory in the composer's work.

String Quartet No 15

Vanbrugh String Quartet

Gregory Ellis and Elizabeth Charleson (violin)

Simon Aspell (viola)

Christopher Marwood (cello)

Symphony No 11

City of London Sinfonia

Matthew Taylor (conductor).