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Classical Music Home > MAXWELL DAVIES: Peter Maxwell Davies - A Portrait (DUNNETT)

MAXWELL DAVIES: Peter Maxwell Davies - A Portrait (DUNNETT)

    

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On Wings of Song: Peter Maxwell Davies talks to Jeremy Siepmann

MAXWELL DAVIES: Peter Maxwell Davies - A Portrait (DUNNETT)

Maxwell Davies: A Portrait
His Works . His Life . His Words

• 2 CDs with 23 tracks of Max’s music, spanning his career to date
• The composer himself speaks, reflecting on his life and work
• Detailed essay by Roderic Dunnett, richly illustrated with photographs

8.558191-92

Sir Peter Maxwell Davies is one of the most exciting and provocative composers at work in the world today. His Eight Songs for a Mad King set the dizzying pace for Britain’s 1960s avant-garde, and the recent Naxos Quartets bear witness to his continuing innovative spirit. With characteristic eloquence, ‘Max’, as he has been known since childhood, speaks about his life and career in a recorded interview on CD-ROM, highlights of which come at the end of a representative selection of his music on the two audio CDs. These, combined with an illuminating essay about the composer by Roderic Dunnett, form an excellent portrait of Britain’s Master of the Queen’s Music.

Includes music from O Magnum Mysterium, Eight Songs for a Mad King, Worldes Blis, The Doctor of Myddfai, Symphony No. 6, Cross Lane Fair, Commemoration Sixty, Naxos Quartet No. 6 and several other significant, strikingly original works.

CD 2 has a CD-ROM element containing ‘Max Speaks: A Recorded Interview’ – two hours of fascinating reminiscences by the composer.


Feature Article

Peter Maxwell Davies: A Portrait
8.558191–92

Britain’s Master of the Queen’s Music wears with equal ease his disparate labels of ‘Sir Peter Maxwell Davies’ and ‘Max’. When you meet him, this kind of relaxed attitude comes as no surprise. Thoroughly entertaining company, he has a mischievous sense of humour, a twinkle in the eye, and a rather infectious laugh. He emerged early on as an remarkably versatile composer who had struck out on his own creative path ever since his first leanings toward rebellion, aged eight, in his piano lessons: ‘...I was always in trouble for not practising what I was supposed to do and sight-reading far too much stuff which was of no interest whatever to my music teacher.’

This Portrait not only includes two CDs of music covering Max’s compositional career, and an extensive biographical essay, but also a two-hour recording of the composer himself speaking about his life and work. This is available on the CD-ROM part of CD 2, highlights of which appear in regular audio format after the music.

From his earliest musical memories around the age of four, we are taken through his years at grammar school (more entertaining rebellion), University, College; his encounters with such kindred spirits as Alexander Goehr and Harrison Birtwistle; his propensity for literature (even persuading, at the age of fourteen, his local library to lend him Joyce’s Ulysses when he was ruled underage for such shady material…); his culinary skills; his ability to engage with and inspire his students; his choice on Desert Island Discs; his compositional influences; his move to the middle of nowhere; his joy at writing music for children; his compositional influences; meeting the Queen; and many other compelling tales and insights all the way up to his most recent work on the ‘Naxos’ Quartets and his outlook on the future.

When the interview was recorded, Max held his ‘audience’ spellbound – including the engineer, who plans forthwith to depart from his usual fare and introduce his CD player to Eight Songs for a Mad King. Despite his modest physical stature, the composer unquestionably dominated the studio with his buoyancy and eloquence.

The interview complements Roderic Dunnet’s equally engaging and rounded essay on the composer. The CDs include music from the early Trumpet Sonata, the glorious setting of medieval carols O Magnum Mysterium, the sensational Eight Songs for a Mad King, Worldes Blis – a powerful ‘Motet for Orchestra’, the opera The Doctor of Myddfai, Symphony No. 6, Cross Lane Fair, the full-blooded Commemoration 60, ‘Naxos’ Quartet No. 6 and several other significant, strikingly original works.

Genevieve Helsby
Editorial Manager, Naxos Educational



Disc 1

Maxwell Davies, Peter

  Trumpet Sonata: I. Allegro moderato
1.   Trumpet Sonata: I. Allegro moderato 00:01:45
  O Magnum Mysterium (excerpts)
2.   No. 4. Carol: O Magnum Mysterium (version for 2 - part choir) 00:01:29
3.   No. 5. Carol: Alleluia, pro Virgine Maria 00:02:21
  Fantasia on a Ground and 2 Pavans after Purcell (excerpts)
4.   Pavan in A Major 00:02:14
5.   Pavan in B - Flat Major 00:01:52
  8 Songs for a Mad King: No. 1. The Sentry (King Prussia's Minuet)
6.   8 Songs for a Mad King: No. 1. The Sentry (King Prussia's Minuet) 00:05:23
  Worldes Blis (Conclusion): Lento
7.   Worldes Blis (Conclusion): Lento 00:07:21
  All Sons of Adam
8.   All Sons of Adam 00:03:29
  Stone Litany: Runes from a House of the Dead (excerpts)
9.   Inscription No. 6. Moderato - Inscription No. 7. Recitativo lento molto flessibile 00:05:24
  The Martyrdom of St Magnus, Scene 8: The Sacrifice
10.   The Martyrdom of St Magnus, Scene 8: The Sacrifice 00:07:58
  Image, Reflection, Shadow: II. Allegro
11.   Image, Reflection, Shadow: II. Allegro 00:08:16
  Seven Songs Home (excerpts)
12.   No. 2. At the Shore 00:02:55
13.   No. 7. Home 00:01:39
  Strathclyde Concerto No. 4: Cadenza - Adagio
14.   Strathclyde Concerto No. 4: Cadenza - Adagio 00:06:39
  Cross Lane Fair (excerpts)
15.   I. Introduction 00:02:07
16.   II. Fairground 00:01:03
17.   III. Ghost Train 00:01:59
  Symphony No. 6: III. Adagio - Piu animato
18.   Symphony No. 6: III. Adagio - Piu animato 00:13:21


Disc 2

Maxwell Davies, Peter

  The Doctor of Myddfai, Act I Scene 1: The Child's Bedroom (The Doctor, The Child)
1.   The Doctor of Myddfai, Act I Scene 1: The Child's Bedroom (The Doctor, The Child) 00:15:06
  Mass: Gloria
2.   Mass: Gloria 00:08:12
  De Assumtione Beatae Mariae Virginis (Opening)
3.   De Assumtione Beatae Mariae Virginis (Opening) 00:08:11
  Commemoration Sixty: II. Song of Reconciliation - Prayer for Peace (excerpt)
4.   Commemoration Sixty: II. Song of Reconciliation - Prayer for Peace (excerpt) 00:06:46
  Naxos Quartet No. 6: I. Allegro
5.   Naxos Quartet No. 6: I. Allegro 00:06:17

  Max Speaks: A Recorded Interview (excerpts)
6.   'I think my first musical memories…' 00:07:53
7.   'I think I've always read…' 00:05:22
8.   'I went to Orkney first in 1970…' 00:06:49
9.   'The ten Naxos Quartets…' 00:06:31

Total Playing Time: 02:28:22






Composer(s):
Maxwell Davies, Peter

Conductor(s):
Armstrong, Richard; Baker, Martin; Christophers, Harry; Knussen, Oliver; Maxwell Davies, Peter; Rafferty, Michael

Orchestra(s):
BBC Philharmonic Orchestra; London Sinfonietta; Royal British Legion Central Band; Royal Philharmonic Orchestra; Scottish Chamber Orchestra; Welsh National Opera Orchestra

Ensemble(s):
Fires of London, The; Maggini Quartet; Royal Military School of Music Ceremonial Trumpets; Scottish Chamber Opera Ensemble

Choir(s):
Hampton Court Chapel Royal Choir Boys; London Symphony Chorus; St James's Palace Chapel Royal Choir Boys; St Mary's School Choir, Edinburgh; St Paul's Cathedral Choir Boys; St. George's Chapel Choir Boys, Windsor; Wales Music Theatre; Welsh National Opera Chorus; Westminster Abbey Choir Boys; Westminster Cathedral Choir; Westminster Cathedral Choir Boys

Artist(s):
Archibald, Paul; Eastman, Julius; Edwards, Juliet; Gillett, Christopher; Houssart, Robert; Jones, Della; Jordan, Mark; Knowles, Gregory; Maxwell Davies, Peter; Morrison, Lewis; Quinney, Robert; Thomas, Kelvin; Tyrrell, Lisa; Whelan, Paul

Label: Naxos Educational

Series: A Portrait

Genre: Music Biographies

Period: Contemporary

Catalogue No: 8.558191-92

Barcode: 636943819128

Physical Release: 06/2006

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